Regarded as one of the leading violin educators in the country, Liu Jian is also a violinist with an accomplished and varied performing career. Having studied at the Beijing Conservatory as winner for the First National Violin Competition in China she was then awarded a full scholarship to study at the International Menuhin Music Academy; followed by a full scholarship from the Royal College of Music in London in the Advanced Post Graduate Violin course with Professor Felix Andrievsky. Liu Jian and pianist Alexandra Andrievsky were the medal winners in the Maria Canals International Duo Competition in Barcelona.
Liu Jian's teaching career started at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts while she was a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She later joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in London and also held a teaching appointment at the Berkshire Young Musician Trust. Her performing career brought her around the world to Australia, where she was appointed as the assistant principal of the 2nd violins with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
Home now for Liu Jian is Malaysia having been co-concertmaster with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra until recently. Teaching extensively in the field of chamber music and individual coaching several of her pupils have received scholarships at the notable institutions such as, the Oberling Conservatory of Music in the United States and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore.
In 2008, Malaysian violist Ai Wen Thian was invited to take up a full fellowship Master's degree at the Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA to study with Toby Appel. In 2009 Ai Wen won the viola chair with Carnegie Mellon's Honors chamber group, the Starling String Quartet. Ai Wen consecutively won this position from 2009-2013 and has performed numerous concerts with the. Starling String Quartet, from South America to the Middle East via New York and Europe.
Before going to the United States Ai Wen studied with Czech violist Jiri Heger on full scholarship at Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (NUS partner institution of the Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University). She graduated in 2008 with a B.Mus. degree (Honors). Ai Wen has performed with professional orchestras in South East Asia including the Macao Symphony Orchestra, Malaysian National Orchestra, and the Singapore Festival Orchestra.
In 2010, Ai Wen was selected to participate in a concert where she performed the Ravel String quartet with Cyrus Forough (Violin faculty in CMU) and Beethoven String quartet Op.18 No.4 with David Premo (Cello Professor of the CMU, Principal Cellist of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra). During her stay in the US, Ai Wen has performed in prestigious concert halls namely Carnegie Hall (New York), Heinz Hall (Pittsburgh) and Kennedy Centre (Washington DC).
Mabel Wong began her music studies at a very young age and mastered both the violin and piano at Licentiate Music while she was still in her teens.
She carried on her passion and pursuit in music by furthering her studies to New Zealand, where she studied as a Bachelor of Music in violin performance under the Head of Strings, Ms. Tessa Petersen, at the University of Otago. Mabel's excellence bagged her numerous awards and prizes, such as the 'Alice Kirscher Prize', the 'Lilburn Memorial Prize for Best Student Performer', and the 'Ida G. White Memorial Prize in Music'.
In 2013, Mabel was offered the Sydney Achievers International Scholarship to study Masters in Music Studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, one of Australia's premiere music institutes. At the Conservatorium, she studied under Associate Professor Ole Böhn along many other prominent lecturers. In 2014, the conservatorium sponsored Mabel to participate in Festival de Música de Santa Catarina (FEMUSC), a major music festival in Brazil, where she had the opportunity to learn under world-renowned teachers such as Leon Spierer, former concertmaster of Berliner Philharmoniker; Charles Stegeman, concertmaster of Pittsburgh Opera; Richard Roberts, concertmaster of Montreal Symphony Orchestra; Richard Young, former violist of Vemeer Quartet, and many more.
An avid chamber and orchestral musician, Mabel's passion began when she first joined her church's orchestra and string ensemble as a young girl. In 2006, she was selected to join the then newly-formed Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) and was appointed co-concertmaster during their East Malaysian tour in 2008.
Her journey as an orchestral musician followed her to New Zealand, where she led her university's string ensemble, became a violinist of the Southern Sinfonia, and was selected to join the New Zealand's National Youth Orchestra (NYO), where she had the opportunity to accompany world-renowned artistes such as Placido Domingo and Katherine Jenkins in a fundraising effort for the Christchurch Earthquake. In Australia, Mabel was chosen as one of the principal violinists for Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and was involved in numerous other orchestral and ensemble works. She was also a very active chamber musician, performing with various groups formed within and outside her music studies.
With more than ten years of experience teaching students of varied levels and ages in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, teaching has always been a greater passion for Mabel. Her keen interest in teaching has led her to observe lessons of renowned teachers such as Prof. Ole Böhn; the Head of Strings of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Associate Professor Goetz Richter; and renowned string pedagogue, Mr. Fintan Murphy.
Most of her students enjoyed and gained much from studying under her, with many of them achieving their music goals, such as gaining music scholarships or attaining excellent results in their music examinations. Mabel’s main reason for returning to Malaysia is to contribute her expertise in her home country, nurturing the growth and talent of budding musicians.
Karen started learning the piano and violin at 5. At 16, she passed her first diploma exam, followed up with a Licentiate Diplomas (LTCL) for both instruments, with distinction. Most recently, she has achieved an award for her Fellowship Diploma (FTCL) in piano performance.
