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Composer Biography

Singapore-born composer Jon Lin Chua credits her versatility in traversing musical cultures and genres to her eclectic musical background.

As composer, she has also worked with groups such as the Ding Yi Music Company (Singapore) and the Toronto Chinese Orchestra as the former composer-in-residence, as well as with the MusicaNova Orchestra (Phoenix AZ) as the orchestra’s composition fellow for the 2015-2016 season. Other groups she has worked with include the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Little Giant Chinese Chamber Ensemble (Taiwan), the Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Morse Percussion (Singapore), 3PeopleMusic (Taiwan), Ensemble PHASE (Seoul), EL Music Group (Seoul), the Southeastern Ensemble for Today’s and Tomorrow’s Sounds (Singapore), the Studio C Ensemble (international), The Philharmonic Winds (Singapore), the Nanyang Collective (Singapore), Orchestra Collective (Singapore), 成都天资国乐 (Chengdu, Sichuan), the Central Conservatory of China Chinese Chamber Music Ensemble (Beijing), the University of Birmingham New Music Ensemble (Birmingham, UK), Stringanza (Singapore), the Guitar Ensemble of the National University of Singapore, and has had works performed in festivals such as CrossCurrents (Birmingham, 2024), SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival (KL, Malaysia, 2019 & 2023), the 2019 China-ASEAN New Music Festival (Nanning, Guangxi, 2019), ACL-Korea "Seoul Asia Waves" International Conference and Festival (Seoul, 2019), the inaugural Dot The Line New Music Festival (Seoul, 2019), the 35th Asian Composers League Conference and Festival (Taipei, 2018), 18th Biennial Festival of New Music organized by the Florida State University College of Music (Tallahassee FL, 2017), the Women in Music Festival (Rochester NY, 2017 & 2014), and the National University of Singapore Arts Festival (Singapore, 2012). 

In 2021, she was commissioned to compose a piece in honour of the 100th year anniversary of the Eastman School of Music, her alma mater, featuring the award-winning American mezzo soprano Katherine Ciesinski as well as American violinist Renée Jolles, a concertmaster of the world-renowned, Grammy Award-winning, conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Recent composition awards also include the Outstanding Works Award on the 2021 Dunhuang Award, and the First Prize (large ensemble category) as well as the Young Singaporean Composer award on the 3rd Singapore International Composition Competition for Chinese Chamber Music, "Composium 2018," organised by the Ding Yi Music Company (Singapore).


In addition to working with music groups, Jon Lin has also done extensive work in multidisciplinary collaboration, including with contemporary dance group Arts Fission under the leadership of Cultural Medallion recipient Angela Liong, as well as individuals such as film director Eric Wong, contemporary dancer JS Wong, performance artist Ora, and even Hokkien opera troupes Sin Sai Hong and Xiao Dong Tian.

Jon Lin is currently a Doctoral Researcher in music composition at the University of Birmingham, and also studied at the Eastman School of Music, where she graduated with highest distinction as a double major in composition and music theory, and also a recipient of numerous scholarships, including the prestigious Presser Scholar Award and the National Arts Council of Singapore Arts Scholarship.  She also received composition awards such as the Wayne Brewster Barlow Award, Louis Lane Award, and the Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize.  Jon Lin is a member of the national honor music society Pi Kappa Lambda in the United States, the current Vice President of the Composers Society of Singapore (CSS), and has served as committee member of the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) Writer Members Consultative Committee.

Her teachers in composition include composers Oliver Schneller, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Robert Morris, Michael Zev Gordon, David Liptak, and Robert Casteels, and she has participated in composition masterclasses with Moritz Eggert and Louis Karchin.  In Eastman, she also studied piano performance under the tutelage of classical/jazz pianist and pedagogue Tony Caramia, and has also received instruction from Vincent Lenti, piano professor at the Eastman School of Music. Apart from being a pianist, she is also an erhu player, and has obtained a performance diploma from the Central Conservatory of Music of China.  In addition, Jon Lin has also taken the effort to venture into alternative styles of music, including traditional Nanyin music, various subgenres of traditional Chinese opera, and has collaborated with Flame of the Forest, a contemporary Northern Indian music trio.


Jon Lin was also invited to present her paper A Collapse of Musical Categories? : A Closer Look at Ethnic Chinese Music within the Chinese Conservatory Tradition Today at the Composition in Asia International Symposium and Festival held in the University of Florida (2015).  Her recent research interests include analytical approaches to timbre-based works, as well as the music of Helmut Lachenmann.  Apart from her accomplishments in music, Jon Lin also has a B.A. (Hons) in philosophy from the National University of Singapore.

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