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CHONG (Family name), KEE YONG (b 1971, Kluang, Malaysia)


Composer CHONG Kee Yong, the winner of multiple composition awards and one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary music composers, possesses one of the most exciting voices in new music today. Few composers succeed in fashioning a truly individual sound from the range of experimental techniques currently available, and Chong is one of the few who can turn a melange of exquisite timbres into a compelling piece of music that, most importantly, still bears a signature style. Indeed, his work has been hailed as “imaginative and poetic” by leading conductor-composer Peter Eötvös, and as “very inventive and artistically pure” by composer Jonathan Harvey. Belgian pianists Jan Michiels and Inge Spinette describe his as a "very personal voice, very deep and convincing."

 

Chong was born into a farming family in the small town of Kluang in the heart of Johor, a palm oil plantation state in the south of Malaysia. Growing up in a rustic environment left an indelible mark on his artistic outlook, with the sounds and phenomena of nature providing endless sources of musical inspiration. Chong’s initial musical training at the Malaysian Institute of Arts introduced him to the more cosmopolitan city life of Kuala Lumpur, and his formative studies further afield at the Xian Conservatory in China, with Professors Rao Yuyan and Zhang Dalong, brought him full circle to his Chinese heritage. Chong pursued his final studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels (Flemish and French sections) under the guidance of Professors Jan Van Landeghem and Daniel Capelletti. In 2001, the Conservatory unanimously awarded him the Meester in Muziek” degree with highest honours. During his time in Brussels, Chong acquired and developed the tools to create the compositional style that he is best known for today: an engaging balance between cutting-edge, modern technique and a profoundly soulful, poetic beauty. Chong’s post-graduation studies included master classes with composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Daan Manneke, Peter Eötvös, Salvatore Sciarrino, Henri Pousseur, Hanspeter Kyburz, and many others.

 

In his compositional style, Chong embraces a vivid and constantly expanding palette of instrumental colours, while at the same time he is unafraid to explore the traditions of the past and incorporate aspects of tonality, lyricism, and rhythmic vitality into his austere contemporary language. This language is enriched by his multi-layered ethnic and cultural ancestry, which includes Chinese as well as multicultural Malaysian heritage. One can detect traces of Chinese opera, as well as gamelan influence, in his Monodrama (2004) for oboe, ensemble, and electronics; hints of kabuki and Asian funeral rituals in his extraordinarily moving symphonic work Tearless Moon (2006); and elements of calligraphy in his poetic I Hear The Wind Calling (2003). Connecting further with his Chinese roots, Chong also explores the sonic possibilities of traditional Chinese instruments in his Metamorphosis VI - Wind Prayer for sheng, gu zheng, pipa, and ensemble.

 

Chong's distinctive style has won him an unending series of awards and commissions. His two-time success in Belgium with the Prix Marcel Hastir, awarded by Belgium’s Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Fine Arts in 1999 and again in 2003, was followed in 2004 by his triumphant debut in his home country upon winning the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra International Composers' Award (MPOICA). The return of Chong’s music to Malaysia is particularly significant, as Chong is now regarded as the leading figure in the emerging art music scene of his country, and indeed of the entire Southeast Asian region.

 

The list of prizes that Chong has won at various international competitions is remarkable. In addition to his two-time win of the Prix Marcel Hastir, awarded by Belgium’s Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters, and Fine Arts in 1999 and 2003, he received a top prize at the 4th International Andrzej Panufnik Competition for Young Composers in Poland (2002); the Grand Prix at the 2nd Seoul International Competition for Composers (2003), a top prize at the Max-Reger-Tage International Composition Competition in Germany (2004); the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra International Composers' Award (2004); the 2nd Lepo Sumera International Young Composer Prize (2006); a Lutoslawski Award (2006); the BMW Award in the International Isang Yun Composition Competition in Korea (2007); 2nd Prize in the Preisträgerkonzert des Internationalen Kompositionswettbewerbes “Global Music – Contemporary Expression" in Germany; 3rd Prize in the Luxembourg International Composition Competition (2008); the highly renowned Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation commission grant in the USA (2009); a special Giga-Hertz-Award from the Institute for Music and Acoustics Karlsruhe (ZKM) in Germany (2009); and the prestigious "Outstanding Young Malaysian Award" in the Cultural Achievement category in Malaysia.

