Penang Philharmonic Orchestra
Entering the end of our first decade, our 80-player strong orchestra, led by Resident Conductor Ben Ng Choong Yen and Concertmistresses Tann Soon Pin and Judy Oh, has grown tremendously and matured into an indispensable identity among Penang's cultural dialogue.
Our orchestra members come from all walks of life, from as young as primary school students to working professionals. They share a common love and passion for performing music.
With the support from the State and people of Penang, we aim to enrich and inspire the community through the love of music, as well as enhance the standard of classical music in Penang.
Ng Choong Yen
Malaysian conductor and clarinetist Ng Choong Yen is a graduate of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore, where he was awarded a full scholarship.
While studying at the conservatory as a clarinet major, Ng also studied conducting and was later selected to the Advanced Conducting class under tutelage of Prof. Chan Tze Law. In addition to conducting concerts there, he also performed in masterclasses conducted by conducting icons Zheng Xiaoying of China and Eiji Oue of Japan.
Ng studied with Philip Arkinstal, the former principal clarinet player of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), and Luxen Marcel, the former co-principal in MPO. At the conservatory, he came under the tutelage of Ma Yue, the principal clarinetist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), and performed in masterclasses conducted by Ricardo Morales, the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Giovanni Picciati, principal clarinetist of the Symphonica Toscanini, Italy.
Ng’s orchestral experience is extensive. He was principal clarinetist in the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) between 2007 and 2011 and toured with them to Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bharu, Kuantan in 2007, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu in 2008 and Singapore in 2009.
He also performed with Singapore’s award winning Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) and toured with the orchestra in a landmark tour as resident orchestra of the prestigious Cheltenham and Lichfield Music Festivals in the United Kingdom.
More recently, he has performed professionally with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and will be appearing with Singapore’s Metropolitan Festival Orchestra. He has also conducted the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra has led several school bands to prize winning performances.
A Penangnite, Ng was a graduate of Jit Sin High School. In 2001, he studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with Professor Zhao and also joined the Penang Symphony Orchestra under Dato Woon Win Kin. Ng won the 1st prize at the 2006 HSBC Chamber Music Competition (Open Category) in Kuala Lumpur as a woodwind quintet clarinetist. He also performed in the High Winds Ensemble as 1st clarinetist under Joost Flach, co-principal oboist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra under the MPO ENCOUNTER series.
Ng also plays the double bass and holds an ATCL certificate in violin performance. He is the Resident Conductor of Penang Philharmonic Orchestra since year 2013.