*Clarence Lee, participant of 1st Performers’ Festival 2006
"There were very few performance opportunities in Singapore unless you participated in competitions here.
The SMTA Performers’ Festival at that time was the first of such wonderful opportunities to perform for an audience, in front of a panel of distinguished international artists who could sincerely give valuable feedback to each performer without having any need to compare and eliminate participants, unlike competitions.
Performers can focus on bringing their own personalities and interpretations on stage without any pressure of comparison or competition with other performers. This is what a performing career is all about – being yourself and touching the hearts of your audience. It is definitely not only about sitting for Music Exams or winning competitions.
My participation in the inaugural 2006 Festival has not only provided me with important advice from the Panel to refine my playing, it has also further fuelled my passion to perform internationally, after experiencing the feeling of performing on a huge stage on a wonderful piano.
My heartiest congratulations to SMTA for their efforts in giving young musicians here not only opportunities, but the right kind of platforms for them to experience the life of a Concert Artist and share their gift with others."
*Clarence Lee participated in the very first Performers' Festival in 2006. Then 15 years old, his playing caught the attention of both adjudicators, Professor Thomas Hecht and Associate Professor Albert Tiu. After a successful audition, he was accepted in the same year into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (YSTCM), National University of Singapore to do his Bachelor studies. He is now pursuing his Master's Degree at the YSTCM where he also successfully completed his Graduate Diploma.
“I am honoured and humbled to learn that I received a platinum award together with a scholarship in the festival. I also like to thank you for organising the Performers’ Festival. I found it to be an enriching and meaningful experience.”
Jonah Ryan Lim, piano (5th PF 2014)
Year 1 of YSTCM Young Artist Program AY2015/2016
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity to play my violin at the festival. I have really enjoyed myself!”
Yeong Jun Kai, violin (5th PF 2014)
“Why did I join? On my teacher's recommendation, I willingly joined to challenge myself to perform in front of an audience. As it is not a competition, there is no comparison with other participants (which really allowed the participant to fully focus on the music rather than on ‘winning’). Awards allocated to participants are based on their own pieces and skill. I found the DVD video recording useful too. Comment sheets written by judges are given to participants to make improvements. Many participants from abroad who came to join, hence made me learn from many people from different cultures — an eye-opener!”
Serene Koh, participant of 3rd & 4th PF (2010, 2012)
Piano major at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (BMus Year 3, AY2015/2016)
“We were truly honoured and humbled to be able to serve as adjudicators for the festival. We met so many wonderful people and heard high calibre of piano playing during the time we were at the festival. The festival was a huge success and congratulations to all of you for the hard work and dedication that you've given to the event!”
Dr. David Sutanto (Associate Professor of Piano, Del Mar College, Texas, USA)
Dr Shao-Shan Chen (Assistant Professor of Piano, Del Mar College, Texas, USA)
Piano adjudicators (5th PF 2014)
“I admire tremendously what you are doing there and congratulate you and the SMTA on their work and leadership with the Performers' Festival. It was a great pleasure and privilege to be part of it and I am most appreciative of the generous hospitality I received.”
Dr. Goetz Richter (Associate Professor Violin & Chair for the String Unit, Sydney Conservatorium
String adjudicator (5th PF 2014)
“Thank you both very much for the vision, the courage, the imagination and the efficiency you shared in organizing the 3rd Performers' Festival. It was a roaring success artistically as well and you should be very proud to have this response. Thanks also for looking after our creature comforts with such generosity! Once again, our congratulations and thanks!”
Toh Chee-Hung (Concert pianist, UK) Piano adjudicator (2nd, 3rd & 5th PF 2008, 2010, 2014) and
Dennis Lee (Concert pianist, UK, former ABRSM examiner) Piano adjudicator (3rd & 5th PF 2010, 2014)
“Thank you for all your efforts! It is wonderful what you are doing for music performance in Singapore. Words can't describe what you are doing for music in Singapore, and I hope I can congratulate you adequately for it. I was so very happy to be part of your team and to see first-hand what a difference you are making to the cultural scene. I doubt the graded exam system will ever go away, but you are making people question its whole ethos with the bravery of your Performers’ Festival. The fundamentals of the festival are so right. It is your vision that is making it happen at all.”<
Graeme Humphrey (UK, former piano faculty member in Royal Academy of Music and former ABRSM examiner) Piano adjudicator (4th PF 2012)
“Thank you so much for your very kind hospitality and for taking great care of us in every way. You provided us with a very pleasant yet supportive atmosphere to work. I am also very impressed that you have organized the Festival in such a professional way. It is very kind and very thoughtful of you to set us to work in shifts so that we can maintain the quality and standard of our work! My sincere congratulations for such a successful event!”
Dr Nopanand Chanorathaikul (former Assistant Professor in Music & piano faculty member at Mahidol University, College of Music, Thailand)
Piano adjudicator (4th PF 2012)
“It's been a pleasure and lots of fun adjudicating at the PF. You two have done a marvellous job with this event. I hope Thailand can one day organize something similar. Many thanks again for a most wonderful and memorable time, and for taking such good care of us!”