With many years of teaching experience already under her belt, Karen is currently a member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. She has been actively involved as regular, guest violinist, concertmaster and soloist of various other ensembles in the region since 2008. In the summer of 2012, she attended the Euroarts Music Festival in Germany. She has taken violin masterclasses under tutors Barnabas Kelemen, Ani Schnarch and Nora Kim, and for the piano, under renowned pianists Dennis Lee and Ng Chong Lim.
Misa Yamamoto commenced playing violin at the age of 10, studying under Victoria Lakatos. Misa maintained her violin studies alongside the piano throughout her student years and furthered her training in violin pedagogy under Graeme Norris. Since relocating to KL, Misa was a founding member of the KL Chamber Group where she was a core player from 2012-2014. Most recently, in 2016, Misa collaborated with Helga Sedli performing violin duo works of Bela Bartok.
Japanese-born pianist Misa Yamamoto has been based in Kuala Lumpur since 2010. Growing up on the Gold Coast in Australia studying both the piano and the violin, Misa holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance (Honours) from the Queensland Conservatorium, Brisbane, where she majored in piano under Leah Horwitz. Misa was the recipient of the Conservatorium Medal and the University Medal as the highest achieving graduate in 2002.
From 2003-2005, Misa furthered her studies as a full scholarship holder at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, where she furthered her performance training in solo and chamber music, and became a finalist in the prestigious Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards in 2007 and a prize-winner in the 2005 Australian Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Banksia Trio.
Before arriving in Malaysia, Misa was in high demand as a performer and accompanist, working with numerous institutions throughout Australia, including the Griffith University, the Universities of Adelaide, Queensland and Melbourne, the Canberra School of Music, the Victorian College of the Arts and the Australian National Academy of Music. Since arriving in KL, Misa continues to perform extensively both locally and abroad, and has also worked as Guest Principal Piano/Celest with the Macau Symphony Orchestra.
With a passion for teaching, Misa is a qualified teacher with the Yamaha Music Education Centre in Australia and has been teaching privately for over 15 years. Since arriving in Malaysia, Misa has devoted her time to teaching young children, and in 2014 was a judge in the 3rd Macau Piano Competition. Misa is also a member of the KL Chamber Group.
Penang-born Jasmine Cheah started her musical journey by learning the violin at the age of 14, under the tutelage of Ms Neah Yuen Sin (a member of Koschka Ensemble). She completed her ABRSM Grade 8 exam, both practical (2014) and theory (2015).
Jasmine obtained music degree at University Putra Malaysia (UPM) in 2016. During her four years studies, she was under the tutelage of Dr. Joanne Yeoh, Dr. Andrew Filmer, Mr. Lau Yew Han and Ms. Mabel Wong. She also had the privilege to take a few masterclasses by Dr. Goh Chia-Chien. These amazing tutors have greatly inspired her to teach.
Besides violin, she also picked up flute and piccolo as her minor instruments during her studies in UPM, under the tutelage of Dr. Jennifer Teng and Mr. Foo Chie Haur (National Symphony Orchestra Flute Principal). She used to perform with UPM Symphony Orchestra and once served as flute principal. She performed as flute soloist for MH370 Musical Tribute in Putra Idol 2 Grand Final.
Additionally, she has an interest in psychology and spent her internship working with a registered music therapist, Ms Cheryl Mow, assisting and co-conducting both individual and group therapy sessions.
Jasmine's teaching philosophy is about making learning fun as she strongly believes that students learn best when they are in a positive and encouraging environment. She also understands that every student is different and tailors her teaching methods according to her students’ needs. It is Jasmine's goal as a teacher to help students appreciate the beauty of music and build their character to become better persons.
Venus Yeoh holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Music from University Science of Malaysia(USM) since 1998 and has numerous years of teaching experience and is highly sort after as a teacher who works well with young children; believing that learning music for young children should be in a fun and exciting way.
Indeed her passion is childhood education; she has attended and participated in numerous music conferences, workshops and specialised training for violin, piano and keyboard, employing programs such as Suzuki Method and Harmony Road.
Venus is also an accomplished pianist and is experienced in providing aural training for students taking part in ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall Examinations, in particular.
Chow Woei Sim graduated as a scholarship music student at The Birmingham Conservatoire with BMus (Hons) in viola, a bachelor degree in viola. She also picked up the violin as her second instrument. She was under the tutelage of Robin Ireland and Dr.Louise Lansdown at Birmingham Conservatoire, and has performed with The City of Birmingham Symphony Youth Orchestra and The Birmingham Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra under the tutoring of Michael Seal, Daniel Rosina, Ian Volkov, and etc…
Woei Sim had performed in masterclasses with Marco Van Pagee, Luis Muniz, Thomas Riebl, Simon Rowland-Jones, amongst others, via Pro Corda Viola Course and Cadenza Summer Course.
As a member of Malaysia Philharmonic Youth Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Kevin Field and the tutoring of a few members from Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra - Toko Inomoto, Giovani Pasini, and Gábor Mokány; Woei Sim collaborated with different professional musicians such as, Mathew Kam, Fritz Renold, Poh Joo Tan and Csaba Körös.
