By Emily Harrison Weir
Mount Holyoke College orchestral director Ng Tian Hui and the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra have won second place in the collegiate division of The American Prize in Orchestral Programming competition.
“I am absolutely delighted to be recognized by my peers in this way on a national platform,” said Ng, who is also a lecturer in music at MHC. “This really acknowledges the exciting projects that the orchestra and I have been working on these past three and a half years.”
“The American Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative, and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community,” according to competition organizers, who announced the awards this month.
For the competition, Ng submitted recordings of performances by the 50-member student orchestra and copies of the orchestra’s programming for the 2012–2013 academic year. Their repertoire included music by familiar composers including Mendelssohn, Wagner, and Rachmaninoff, and new work by contemporary composers.
“The orchestra performed a really diverse program with a substantial amount of new music,” says Ng. “In particular, our Midwinter Dreams project was particularly creative in the way it presented a familiar classic—how it involved the other arts on campus, and how the music itself was refreshed by the premiere of a new work by Robert Honstein.”
In addition to conducting the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra, Ng teaches courses in conducting, musicianship, and performance practice. He is an enthusiastic advocate of new music and is known for his interdisciplinary work.