KAH-MING NG

拿督 吳加明 博士教授

Photo—courtesy of the Malaysian High Commission, London—taken at a royal command performance for

Their Majesties KDYMM Agung & Raja Permaisuri Agung

BIOGRAPHY


Kah-Ming Ng is one of Malaysia’s more unusual public figures: a conductor, harpsichordist, musicologist, and public speaker whose work is internationally acclaimed for its imaginative combination of rigorous scholarship with panache in performance. An unwitting (and unelected) cultural ambassador for his country, Kah-Ming’s œuvre is represented by the frequent inclusion in radio playlists around the world of many of his ensemble Charivari Agréable’s 22 critically-acclaimed CD recordings as well as his concert and radio appearances around the globe, his performances being credited with ‘undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp’.

          As a scholar he is a recognized authority on two of the most fundamental aspects of pre-Classical performance practice: firstly, musical ornamentation (on which he wrote two substantial entries on French and English baroque ornamentation in the authoritative and definitive New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians); secondly, figured bass improvisation in its social and artistic contexts, being his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University. Equally adept at retailing anecdotes which contextualize the music to be performed on stage or in front of a microphone (from USA’s National Public Radio to Hong Kong’s RTHK, but most regularly the BBC), Kah-Ming is a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from academic subjects (as a former lecturer at the Music Faculty of his alma mater Oxford University) to cross-disciplinary matters on creativity, leadership, enterprise, and artistic disruption in music (as a Visiting Professor at some universities), and even on authenticity in historically-informed performance (to the Association of British Choral Conductors).

          The media—from the august Financial Times (which commissioned the first ever full-page feature of a Malaysian) to the glamour magazine Tatler—often finds Kah-Ming’s career trajectory fascinating. After gaining a B.E. in civil engineering (Monash University, Melbourne) and a short-lived career as a consultant engineer, he left for Europe supported by a prestigious DAAD scholarship at the Frankfurt State Academy of Music (Frankfurt Hochschule für Musik und darstllende Kunst), followed by, unusually, two Chevening awards for London Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Oxford University’s St Anne’s College (M.Phil.), and Keble College (D.Phil.). Kah-Ming has addressed many public institutions as well as private corporations, from universities, the sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional, to the London Lord Mayor’s Reflections. He has even been persuaded to appear as the brand ambassador for an haute couture production company.


 <for a detailed biography, s.v. ‘Extended Biography’ below>



PRESS COMMENTS


'an outstanding strategist on the harpsichord and the organ, and a sagacious continuo player'—Goldberg


'undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp'—Early Music News

'[he] did a great deal to put the audience at ease without being patronizi


'throughout the evening; he introduced each piece with short comments on "what to listen for" along with background information on the composition. I left feeling great deal more optimistic about audience-performer relations'—Woburn Music


'Kah-Ming Ng is both a scholar and a high-quality performer'—Musicweb


'A candlelit harpsichord recital by Kah-Ming Ng of predominantly French Baroque music is interspersed by colourful stories told by the musician about the lives of the composers featured. The ease and humour with which the musician himself speaks to the audience draws the listener towards many rich memorable insights. The programme shows the versatility of both the instrument itself and of Ng who plays the harpsichord with both scientific precision and intense humanity. The virtuosity of Ng turns each single note into a spine tingling experience. The optimal sound of a harpsichord is heard 15 paces away but tonight Ng fills the entire space with the energy of a single sound and holds it there.'

http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/reviews/feature/3116/Early_Music_by_Candlelight_Summer_Festival_2008/



BBC Radio 3 live solo appearance performing Rameau on the harpsichord + interview

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01npj5q



Inaugurating a symposium at Oxford University

http://www.apgrd.ox.ac.uk/events/2012/04/rameaus-anacr-on-1754-study-afternoon



Follow Kah-Ming on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/kahming.ng.1/




INTERVIEWS

& other public appearances




Buckingham Palace Commonwealth Reception, audience with HM The Queen & HRH Prince Philip


PUBLIC SPEAKING



Public speaking and performance at the Painters' Hall London, for The Lord Mayor’s Reflections:

(Photo courtesy of TATLER)



Speaker & special artist at a national sovereign fund's international forum, The Khazanah Megatrends:

http://kmf.com.my/past-kmf/2013-speakers/




Inaugural talk for Penang Institute’s distinguished speakers series Towering Malaysians:

http://penanginstitute.org/v3/events/upcoming-events/737-9-oct-15-towering-malaysians-lecture-series-by-prof-dato-dr-ng-kah-ming


Lecture-recital at the Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series, Sunway University:




Public Lecture at UiTM, University Teknoloji MARA, Malaysia:



Extended BIOGRAPHY


Y.Bhg. Dato’ Dr Ng Kah-Ming is one of Malaysia’s more unusual public figures: a conductor, harpsichordist, musicologist, and public speaker whose work is internationally acclaimed for its imaginative combination of rigorous scholarship with panache in performance. An unwitting (and unelected) cultural ambassador for his country, Kah-Ming’s œuvre is represented by the frequent inclusion in radio playlists around the world of many of his 22 critically-acclaimed CD recordings as well as his concert and radio appearances around the globe, his playing credited with ‘undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp’ (Early Music News).

     As a scholar-researcher he is a recognized authority on two of the most fundamental aspects of pre-Classical performance practice: firstly, musical ornamentation (on which he wrote two substantial entries on French and English baroque ornamentation in the authoritative and definitive New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians); secondly, basso continuo improvisation (to which is related his Oxford University doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Figured Bass accompaniment in its social and artistic contexts’).

