Bravissimo! September 2020

Five Facts About Julia Tan, President’s Young Performer 2020

The President’s Young Performers Concert was established to showcase young talented local musicians and give them a chance to share the stage with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). This annual concert will be broadcast online for the first time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday 11 September 2020, the SSO hosted President Halimah Yacob, where she met with Julia Tan, young star of the President’s Young Performers Concert, and Associate Conductor Joshua Tan at the Hospitality Suite of the Victoria Concert Hall. The brilliant percussionist had just finished recording the President’s Young Performers (PYP) Concert prior to meeting the President.

From left to right: Singapore Symphony Group (SSG) CEO Chng Hak-Peng, SSG Chairman Goh Yew Lin, President’s Young Performer Julia Tan, President Halimah Yacob, SSO Associate Conductor Joshua Tan and SSG Executive Committee member and National Arts Council (NAC) Deputy Chief Executive (Planning & Corporate Development) Paul Tan.
We would like to thank President of Singapore Madam Halimah Yacob for her support of this annual showcase of Singapore talent.

To help you get to know Julia better, here are five facts about the brilliant young soloist of this year’s PYP Concert.

1. Julia began her musical journey at age eleven on the piano.
Born in Singapore, she was then introduced to percussion in secondary school and completed her Diploma studies as the Best Graduate from the School of Music at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). She then went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from the Mannes School of Music at The New School, in New York, on a full scholarship.

2. Julia is an award-winning percussionist.
Upon graduation, Julia was awarded the George and Elizabeth Gregory Award for Excellence in Performance and the Mannes Dean’s Award. As a soloist, Julia made her concerto debut performing Anders Koppel’s Marimba Concerto No. 1 after winning the Mannes Concerto Competition 2019.

3. Julia is an educator at heart.
She seeks to inspire others and connect people together through music. She also has a profound interest in pedagogy and hopes to inspire future youths.

4. Julia is an advocate for contemporary percussion music.
She looks forward to collaborating with other art forms in creating new works to inspire others to communicate and connect people through the arts.

5. Julia found meeting the President a “pretty cool but also humbling” experience.
According to Julia, “It was pretty cool but also humbling to know that she makes time in her busy schedule for the support of the arts in Singapore. We talked a little about how the covid19 situation affected the music scene and she was very happy that despite restrictions, we were able to find ways to continue making music through streaming online. We also spoke about how I came to learn the percussion as it is very rare compared to the piano or violin!”

I’m honoured and grateful to be selected as this year’s President’s Young Performer. It has been a very enjoyable process working with [SSO Associate Conductor] Joshua Tan and the orchestra. I have learnt a lot through this collaboration. I am also happy to be able to share percussion music and hope that the concert serves as a platform to reach out to the audience and help boost the appreciation of percussion repertoire.

Julia Tan

Catch Julia performing with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the President’s Young Performers Concert (Online), premiering on Saturday 10 October 2020. There will also be with a pre-concert talk on the SSO Facebook and YouTube channels.

This concert was filmed, sans audience, at the Victoria Concert Hall. Tickets will be valid for viewing from 10 Oct - 24 Oct 2020 on the SISTIC Live Stream.

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