 

Chong regularly receives commissions and grants from numerous high-profile organizations and groups, such as Ensemble Prometheus (Belgium); Spiegel Quartet (Belgium), Transit New Music Festival (Belgium); Het Collectief ensemble (Belgium); Spectra Ensemble (Belgium); Vlaaderen Symphonie Orkest (Belgium); Ars Musica Festival (Belgium); Centre Henri Pousseur (Belgium); Ensemble Modern (Germany); Akademie der Künste (Germany); Musica Viva Festival, 2007 (Germany); Ensemble Berlin PianoPercussion (Germany); Herrenhaus Edenkoben (Germany); Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; TIMF (Korea); Music Forum Ensemble (Taiwan); HKNME (Hong Kong); Asian Cultural Council (New York); Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation (USA); Momenta Quartet (USA); New Music Concerts (Toronto); and the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Heritage of Malaysia.

 

Chong’s music has been performed internationally in such venues as Belgium’s deSingel Antwerp, Brugge Concertgebouw, and Flagey in Brussels; Malaysia’s Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS; the Konzerthaus Berlin; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw; Vilnius Philharmonic Hall; Esplanade Recital Hall in Singapore; Tokyo Wander Site; Korea’s Youngsan Art Hall, and many others. Chong has also been featured as a guest composer at several festivals, among them the KL Contemporary Music Festival; Thailand International Composition Festival; Manila Composers Lab; ISCM festivals; AD Evantgarde Festival 2009 in Munich; Gretna Festival (USA); “TRANSIT” Festival in Leuven, Belgium; Ars Musica Festival in Brussels; Warsaw Autumn Festival; Asia Pacific Festival in New Zealand; ACL Taiwan Music Festival; and Heidelberg Spring Festival. In addition, his music has been aired on AiFm (Malaysia); Deutschlandradio Kultur (Germany); and Austria’s ORF, which broadcasted a portrait concert of Chong’s works.

 

The catalogue of distinguished performers, ensembles, and orchestras who have performed Chong’s music is extensive. Among the performers stand those such as Peter Eötvös; Zsolt Nagy; Jonas Alber; Robert Aitken; Kevin Field; Liao Hsiao-Lin, Stephanie Griffin; Wibert Aerts; Jan Michiels; Inge Spinette; Wu Wei; Xu Feng-Xia; Min Xiao-Fen; Yen Jie-Min; Tomoko Honda; and Nicholas Ong, among others. Ensembles include Belgium’s Het Collectief Ensemble, Ensemble Prometheus, Ensemble Spectra, and Quatour Danel; in Holland, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Nieuw Ensemble; in Germany, the Kairos Quartett, Trio Jean Paul, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Mosaik, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Integrale, Ensemble Avantgarde and KNM Berlin; Switzerland’s Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain and Ensemble für Neue Musik Zurich; Korea’s SORI ensemble and TIMF ensemble; the ISCM ensemble and Music Forum ensemble in Taiwan; Hong Kong New Music Ensemble; Israel Contemporary Players; and the United States’ Momenta Quartet. Orchestras include the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Melbourne Symphony Orchestra; Symfonie Orkest Vlaanderen; Estonian National Symphony Orchestra; Korean Symphony Orchestra; and Spanish National Orchestra.

 

Chong’s prominence in the contemporary music world is also attested to by his frequent invitations to residencies and fellowships abroad. In 2006, Peter Eötvös nominated Chong for a composer’s residency, from August to December of that year, at the Herrenhaus Edenkoben Foundation in Germany. One year later, Chong was invited by American composers Chou Wen Chung and Chinary Ung to present his music alongside theirs in a joint concert in New York; the invitation resulted in a visiting artist fellowship granted by the Asian Cultural Council in New York, where he stayed from May to October of 2007. More recent residencies have taken place in 2010, when Chong accepted a position as the composer-in-residence at the Centre Henri Pousseur in Liège, Belgium; and 2011, as the artist-in-residence at the famous SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO in Freiburg, Germany.

 

An experienced educator, Chong is committed to drawing out the next generation of compositional voices. He has given master classes at such festivals and institutions as the National University of the Arts, Normal University, and National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan; Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, LASALLE College of Arts, NAFA, Raffles Institution, Temasek Junior College and SOTA; Thailand International Composition Festival; Manila Composers Lab; and SEGI College in Kuala Lumpur. In addition, Chong has served as adjudicator and mentor for the 2007 HSBC Young Composer Workshop 2007 in Malaysia; the 2009 KL Contemporary Music Festival in Malaysia; the 2011 Goethe Bandung Young Composers Competition and Festival in Indonesia; the 2011 Taiwan Music Center’s International Composition Competition; the Singapore Contemporary Ensemble’s call for scores in 2011; and the 2012 Di Yi Composition Competition in Singapore.

