古典乐史上 女作曲家为何集体缺席——访本地女作曲家许美端、高程锦 The History of Classical Music and the lack of female composers – an interview with local female composers Joyce Koh and Koh Cheng Jin

07 March 2022
Lianhe Zaobao

Classical music from Europe has a far-reaching impact on the modern music landscape, where even individuals who have not received formal music training would have heard of well-known composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. For music enthusiasts, most can list famous composers and their works from the Baroque period onwards. However, there are few female names that stand out. Why is this so? Is there a collective absence of women in this profession, or selective exclusion through historical narratives? More recently, two local concerts (will) focus(ed) on this topic. On 27 Feb 2022, Unheard, initiated by Soprano Rachel Lim (林瑞敏), presented the works of seven local female composers including Koh Cheng Jin. This coming 13 March, the Intimate Moments series of chamber music concerts co-curated by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Lianhe Zaobao, will pay tribute to lesser-known female composers in the history of Western music, and showcase chamber music works by local composer Joyce Koh, to raise awareness for female composers. Joyce Koh and Koh Cheng Jin are two leading figures in the local composition scene. Joyce Koh (53) is currently the Vice Dean of the Interdisciplinary Studies and Academic Enhancement Unit at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts. Interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao, both composers put forward an in-depth and multi-disciplinary perspective on the history of female composers.

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Source: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.