Her viola skills were further honed as a member of Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra under Sherwin Thia, Daniel Trgina and Lin Kern Ong. At MPO, she participated in The Kuala Lumpur String Project
Outside of the viola and violin, she had regular piano lessons with Kok Ting Chong and Dr. Nicholas Ong.
Woei Sim loves teaching. She is always eager to give her best of knowledge to her students.
Eben Ting attained The Associate Diploma in Violin Recital, with Distinction, from the Trinity College of London at only 16 years of age. In 2006, he was successfully selected as a performing member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) whereby in 2010, he was selected as 2nd violin co-principal. Being a versatile string player, Eben was selected as the first stand violist as well. In December 2011, he was one of the 15 musicians selected from MPYO to play side by side with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, under Claus Peter Flor, principal conductor of the MPO.
Currently Eben is a member of the newly formed Kuala Lumpur String Project (a string ensemble led by MPO musicians) and the concertmaster of Miri Orchestra and Choir Society since 2007.
With an avid interest in chamber music, Eben has sought to gather fellow musicians in project endeavors, successfully realizing the first movement of Mendelssohn's Octet, Handel's Halvorsen Passacaglia, Dohnyani's 1st & 4th movement string trio and Brahms’ clarinet quintet. He has been invited to play with the Penang State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and is often invited as a guest player for Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lay Kar Kho has been active for more than 10 years in Malaysia as an instructor in Piano Performance, Violin Performance, as well as Music Theory and History. Currently a first violinist player in the KL Performing Arts Centre Orchestra, Lay Kar has also appeared in various performances locally and abroad.
Music Composition being his main area of focus in university, Lay Kar holds a Bachelor's from the University of Southern California and a Master's from the University of Oregon. Some of his compositions are still occasionally performed around the world.
Born in France, Florian Antier began his musical studies at the young age of 5 and made quick progresses which led him to win a unanimous First Prize in cello performance at Aix-en-Provence Darius Milhaud Conservatory, as well as a First Prize at Paris Vatelot-Rampal Music Competition at 16 years of age. He was subsequently admitted into the Superior Conservatory of Paris as a pupil of Dominique de Willencourt and concurently obtained an Art and Music history, theory and cello performance baccalaureate from La Fontaine College in Paris. At age 17 he was admitted, after winning a first place at the prestigious world-class auditions, into the National Superior Conservatory of Music of Paris where he furthered his studies with Roland Pidoux and his assistant Xavier Phillips, Mstislav Rostropovich's protege.
Founder of Cello Rock-Fusion Band Paladin, he was invited to open for the Shout Awards Ceremony 2013, fully featured by Malaysian rock legends "Search" during their Istana Budaya 2014 Showcase; regularly invited for interviews and performances by TV3 (breakfast show), RTM (Muzik Extravaganza, P. Ramlee Tribute) and Astro (Academy Fantasia), BFM 89.9, Red FM, as well as music festivals such as Kakiseni Music Festival, Urbanscapes Music Festival, Penang Jazz Festival, Pangkor Island Music Festival, Johor Baru Music Festival, Kota Kinabalu Music Festival, collaborations with Amy Search, Awie, LAN Typewriter, Lefthanded, Black, Dayang, Genervie Kam, Joanne Yeoh, Dennis Lau, Sean Ghazi, Elvira Arul, Ken Hor and the like.
Regular collaborations with International multiple award winning drumming group Hands Percussion (Souls in Love, Tchaikovsky on Gamelan, Rashomon, A street car named desire) gained great acclaim for his use of unconventional cello playing and the use of innovative electronics on the cello.He was invited with his eclectic quartet Popsical (2 cellos, beatbox and electric guitar) to open for CN Blue's KL tour at Stadium in 2013 in front of their 6,000 raging fans, performance which received great praise from the public and media.
He is a founding member of the Pantun Trio, an active classical piano trio along with pianist Shuenda Wong and violonist Jae Sern Lim. In 2014 he was an 11th BOH Cameronian Art Awards Nominee for his involvement in the song “Abstract” in Platform 11's mini Concert, musical direction by Liu Wei Zhong, Keith Tan & Ken Hor, presented by Platform 11 and in 2015 won the 12th BOH Cameronian Art Awards for Best Solo Performance for his involvement in "Tchaikovsky on Gamelan" with Hands Percussion (Bernard Goh and Susan Sarah John).
Florian is currently involved in teaching the cello at the Bentley Music Academy in Kuala Lumpur where he is handling a large music studio and thriving to raise the standards of South East Asian Music education.
The double bass is not always everyone's first choice of instrument but to Eugenia it is her passion. She studied under Wolfgang Steike, formally of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and currently Principal Bass of Malaysian Philharmonic and was Principal double bass of the MPYO herself for many years.
She also played with the Asian Youth Orchestra and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia.
Many of Eugenia's students initially took up double bass as a second instrument and many, particularly pianists who have limited performance opportunities, continue to do so. It is much easier to master than the violin and is an instrument as easily at home with jazz as on a classical stage.
She currently teaches double bass at UiTM as well as Bentley Music Academy.