Emily Koh is an award-winning young composer of contemporary classical music based in Boston MA, and a native of Singapore. Described as ‘the future of composing’ (The Straits Times, Singapore) and ‘a talent with great potential’ (An Tuireann Arts Center, Scotland), Emily’s works have received wide press acclaim, and have been described as “beautifully eerie” (New York Times), and “subtley spicy” (Baltimore Sun), and “piquant to the senses” (The Straits Times, Singapore).
Emily is a recipient of the 2013 Irino Prize, 2012 Barlow General Commission, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, New Music USA Grant, Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence and the Kaske Fellowship and Chamber Music Commission at the Composers Conference at Wellesley College. She is also the winner of the 2012 PARMA Student Competition, 2011 Prix d’Ete, National Piano and Violin Competition Composition Competition and 2nd prize winner of the 2010 Virginia Carty deLillo competition.
Emily has been commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Amigo Saxophone Quartet, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, The Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera, ArtsSphere Chamber Ensemble (renamed Dingyi Music Company), NUS Arts Festival among others. Her works have been performed by the Talea Ensemble (USA), Ensemble Dal Niente (USA), New York New Music Ensemble (USA), Signal Ensemble (USA), Boston New Music Initiative (USA), New Thread Quartet (USA), Acoustic Uproar (USA), ThingNY (USA), LUNAR Ensemble (USA), East Coast Contemporary Ensemble (USA/Europe), Avanti! (Finland), Israel Contemporary Players (Israel), Sentieri Selvaggi (Italy), the Next Mushroom Promotion (Japan), Chroma Ensemble (UK), Chamber Sounds (Singapore) and Asian Festival Orchestra (Asia) at festivals such as the Young Composers Meeting (2014), Red Note New Music Festival (2014), Etchings Festival (2013), Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice (2013), Composers Conference at Wellesley College (2012 and 2011), Saveyllyspaja/Avanti! Summer Sounds (2012), June in Buffalo (2010), Asia-Pacific Contemporary Music Festival (2011), Asian Composers League Festival and Conference (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009), Takefu International Music Festival (2008), Tongyeong International Music Festival (2007, 2009), Singapore Arts Festival and various venues in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Finland, Israel, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
Besides composing, Emily is an avid music educator, acoustic/electric bassist and presenter. She currently teaches musicianship at Brandeis University (Waltham MA), and has taught at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore MD), Saint Loyola Ignatius Academy (Baltimore MD) and Temasek Junior College (Singapore). Emily was one of four judges in the Music Composition category at the 2012 and 2011 National Parent-Teacher Association’s annual “Reflections” competition. As a bassist, she regularly performs contemporary solo and chamber music, as well as experimental and improvised repertoire for the double bass and electric bass. She is the principal bassist of the New England Philharmonic for the orchestra’s 2014/15 season, and is a founding member of d’bassists – the only double bass ensemble in Singapore, and the experimental and improv ensemble The Gentlemen’s Very (Very) High Art Society of South Waltham.
Emily is currently the Director of Concert Series at the Boston New Music Initiative and a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition and Theory at Brandeis University. Emily holds Master of Music degrees in composition and music theory pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor of Music (with honors) degree in composition (secondary studies in double bass performance) from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of the National University of Singapore, and diplomas from the Trinity College London (music theory, criticism and literature) and the Royal Schools of Music (double bass performance). Her composition teachers include David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow, Yu-Hui Chang, Kevin Puts and Chee Kong Ho. She has also worked with Georg Frederick Haas, Lee Hyla, Martijn Padding, Ed Bennett, Anna Meredith, Richard Ayres, Louis Andriessen, Fred Lerdahl, Rand Steiger, Mario Davidovsky, Christopher Rouse, Melinda Wagner, Chinary Ung, Jukka Tiensuu, Journi Kaipainen, Ivan Fedele, Unsuk Chin, Gerhard Müller-Hornbach , Toshio Hosokawa, Hiroyuki Itoh and Hitomi Kaneko in masterclasses and festivals. Her double bass teachers include Paul Johnson, Guennadi Mouzyka and Eric Lee.