A workshop, a panel discussion, and a concert featuring the work of leading Singaporean composer and music educator Hoh Chung Shih all are on tap as the artist visits Mount Holyoke College for a weeklong residency April 13–17.
Hoh, the lead teacher in music at Singapore's prestigious Raffles Institution, will work with students from Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst in a variety of settings.
Ng Tian Hui, MHC orchestral director and lecturer in music, has known Hoh since his high school days as Hoh's student.
"Since then, I've encountered his music in a variety of settings and have always enjoyed the thoughtful experimentalism of his works," said Ng. "I'm delighted that he can join us and share his unique perspectives with everyone here at Mount Holyoke."
Public events include a workshop on listening to historical recordings, a panel of Five College composers, and a Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra concert featuring the world premiere of a work by Hoh. He will also participate in several music composition classes, focusing on the recorded history of Western classical music and a composer's dialogue with this musical heritage.
• Hoh will discuss "Digital Media and the Composer's Voice" as part of a panel of composers that will be mediated by MHC's Elizabeth T. Kennan Professor of Music David Sanford and include professors Eric Sawyer of Amherst College, Daniel Warner of Hampshire College, and Greg Brown of Smith College. The panel will take place April 13 at 5:45 pm in room 108 of the Blanchard Campus Center.
• A workshop on listening to historic recordings is planned for 6 pm on April 15 in Pratt Hall's Warbeke Room.
• On April 17, the residency will culminate in the world premiere of Hoh's new work, Hi-Lo Fide-Lio: Wunder mir ist so bar, performed by the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra and featuring electronic sound design by music and acoustic researcher Miriam Kolar. The free concert, titled "Simple Gifts: Beethoven Remixed and American Pioneers," starts at 8 pm in Abbey Memorial Chapel.
Listeners are invited to bring their own headphones and smartphones or mp3 players to experience the piece, which features new music from the orchestra interacting with both digitally processed lo-fi sounds emanating from speakers and with Beethoven's "Mir ist so wunderbar" from the opera Fidelio.
Hoh's residency is supported by the Five College Digital Humanities, the National Arts Council of Singapore, and the Singapore International Foundation, and hosted by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Music and the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra.
A musical innovator.
Many leading international and regional ensembles and festivals have commissioned works by Hoh Chung Shih. "The composer's works are often at the boundaries of contemporary music with the use of diverse effects, embracing experimental aesthetics to create a highly personal language," said Ng.
Currently lead teacher in music at the Raffles Institution in Singapore, Ho previously taught at the University of Redlands School of Music and in the University of Buffalo/ Singapore Institute of Management Undergraduate Degree Studies Programme. He has also been composer-advisor to the National University of Singapore Interactive and Digital Media Institute. Hoh is an external consultant in music composition to the National Institute of Education in Singapore.