 

Chong was the artistic director of the 2009 Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival and vice president of Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (SMCC), and will continue offering his expertise in arts leadership by serving as artistic director of the 2012 SMCC's Malaysia Contemporary Music Festival.

 

(Edited by Emilie-Anne Gendron)

鍾 啟榮是馬來西亞頂尖的 青年作曲家,並在創作現代試驗性和具有特殊風格的音樂方面擁有絕對特殊的天分。著名作曲家和指家Peter Eötvös 形容他為一名 “富有想象力和詩意”的作曲家,另一名著名英作曲家Jonathan Harvey則形容他的音樂為“非常具有創造力和純潔的”。

 
鍾啟榮誕生于南馬的居鑾,其父母都是種植油棕的小園主。1990年至1993年,他在馬來西亞吉隆坡表演藝術學院學習古典吉他和作曲。1995年後,他遠 赴中國西安音樂學院並獲得一等榮譽學士學位,師從饒餘燕教授和張大龍教授。

 
1997年後,他再到比利時皇家音樂學院修讀作曲系,師從Jan Van Landeghem和Daniel Capelletti教授。在2001年6月,他以一等榮譽的成績獲得作曲碩士學位。此外,他也曾經參與多位知名作曲家教授開設的大師課程,例如: Brian Ferneyhough, Daan Manneke, Zoltan Janey, Peter Eötvös , Salvatore Sciarrino, Henri Pousseur 和 Hanspeter Kyburz。

 
鍾啟榮的卓越表現,讓他在上贏得多個獎項和獲得無數的贊揚,因此,他也獲得和世界上多世界頂尖的音樂家, 音樂節和基金會合作的機會。

 

2011                Artist in residence of SWR ExperimentalStudio (Freiburg, Germany)

2010          比利時瓦隆電子音楽研究和培訓中心駐院作曲家
            (Centre de Recherches et de Formation Musicales de Wallonie, Belgium)

2009                第一屆吉隆坡當代音樂節藝術總監 /評委主席。

2009                Giga-Hertz-Award 2009 特 別獎 (ZKM音樂聲學中 心,卡爾斯魯厄, 德 國。)

2009                由馬來西亞國際青年商會頒發“馬來西亞傑出青年獎 (文化成就獎)。

2009                Koussevitzky音乐基 金会 作曲委约奖项

2008                 卢森堡国际第七届作曲比赛三等奖

2008 & 2004   二度代表馬來 西亞參加分別在瑞士(2004年) 和立陶宛(2008)舉行,由 國際
                         現代作曲家協會主辦的世界音樂節

2007                獲得在德國 柏林舉行的國際作曲家比賽“環球音樂-現代的表達 ”第二名。

2007                “2007年漢城尹 伊 桑國際作曲家比賽”BMW大獎。

2007                獲紐約洲文 化理事會頒發“藝術家”訪問獎學金。

2006                “2006年波蘭華 沙 盧託拉斯基獎”第二名。

2006 & 2004    獲得馬來西 亞藝術、文化及遺產部頒發的獎學金。

2006                “第二屆愛沙尼亞國際Lepo Sumera青年作曲家 比賽”第二名。

2006                德國柏林藝 術研究院授予“青年藝術家”的稱號。

2005                德國埃登科 本鄉村別墅基金會長駐作曲家。

2005                荷蘭 “2005年新 華裔青年作曲比賽”得主。

2004                獲得2004年馬來西亞 國油愛樂樂團-國際作曲家 獎第一名。

2004 & 1999    2次成為比利 時皇家科學、文學與藝術研究院“Marcel Hastir獎”得主。

2004                “馬來西亞國油愛樂團-馬來西亞作 曲家論壇”第一名。

2003                “2003年德國馬 克 斯雷格國際作曲家比賽”第一名。

2003                “第2屆首爾國際 作曲家比賽”大獎。

2002                “第4屆波蘭帕努 夫尼克國際作曲家比賽”第一名

2001                “第8屆奧地利國 際莫扎特作曲比賽”第二名和特別獎。

2000                “第18屆意大利ICOMS國 際作曲家 比賽”第一名。

For more information please contact Chong Kee Yong at:

Email: kychongcom@gmail.com

www.chongkeeyong.com

www.myspace.com/keeyongchong

 

Updated on:29th March 2012


 

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