T’ang Quartet

T’ang Quartet are a cutting-edge classical string quartet based in Singapore who are currently celebrating their 21st anniversary.

T’ang Quartet are a cutting-edge classical string quartet based in Singapore who are currently celebrating their 21st anniversary.

The quartet are soon coming to the OzAsia Festival where they will be presenting a program that will include compositions from Franghiz Ali-zadeh and Hu Xiao Ou. Also included are works by Australia’s Kelly Tang and Elena Kats-Chernin whose All Things Conspire was written especially for Karin Schaupp and Katie Noonan’s recent Songs Of The Southern Skies CD.

T’ang Quartet, currently the quartet-in-residence at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore following four years at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, came together in an organic way when the musicians were all members of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in the late 90s.

Since that time, fi rst violinist Ng Yu-Ying, second violinist Ang Chek Meng, viola player Lionel Tan and his cellist brother Leslie have toured the world, collected a number of prestigious awards, recorded four albums and premiered Optical Identity as a collaborative production with Scotland’s Theatre Cryptic for Singapore Arts Festival and which also travelled to Edinburgh International Festival in 2007. Along the way the quartet have won over critics as well as their audience for their outstanding playing that they mix with a keen sense of humour.

I spoke to all four members over the telephone while they were recently in Melbourne awaiting a flight home after performing as special guests on opening night of the 2013 Asia-Pacific Chamber Music Competition.

“That was good,” one says before another chimes in with, “so we can’t wait to come back and perform at OzAsia.”

The quartet, who seem like a playful bunch, all then agree that they are very much looking forward to performing at OzAsia as not only will they be playing works they are familiar with, but will also be presenting new work by Australian composers.

“I think that’s very important,” a member says, “because it helps make it fresh for us as well as for the audience. But we have previously played music by Elena Kats-Chernin when we played with her in Canberra a few years ago.”

They are also anticipating celebrating their 21st with a concert in Singapore just prior to hitting Australia.

“Yes, and we are going to be playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody,” they conclude.

T’ang Quartet
Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Wednesday, September 18 at 7.30pm

1. Photo by Aloysius Lim
2. Photo by Ronald Leong

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