Koh Cheng Jin: Composer and Musician

Recognized as one of the four 2016 new artists by Zaobao Singapore, with an “impressive debut” described by the Straits Times for the premiere of her orchestral work “Horizons”, Koh Cheng Jin (b.1996) is a Singaporean composer, Yang Qin and violin performer currently based in New York. As a Yang Qin player, she was the First Prize winner of the Singapore National Chinese Music Competition Youth and Open categories in 2012 and 2014. She has also played as a soloist with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. She has appeared as a guest musician with numerous orchestras including the Hsinghai Art Association Chinese Orchestra and the Ding Yi Music Company in Singapore. She is now currently a member of the Chinese Music Ensemble of New York and the guest Yang Qin player of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.

The sole winner of the 2018 Boston New Music Initiative's 4th Annual Young Composer Competition, Cheng Jin has written works for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO), Hong Kong Music For Our Young Foundation, T’ang Quartet, School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA) Chinese Music Ensemble, Juilliard’s Azure Quartet, The TENG Company, and other ensembles. She has recently won the 2019 Gena Raps Chamber Music Competition from Juilliard, and her works have been performed in Singapore, the United States and Australia. In 2016, her work was performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for their 37th Anniversary Concert, and another, commissioned by Singapore’s flute trio Flutterfly, at the 44th Annual National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, California. She attended summer composition programs at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Yale-Norfolk New Music Workshop where her work was commissioned, and the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) in 2017. She will be attending the Bowdoin Festival of Music in the summer of 2019, and is the recipient of the Juilliard-National Sawdust Blueprint Fellowship as a 2019-2020 Composer-in-residence.

Cheng Jin is also a passionate believer of music and philanthropy. As a violinist, she has participated in the Hong Kong Music For Our Young and the Purple Symphony in Singapore, both which empower people that are either disadvantaged or having special needs. She is also the recipient of 2018 - 2019 Juilliard's Gluck Community Fellowship. With that, she regularly performs for people in New York City who otherwise has lesser access to music.

Cheng Jin graduated from School of the Arts Singapore in 2014 with the International Baccalaureate Diploma as a major in Yang Qin. Her Yang Qin teachers include Miss Seah Poh Chun and Miss Qu Jian Qing, and she studied Composition with Dr. Kelly Tang. She is currently pursuing music composition with Dr. Robert Beaser at The Juilliard School, generously sponsored by Singapore’s Loke Cheng Kim Foundation. She has also worked as a short-term Librarian for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in 2018.


With the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and conductor Mr Quek Ling Kiong, 2014 Photo courtesy of SCO

With the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and conductor Mr Quek Ling Kiong, 2014
Photo courtesy of SCO