Yang Jiwei is the recipient of the Singapore Youth Award 2015, the nation’s highest accolade for outstanding youths. He is also a multiple-award winning Sheng performer and an active advocate in the Singapore music scene. He is the recipient of the prestigious Shell-National Arts Council Scholarship in 2005; co-founder and Executive Director of The TENG Company; Treasurer of the Singapore Chinese Music Federation; President of the Singapore Sheng Association; co-founding Director of the Singapore Musicians Guild; a member of the China Sheng Musicians Society; Music Director and Founder of the first and only Sheng ensemble in Southeast Asia, “Resonance”; and the Music Director and Conductor of the Chinese orchestras in Raffles Institution (Year 1-6), Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road), Catholic High School (Primary), Elias Park Primary School and Temasek Polytechnic.
Jiwei read music at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China under renowned Sheng masters Professor Yang Shoucheng and Feng Haiyun. He started learning the Sheng since he was 10, under Guo Changsuo and has received guidance from Professor Xu Chao Ming (Shanghai Conservatory) and Weng Zhen Fa. In 2004, he won the first prize at the First Solo Combined Category for Guanzi, Suona and Sheng in Singapore’s National Chinese Music Competition. In the same competition, he was also twice a first-prize winner in the Ensemble Category (2000, 2004). In 2008, he premiered the Butterfly Lovers Concerto for the Soprano Sheng and has recorded the concerto together with accomplished accompanist Low Shao Suan. In 2010, Jiwei performed as a featured soloist on live international television for the Youth Olympic Games opening and recorded the 2011 Marina Bay Countdown music composed by Iskandar Ismail, which was later featured again in 2014.
As a conductor, Jiwei has led many orchestras to achieve new heights of musical excellence at the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging. He was the youngest conductor of a Gold Award winning school at the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging 2005. His music directorship of the Anglo Chinese School (Barker Road)’s Chinese Orchestra brought the once ailing orchestra to Gold Award status. His other conducting achievements include:
As part of his Chinese music advocacy, Jiwei co-founded The TENG Company in 2005 and commissioned the book QI: An Instrumental Guide to the Chinese Orchestra. The book was published by the company and officially launched at library@esplanade in August the same year. With the company, he is prominently featured in the media as Sheng player of the now critically acclaimed TENG Ensemble.
In 2007, Jiwei hosted for the Singaporean television programme Simply Overseas and was featured by The Straits Times as one of the young achievers in “50 Young People to Look out For” in 2005. In 2012, he was again featured in the September issue of Prestige Magazine in the “40 Under 40” list of young people who have excelled in their fields.
In 2011, Jiwei founded the first and only Sheng ensemble in Southeast Asia. Under his music directorship, the ensemble comprising young and promising Sheng players has successfully held three major shows in Singapore at The Republic Cultural Centre, the Symphony Stage in Botanic Gardens and the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. In 2014, the ensemble brought its music—a mix of traditional, contemporary and experimental—on a milestone, cultural-exchange tour to Thailand, where they performed at Silpakorn University, Vic Huahin and the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre. In 2015, the ensemble was invited to participate in the ASEAN Traditional Music Festival held in Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. The ensemble performed at various platforms during the festival and the performances were well received by the ASEAN music community.
In 2012, Jiwei was invited as a plenary speaker for the “CLing Youth Forum: 双语双文化 世界无限大” organized by Business China where he shared on the topic of the importance of bilingualism in Singapore with hundreds of students. His sharing at the forum was later quoted by the Minister of Education Mr Heng Swee Keat in his opening speech during the launch of the 2012 Speak Mandarin Campaign. In the same year, Jiwei was also featured on the September issue of Prestige Magazine in the “40 Under 40” list of young people who have excelled in their fields.
In 2015, The Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong mentioned The TENG Ensemble during his national day rally speech. He praised the ensemble for injecting new elements into traditional culture and has created something uniquely Singapore.
From 2013-2014, Jiwei served as the Deputy Academic Director of Singapore Raffles Music College. He was also their Head of Department for Chinese Music from 2009 to 2015.
Jiwei is also a former member of both the ASEAN-Korean Traditional Orchestra and the China National Youth Chinese Orchestra. He is currently the Sheng soloist with The TENG Ensemble.
Jiwei can be contacted at: email@example.com