     Equally adept at retailing anecdotes which contextualize the music to be performed on stage or in front of a microphone (from USA’s National Public Radio to Hong Kong’s RTHK, but most regularly the BBC), Kah-Ming is a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from hard-core academic subjects (as a former lecturer at the Music Faculty of his alma mater Oxford University) to cross-disciplinary matters on creativity, leadership and enterprise in music (as a Visiting Professor of diverse tertiary institutions), and even on authenticity in historically-informed performance (to the Association of British Choral Conductors).

     However, Kah-Ming is best known internationally as the musical director and founder of the multiple-award-winning ensemble Charivari Agréable [trans. ‘pleasant tumult’], acclaimed ‘as one of the classiest baroque bands’ (The Observer). It is unusually one of the few ensembles that still conducts source research, innovatively ‘avoiding the well-trodden paths’ (MusicWeb Intl.) to produce ‘imaginative ground-breaking recordings of forgotten musical treasures’, which are ‘the fruits of both scholarly research and charismatic musicianship, a combination that puts it at the forefront of period-instrument ensembles’ (BBC Music Magazine).

     Using various flexible yet historical configurations of players and singers, characterized by ‘ravishing sonorities and full-bodied textures’ (Gramophone), he is able to tailor bespoke programmes for institutions (from foreign embassies to Buckingham Palace) as well as corporate and private clients (from rectors of Oxbridge colleges, and benefactors of the Bodleian Library, to, on several occasions, the pop group Duran Duran). The winner of such coveted accolades as the Diapason d’Or, Gramophone Editor’s Choice, International Record Review’s ‘Best CD of the Year’, Classic FM’s Christmas Choice, BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Outstanding CD’, and MusicWeb International’s ‘Recording of the Year’, Charivari Agréable is a frequent fixture in the programming of festivals, music societies, and cathedral choirs (enjoying regular return collaborations with the choirs Windsor Castle, York Minster, Salisbury Cathedral, and Merton College Oxford, etc., amongst sixty other choirs). The ensemble has also been the featured artist on many radio programmes, including BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show (enjoying three separate dedicated one-hour slots), Bayerische Rundfunk, Westdeutsche Rundfunk, WCNY, European Broadcasting Union, etc.

     The media—from the august Financial Times (which commissioned the first ever full-page feature of a Malaysian) to the glamour magazine Tatler—often finds Kah-Ming’s career trajectory fascinating. After gaining a B.Eng. in civil engineering (Monash University, Melbourne) and a short-lived career as a consultant engineer and then music master of the Alice Smith international school KL, he was awarded a Chevening scholarship, which he turned down in favour of the equally-prestigious DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) award. Having completed his studies with Camerata Köln at the Frankfurt State Academy of Music, he then had the temerity to ask for his Chevening scholarship to be revived; unusually he was granted the award twice, for studies at the London Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and thereafter Oxford University’s St Anne’s College (M.Phil.) and Keble College (D.Phil.). 

     Kah-Ming was invited to attend the Commonwealth Reception at Buckingham Palace given by the Queen and Prince Philip and has performed for the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan of Perak, and Queen of Johor. He appeared as special guest artist and speaker at the Khazanah Megatrends Forum. He also appeared for the Deutsch-Malaysische Gesellschaft’s award ceremony at the Malaysian Embassy in Berlin, and as the featured artist for OMEC’s (Overseas Malaysian Executive Council) 20th anniversary celebrations in London, embodying their theme of ‘Malaysian-owned Global Brands’, and has recently spoken as a ‘Diversity Champion’ for the prestigious Reflections Lord Mayor of London gala evening. Kah-Ming recentlyt released his 22nd album, entitled Avanti l’Opera and has just concluded his Visiting Professorhips at both public universities of UiTM (Shah Alam) and UTM (Skudai, Johor).



SOUND CLIPS

Kah-Ming on authentic original harpsichords—Historical copies—Concerto soloist—Organ—Arrangements—Compositions


Some of Kah-Ming's solo performances on authentic original harpsichords


Harpsichord by Andreas Ruckers 1623 (extended by Kirkman); Music by Thomas Tomkins 'What if a day'


Harpsichord by Jacob Kirckman 1776; Music by J.C. Bach op. 17/5 Presto




Some of Kah-Ming's solo performances on historical copies of Italian, German, Flemish, and French harpsichords & virginals



Harpsichord after G.B. Giusti c.1681/1693; Music by C.F. Pollarolo 'Toccata in G minor'



Harpsichord after C.F. Fleischer 1716; Music by J. Pachelbel 'Ciacona in F minor'



Harpsichord after Taskin; Music by A-L Couperin 'La Chéron'



Harpsichord after I. Ruckers 1638; Music by William Byrd 'The Bells'



Virginals after H. Guarracino 1668; Music (lute duet) by John Dowland 'A Pavion Solus cum sola'

Kah-Ming on chamber organ


Music by Antonio de Cabezón 'Diferencias sobre Las Vacas'



Some of Kah-Ming's musical arrangements


Marin Marais: Pièce de viole 'Allemande la Singulière'



Marin Marais: Chaconne from 'Alcione'



Johann Joseph Fux: Ciaccona in G



Christopher Simpson: Division Viol



Some of Kah-Ming's compositions


'Ciaccona mosaica', a pastiche of early Italian ciaconne



'Canarios', a fusion of harmonic schemes by Ruiz de Ribayaz and Fernández de Huerte

©2021 Ng Kah Ming