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Dr. Nicholas Ong Cheng Hooi

Senior Lecturer

Music

Qualification

Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance,
The Juilliard School, USA

Masters of Music (Piano Performance),
Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, USA

Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste (Piano and Chamber Music),
Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, France

Biography

Dr. Nicholas Ong is the first Malaysian to receive a Doctorate in Piano Performance at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York. Prior to that, he studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris under a French Government Scholarship, and read a Master of Music degree at the Peabody Conservatory-Johns Hopkins University. His teachers include Marian Rybicki, Robert McDonald and he also received masterclasses with Genevieve Mounier, Donminique Merlet and Mikhail Voskressensky. He is the recipient of many international prizes, including First Prize at the Yvonne Lefébure International Piano Competition in France and finalist at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland. The New York Times praised him for his “firm rubber-ball touch and bounce” and Le Figaro for his “astonishing virtuosity.”

He has performed in concerts across the United States, Europe and Asia - Alice Tully Hall, Miller Theatre in New York, Salle Gaveau, Salle Cortot in Paris, Seoul Arts Center, the Lee Foundation Theatre in Singapore, and in Festivals such as the Castleton Festival, Focus! Festival, Chopin Festival in Paris, Festival de l’Orangerie, Jeunes Pianistes Virtuoses in Lyon, and the Villa Medicis Festival in Rome. As a versatile chamber musician, he performs with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra musicians in their chamber music concerts, as well as concerts with principals of major orchestras and young talented musicians. A fervent believer in contemporary music, he has performed with Ensemble 2e2m in France, New Juilliard Ensemble, Mimesis Ensemble, and was involved in the Soundbridge Contemporary Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Third Practice Electroacoustic Music Festival, collaborating and premiering works by upcoming composers.

Dr. Ong is in demand for masterclasses and a frequent guest faculty at the Asia International Piano Academy Festival (AIPAF) in South Korea. He was a jury member at the 2008 and 2010 ASEAN International Chopin Piano Competition in Kuala Lumpur, the ASA-BIMA International Piano Competition 2012 in Bandung, Indonesia, the 1st Singapore Steinway Youth Piano Competition 2012, and the 2012 and 2014 Singapore Performers’ Festival.

Dr. Ong is currently Senior Lecturer, Keyboard Studies at the School of Music, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.