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”, Cheng Jin Koh (b.1996) is a Singaporean composer, Yang Qin and violin performer currently based in New York.
Cheng Jin’s music is eclectic and diverse in personality. At times it is playfully engaging, and at times it is pensive and emotive. Being a Chinese and Western trained musician, her works incorporate various influences from these worlds and reflect her passionate enthusiasm in unifying colorful music idioms.
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 was a winner of the 2018 Boston New Music Initiative's 4th Annual Young Composer Competition, the 2019 Gena Raps Chamber Music Competition from Juilliard, the biennial 2019 Margaret Blackburn Competition for Female Composers, the 2019 John Eaton Memorial Competition as well as an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition. Her works have been performed at the Singapore Esplanade Concert Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, the 44th Annual National Flute Association Convention in San Diego, the Australia Woodend Winter Arts Music Festival, the Sidney Chapel in Cambridge and the China Conservatory Concert Hall. She attended summer composition programs at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Oberlin Conservatory in 2012 and 2013, the Yale-Norfolk New Music Workshop where her work was commissioned, and the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) in 2017. She has also attended the 2019 Bowdoin Festival of Music where she had masterclass with Steve Mackey and the Imani Winds Quintet. She is currently the recipient of the Juilliard-National Sawdust Blueprint Fellowship as a 2019-2020 Composer-in-residence.
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. 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 her mentor in composition was Dr. Kelly Tang. She is currently in her first year of Masters at The Juilliard School studying composition with Dr. Robert Beaser, having attained her Bachelors of Music (Hons) in Composition there as well.