As a Singaporean, I’m no stranger to interacting with different cultures, and I was able strike a balance as a performer with a Chinese instrument in hand, while studying traditionally western aspects of harmony, theory and history. My 7-week international placement at the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing helped further enhance my knowledge of Chinese music and the Erhu. It is far-sighted of NAFA, I feel, to offer such a curriculum that exposes students to various cultures and aspects of music, and it is marvelous to be able to take advantage of such a breadth offered.
Chew Jun Ru graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) Degree in performance on the Erhu, a two-stringed bowed musical instrument. As the BMus programme at NAFA is offered in partnership with the Royal College of Music, London, Jun Ru made ground-breaking news by becoming the first RCM student to graduate in a traditional Chinese instrument.
Jun Ru’s first brush with the Erhu was at the age of 9 when he auditioned for the Chinese orchestra at his primary school. Since then, he has enjoyed much success as an Erhu player, having won first prize in the 2012 National Chinese Music Competition (Erhu Open Category) in Singapore. Part of his prize was a concerto performance with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.
He is also the first Singaporean to receive the Chinese Government Scholarship (中国政府奖学金）for a fully funded master's degree programme in China Conservatory of Music.