Ding Yi Music Company


Chin Yen Choong

Chin Yen Choong co-founded Ding Yi Music Company in 2007 and is now a huqin musician with the ensemble. His days are filled with daily rehearsals, self-practice, and lively exchanges with fellow musicians regarding technical and creative aspects of the craft.

His twin aspirations are to help develop younger musicians and to see Ding Yi successfully promote Chinese chamber music locally and abroad.

“I’ve always enjoyed making music with other musicians, and more so with a chamber ensemble like Ding Yi, where all the musicians work very closely together to create good music,” Chin shares.

Chin’s first foray into the world of Chinese instrumental music was in 1988, with the pipa. He picked up the erhu in 1999 and acquired exceptional proficiency under the tutelage of Singapore Chinese Orchestra gaohu musician Xu Wenjing.

His talents were showcased in 2000 as the erhu and banhu soloist in local and international stagings with the Keat Hong Chinese Orchestra. He was second runner-up in the erhu open category in the 2002 National Chinese Music Competition organised by the National Arts Council.

In 2003, he represented Singapore at the International Jiangnan Sizhu conference in Taicang, China, and in 2004 again represented the Republic at the annual ASEAN Youth Camp in Laos.

In 2004, Chin attained a Diploma in Erhu Performance, awarded by Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. He was awarded the Arts and Cultural Scholarship by the Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan for his diploma studies.

An NAC Arts Bursary recipient, he was in the inaugural cohort of Chinese instrumentalists that attained a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at NAFA.

Chin is also the conductor and instructor of various school Chinese orchestras in Singapore. He studied orchestral conducting under the tutelage of Eric James Watson, Dr Robert Casteels and renowned Hong Kong conductor Wai Sing Fat, and gleaned further finesse through masterclasses by renowned conductors Yan Huichang, Hu Bingxu and Xia Fei Yun.

His perfectionist streak sees him learning various orchestral instruments: “I like to explore different instruments to understand them better, so that I’d be able to better work with them.”