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B i o g r a p h y

As  an organist and composer, Phoon Yu is active both in Singapore and in the United States. In Singapore, he has performed as a soloist multiple times in the Victoria Concert Hall Organ Series since 2015, as well as at the Esplanade – Theatres by the Bay and St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Previous solo recital appearances in the U.S. include performances in New York, NY (St. Thomas’s Church at Fifth Avenue and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine), Lloyd Harbor, NY (Seminary of the Immaculate Conception), Scarsdale, NY (Hitchcock Presbyterian Church), and in Baltimore, MD (St. David’s Episcopal Church), while he recently performed in 2024 alongside the Orlando Sings Symphonic Chorus and the Solaria Players for their production of J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass. His début album, SEVEN – Organ Music of Singapore, featuring the solo works of up-and-coming Singaporean composers, was released by Centaur Records in April 2022. In November that same year, Phoon Yu performed alongside his co-composer Jonathan Shin with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Chorus, the Singapore Symphony Youth Choir, and the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir for the premiere of Illuminations – Symphony for Organ, Chorus, and Orchestra, which was commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Esplanade.


Phoon Yu’s performance career as an organist is supplemented by his composing and arranging ability. His compositions – for various solo instruments and chamber groups – have been performed and premiered across various venues in Singapore, China, Finland, and the U.S.. Aside from Illuminations, notable premieres include his Piece no. 5 for Organ and Trumpet, premiered in 2023 at Christ and St. Stephen’s Church in New York City, and his Fantasia on ‘Lenggang Kangkung’ for Alto Saxophone and Piano, premiered in 2022 as part of the ‘Stories from Singapore’ project, while his arrangements have been performed by the Orchestra of the Music Makers, Spot Pocket Opera Theatre, The Opera People, Singapore Sounds, the SMU Symphonia, and the NUS Chinese Orchestra. His Three Organ Anthems were published and released by Muziksea, a Southeast Asian publisher specialising in choral music, in 2020. 

Phoon Yu was previously a C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School, pursing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance under the tutelage of Paul Jacobs. For his dissertation on Handel and Porpora’s settings of Siroe, re di Persia in connection to Jacobitism, Phoon Yu was awarded the Richard F. French Doctoral Prize. Previously, he did his Bachelors of Music in music composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under full scholarship, participating during his undergraduate studies in the partnership between the Conservatory and the Peabody Institute in their Joint Degree Programme. He then did his Masters of Music in organ performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, being awarded the Bruce R. Eicher prize at the conclusion of his studies. His other teachers included Professor Donald Sutherland and Dr. Evelyn Lim for organ, and Associate Professor Ho Chee Kong and Dr. Oscar Bettison for composition. Phoon Yu is currently the Parish Organist at All Saints Episcopal Church in Winter Park, FL. 

(Updated: 14 March 2024)

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