P R E S S
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Composers Society of Singapore, March 2022
Since 2020, the Composers Society of Singapore (CSS) has been releasing a monthly series for our Musings section, Composer of the Month! The 3rd CSS Composer of the Month for 2022 is PHOON Yu! PHOON Yu is a Singaporean composer and organist currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Organ Performance at The Juilliard School in New York City, USA. (Click here to read full interview)
The American Organist, January 2021
The American Organist, January 2020
Pipe Echoes, December 2020
RACHMANINOFF 3 / Orchestra of the Music Makers / Review
Dr Chang Tou Liang
"Phoon Yu's vision of Op.23 No.3 was gavotte-like, cleverly utilising strings and woodwinds, even giving concertmaster Chan Yoong Han's violin an exquisite solo. These imaginative efforts follow in the illustrious tradition of Respighi and Stokowski in transcribing Rachmaninoff."
The Enduring Relevance of the Organ
"The first half of the concert consisted of music from and paying homage to the Baroque era as well as an electronics-and-visual performance that would have captivated even the most inattentive parishioner. The second half was entirely dominated by the portative organ, which I played. The repertoire consisted of pieces for solo keyboard based on eight chorales from the magisterial third part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Clavier-Übung; they were each paired with a piece commissioned for this concert, written by an alumnus of the conservatory. Some composers took their cues from the chorale tunes that Bach based his pieces on. Others were inspired by the texts. One composer reimagined one of Bach’s chorale preludes, writing as if Bach lived in present-day Singapore."
SHUXIANG, ESTHER & FRIENDS / Yang Shuxiang and Friends / Review
Dr Chang Tou Liang
"The second-generation composer (son of the esteemed Phoon Yew Tien) proved to be a chip off the old block, with his highly coherent tonal work sustaining an air of sombre anguish through its 6 minutes. The plaint of the strings was contrasted with series of piano chords and the solo violin’s attempts to establish a melodic line, ending definitively with a strum on a piano bass string by the composer himself."