A highly sought after violinist and teacher in Singapore, Christina Zhou has been praised for exhibiting a “full rein of her virtuoso abilities” in concert and for presenting performances that are “a testament to true musicianship and fortitude” (The Straits Times).
Christina studied under the late Zvi Zeitlin at the Eastman School of Music in the U.S. where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree with distinction honors. She then went on to complete her Graduate Diploma under Zuo Jun at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore. Her previous teachers include Sui Yue Long and Zhang Zhen Shan. Christina has won the First Prize of the Concerto Competition at Eastman and Third Prize in the Junior Category of the National Violin Competition in Singapore.
Christina has performed extensively in chamber groups and orchestras, working closely with world renowned conductors and musicians both in the States and Singapore. She was a founding member of the Sophron Quartet (2013-2015). She has recorded with the OSSIA ensemble under New World Records in the States. Christina freelances in the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, re:Sound Collective among others. She has been featured as a soloist with the ADDO Chamber Orchestra, as well as toured with the PSPA International Ensemble in Malaysia. She is also the violinist of the SETTS Ensemble. SETTS consists of 11 professional musicians who aspire to transform the cultural scene of the city, produce and present performances of South-East Asian Contemporary music to a high professional standard. Beyond the western classical music genre, Christina has been invited to record for Rani Singam's single "My Muse". She was also invited to play for "Disquiet", Chok Kerong's first work featuring the pipe organ for the VCH Organ Series alongside other SSO musicians.
Christina is the violinist of her ensemble, TO ensemble. She was the Assistant Music Director ( 2014-2018).Its music is original and draws from a multitude of musical cultures including jazz, film score and classical music and Asian sounds. The ensemble has performed extensively in Singapore and festivals abroad, as well as recorded in commercials by Toyota among others.
A passionate educator, Christina is currently the Principal and Director of Coronation Music School and spends most of her time teaching. Together with Dr. Tang Tee Tong, she initiated the String Teachers' Collective, a community for fellow string teachers . She is highly experienced in coaching students (SNYS among others) in chamber and orchestral works, as well as giving education workshops from pre-school to pre-college level.
Her teaching philosophy is based upon developing a growth mindset, and that learning and playing music creates a space for anyone to deal with matters of the mind.
"My goal as a teacher is to ensure that my students not only enjoy their music learning process, but to be aware and able to apply the skills, mental process of learning music to other aspects of their lives as well. Learning and appreciating music has the power to shape one's cognitive abilities and character that will benefit anyone at any stage in life - be it a child simply having fun learning and discovering music or a working adult seeking a new hobby or new inspiration. "
Melody is a highly motivated, cheerful and sociable individual who recently graduated from Cleveland Institute of Music, one of the most prestigious conservatories in U.S, and has recently moved back to Singapore.
Started off with piano and violin at the age of 5, she later joined the viola section of Singapore National Youth Orchestra at the age of 15 and became Principal Violist, later on touring with the orchestra to Aberdeen and Berlin. She was sponsored by Lanxess-SNYO in 2012 to perform in Germany with The Knights, a chamber orchestra from New York.
Passionate about outreach and education, Melody has taught music and english to children in Cambodia and Laos. She loves teaching and has a special way with children. She has taught at Cleveland School of the Arts, and during her time in Cleveland, had performed in many community outreach concerts at venues such as retirements homes and public libraries.
Melody graduated in 2012 with the inaugural batch of School of the Arts, Singapore. She studied with co-concertmaster of SSO Lynnette Seah, former head of strings at SOTA Lim Soon Lee and SSO section violist Dr. Tan Wee Hsin. She completed her Bachelors of Music in 2017 and then Masters of Music in 2018 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, with a Suzuki pedagogy in violin. Since being back in Singapore, she is an active performer in the arts scene and freelances with Metropolitan Festival Orchestra.
Melody believes that "Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited”.
“My goal as a teacher is for the student to learn to understand and love music, then we can have fun! But first, you have to practice to be able to have fun!”
Nadine graduated with a Bachelor of Music with Honours (BMus) degree from the NAFA-RCM degree programme under full scholarship, studying with Professors Matthias Oestringer from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), Natalia Lomeiko and Yuri Zhislin from the Royal College of Music London (RCM). As an active orchestral and chamber musician, she performs with the Philharmonic Orchestra Singapore, Singapore Lyric Opera, and Spot Pocket Opera Theatre.
Besides playing in symphony and string orchestras, Nadine also enjoys playing in quartets and other chamber ensembles. She has also studied under chamber coaches Madeleine Mitchell, Janice Tsai and others. She has participated in masterclasses with world renowned violinist Uto Ughi, Itzhak Rashkovsky, Ani Schnarch, Kam Ning and Michael Ma. In the 2017 Nanyang International Music Competition, she also attained a Silver award in the Western Chamber Music category with her string quartet.
Nadine believes in teaching music through empowering students and encouraging individuality through self expression. The process of learning music involves both the student and teacher, where inspiration is brought to each other through sharing and discussion.
Lim Hao Wei is obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, where he awarded full scholarship to study with its Head of Violin Studies, Zuo Jun. He began learning the violin at the age of 4 and his earlier teacher included Chan Yoong-Han.
An avid orchestral musician, he was a member of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra from 2004-2009, serving as its Principal for the Second Violin section. Hao Wei actively performs with the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra, Resound Collective, Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra and Musicians’ Initiative. Recent performances include Singapore Trilogy, a production by L’arietta Production, and Beyond Boundaries, a musical collaboration held in Medan with local musicians. Hao Wei is no stranger to pop music, having perform alongside icons such as A-Lin, JJ Lin and Jam Hsiao.
With teaching experiences spanning almost ten years, he enjoys teaching students ranging from beginners to conservatory students. “Every student that comes through the door is unique in his or her own ways. As a teacher, my duty is to guide and inspire them to achieve their goals through perseverance, dedication and hard work.”
Singaporean cellist Ryan Sim is a graduate of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, having studied under full scholarship with Ng Pei-Sian, Principal Cellist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, before going on to further his master’s in Germany at the Robert Schumann Hochschule Dusseldorf, graduating with top marks under the guidance of Professor Claus Reichardt.
Ryan has performed in many international music festivals such as the Adelaide International Cello Festival and the Asian Youth Orchestra, and has also played in masterclasses with cellists such as Wang Jian, Gregor Horsch and Wolfgang Boettcher. An active chamber musician, Ryan plays regularly with local ensembles such as the Re: Sound Collective, the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra and The Singapore Lyric Opera Orchestra. He was also principal cello at the recent Singapore production of Les Miserables at the Esplanade Theatre and presented a solo cello recital 'Celloabend' back in september 2016 at The Arts House.
Apart from his performance engagements, Ryan also enjoys teaching children and adults alike more about the cello. Students as young as 4 get to experience the sound of the cello, which appeals to people who like a warm and mellow sound, similar to the sound of the human voice. Its broad register range also makes the cello the most versatile instrument in the string family, whether it be to play the bass line in an ensemble or to play the melodic line as a solo instrument.
Through his years of experience as a teacher and student, Ryan believes foremost in developing good listening qualities in his students through listening in playing, as well as developing good basics and technique that will aid the student well in their music making.