Biography

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Photo credits: Jamie Chan

As a composer inspired by literature and varied art forms, Albert seeks to (re)create works that are evocative and engaging. His eclectic tastes have also resulted in creations involving audience participation, ranging from the theatrical and avant-garde to audience-friendly pieces. Many of his commissioned works have been premiered and recorded worldwide in concerts and competitions by decorated and outstanding artists, conductors and ensembles in major music cities. Albert’s composition mentors include Young Artist Award winner Dr. Zechariah Goh (Head of Composition, NAFA), Cultural Medallion winners Dr. Kelly Tang (Arts Dean, School of the Arts SOTA) and composer doyen, the late Leong Yoon Pin – these giants continue to inspire and influence his ideas on (de)composing.

As a conductor informed by studies as a bass-baritone, Albert has been working with singers ranging from amateurs to professionals. He is Artistic Director for the Schola Cantorum Singapore, a choir collective that has attracted trained musicians, composers, educators and choral enthusiasts from all walks of life. The young artist has commissioned & premiered numerous Singaporean works ranging from staged chamber opera, choral compositions to works for solo voice. With a predilection for contemporary avant-garde, multidisciplinary performances, Albert has taken choral performances to new artistic territories that saw marriages of choral music with poetry and theatre. He was invited as guest conductor for one of Kaohsiung’s top choirs, Natus Cantorum (Taiwan) as part of the ‘Asian Cities Choral Exchange’ programme, championing choral works by numerous notable Singaporean composers.

Albert’s choirs have won top prizes in various international festivals. The Methodist Girls School (Secondary) Choir, garnered two gold medals at the IFCM World Choral Expo Choir Competition in the Children and Youth Category (category champions). They were also the recording and performing choir in the South-East-Asian (SEA) Games Opening Ceremony, singing alongside Cultural Medallion winner Dick Lee. Albert’s repertory spans the gamut of genres, epoch and scale – ranging from classical to popular music; contemporary art music to Renaissance masterworks; a cappella gems to operas and large-scale choral-orchestral works such as the 3-hour live-to-screen projection of the ‘Lord of the Rings’. He has assisted the SYC Ensemble Singers (formerly Singapore Youth Choir), Singapore Lyric Opera Chorus, Kecskemét Festival Chorus and credits Cultural Medallion winner Jennifer Tham and conductor doyen Professor Péter Erdei as his primary influences in conducting. He was also privileged to have worked with famous conductors Maestro Helmut Rilling, Maestro Gábor Hollering, Ko Matsushita, Theodora Pavlovitch etc.

Albert Tay is founder & director of the Kodály Academy of Music Singapore (KAM). He financed and spearheaded the Asia Kodály Symposium, a biannual international programme that is currently being held in different Asian countries (e.g. Indonesia, Taiwan). KAM has also engaged the Singaporean community through various educational workshops, masterclasses and music courses under its “Studiorum Series”. His educator role saw him in weekly sessions, training music teachers and conducting the STAR Teachers Choir for the Ministry of Education at the Academy of Singapore Teachers (AST). Currently Associate Faculty at SIM University where he teaches “Ensemble Study & Performance” as well as “Conducting”, he taught choral conducting at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and is a part-time lecturer of NAFA. Albert is in demand internationally as an educator, giving keynote lectures, music workshops to professional conductors, music educators and choirs. He has also been mentoring youths and has been conducting various community choirs on a pro bono basis in over a decade of conducting work. Many of his students are now music majors/graduates and continue to be mentored by him.

Albert is a recipient of the prestigious International Kodály Society Scholarship, the National Arts Council (NAC) Georgette Chen Scholarship and the NAFA Scholarship. He graduated “Excellent with Distinctions” from the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy of Music (Hungary) as one of the top students of his cohort, receiving perfect scores from the panel of professors for his thesis and thesis defence. Albert’s seminal research paper on Leong Yoon Pin’s choral works delved into the pioneering composer’s choral works as part of a National Library Board project. He is recipient of the National Arts Council (NAC) Georgette Chen Scholarship and the NAFA Scholarship for his Diploma and Bachelor (Hons) studies at NAFA where he also graduated with distinctions as one of the top students of his class.

Correct as of 12 January 2016