Jamorn Supapol (Faculty of Music, Silpakorn University, Thailand)
Piano adjudicator (2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th PF 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014)
“The festival was a great success, showing your fine leadership and managing skills. I enjoyed listening to many talented students. I wish there were an association similar to SMTA in Thailand, but there is no one here so skilful and dedicated like you. Sincere congratulations for the wonderful event!”
Dr. Eri Nakagawa (Mahidol University, College of Music, Thailand)
Piano adjudicator (3rd & 5th PF 2010, 2014)
“Many congratulations for the wonderful event and splendid team work! For me, it was very satisfying to be part of it. Thank you for inviting me! I met so many interesting musicians!”
Anna Sleptsova (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Edith Cowan University)
Piano adjudicator (3rd PF 2010)
“I enjoyed the Performer's Festival very much! It was really great for me to see the level in Asia, and to adjudicate was a great experience! Thanks for organizing everything so well, and for making the whole Festival an enjoyable experience for everyone!”
Lillian Wang (Violinist in Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, 2010) Violin adjudicator (3rd PF 2010)
“I would be happy to adjudicate in your Performers’ Festival again! It was very interesting for me to hear all the young students and I enjoyed the camaraderie!”
Marian Hahn (Peabody Conservatory, Baltimore, USA)
Piano adjudicator (2nd PF 2008)
“Congratulations and thank you very much for all the work you all had put in for the Performers' Festival. I really salute you guys for doing such a great job, the extraordinary services that you and SMTA provide. Kudos to you!! I am deeply appreciative and always full of admiration. Thank you for serving us! Bravo, SMTA!!”
Lena Ching (Piano teacher, SMTA member)
“Thank you so much for organising the festival. My students enjoyed it!”
Koh Jia Hwei (Piano teacher, SMTA member)
“This is a fantastic event. Wish I had known about it earlier! I only started entering my students to participate in 2012.”
Michael Tong (Violin teacher)
“The festival motivated me and my students to achieve high quality performance without pressure. We all enjoyed the festival very much and are motivated to do better in the next! My student passed the preliminary judgment of the Chopin competition in Dec in Singapore. Thanks to your Performers’ Festival that motivated her to do more! Once again, thanks a lot, Ms. Julie!”
Fajri Jusran (Bekasi City, Jakarta, Indonesia) Piano teacher
“My students and their parents have enjoyed participating in this festival. We look forward to the next one. I congratulate you for doing a wonderful job in organizing the festival.”
Firstly Theodore (Surabaya, Indonesia) Piano teacher
“It was my pleasure to bring our students to join the Performers’ Festival. This is a very good event to raise the quality of performing for our students who enjoyed it very much. I can see a significant progress in those of my students who participated in the festival. They practised very hard and earned their success. This time, our results of 13 Gold’s and 1 Platinum were better than two years ago. We look forward to participating in the next Performers’ Festival!”
Hendrata Prasetia (Surabaya, Indonesia) Piano teacher
“It was a wonderful experience for my students and I am really pleased with the festival. Thanks for all the hard work!”
Sharon Wang (Singapore) Piano teacher, SMTA member
“Julie and Sin Teck (and everyone involved), thank you for all your dedication and hard work.”
Chew Sook Cheng (Singapore) Piano teacher, SMTA member
"I am keen to send students to get exposure. Thank you for the effort to groom the youngsters."
Thierry Wong Jia Yit (Singapore) Piano teacher
"Congratulations for such a successful 4th Performers' Festival (2012)! This opportunity has brought the musicians closer to each other and every of my student enjoyed the process, performance and the Awards Ceremony thoroughly. We would like to thank you for the hard work behind the scenes and the support that you have always given us. Thank you so much for organising this and giving the students an opportunity to shine! We hope you enjoy the short video clip done specially for you by Song without Words Music Studio."
Winnie Tay (Singapore) Piano teacher, SMTA member
‘Students learn from fellow students’
As many of my students still lack the experience, it is such an encouraging "lesson" to witness other students perform in the Awards Ceremony Concert on 27th June 2010. I am really grateful for this wonderful opportunity. I hope SMTA will continue to organise this Festival to improve students' playing quality and music appreciation. I hope to join you in the next festival.
Yudy Irwanto (Probolinggo, Indonesia) Piano teacher
"Thank you once again for the great opportunity. Our son, Jun Kai has definitely deeply benefitted from the Performers’ Festival. After the awards ceremony that evening, Jun Kai was really motivated and has shown more confidence in himself. Jun Kai started learning violin at the age of 4 and we know that he still has a long, long way to go in his pursuit of music learning. It is these acts of encouragement and learning which spurs him to continue to strive higher.
Thank you, SMTA!
We would really appreciate it very much."
Mr & Mrs Yeong
(Parents of Yeong Jun Kai, Platinum String Award, Scholarship & Paul Goh Bow Award Recipient), 5th PF 2014
"Many thanks for all the effort! It was an enjoyable pleasure for Warrick to participate in the Performers' Festival. Congratulations and well done to you and your wonderful team for making it happen!"
Cecilia Chai (Sabah, Malaysia) Parent