Momentum Ensemble Member: Siang Ching Ngu

Tell us a little bit about your previous involvement with AYO

I started with the AYO Chamber Players in 2011. I had such a wonderful experience that I decided to apply to participate in every AYO program available to keyboard players in the following years. From 2012 to 2013, I participated in the National Music Camp, the AYO orchestra and the Chamber Players program.

What have been some of the key moments in your musical journey so far?

At the end of the Chamber Players program in 2013, my chamber instructor, Lambert Orkis invited me to study with him in the United States. That was very exciting and it was definitely one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I cannot tell you how much I have learnt from this whole experience – I feel so privileged to study with one of the most inspiring and amazing musicians you could meet in your life. Hah! The things that AYO leads you to!

What have you been up to since your last program?

Since my last AYO program, I have been keeping myself pretty busy by making the move to Philadelphia to pursue my study with Lambert Orkis. I am currently completing a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at the Boyer College of Music and Dance in Temple University. Besides working in a variety of ensembles, I have been involved with period instruments such as the harpsichord and the fortepiano. Also I have got myself involved with a diverse repertoire of contemporary works by emerging and established composers.

What made you decide to get involved with Momentum Ensemble?

I saw the opportunity to work with fine musicians and I was thrilled to be part of something exciting and new by the AYO. It was a chance to see my family and friends too since I have been away for over a year. 

How is Momentum Ensemble different to other ensembles?

As an orchestral and chamber pianist, I often receive opportunities to play in symphony orchestras and small chamber groups. However, playing with an ensemble such as Momentum was unusual and interesting for a number of reasons. For example, I had the privilege to work on Copland’s original score for his ballet “Appalachian Spring”, written for thirteen instruments. Since this version is not performed as often as the orchestral arrangement, it was a wonderful opportunity for me as a player to experience Copland’s compositional process in his original scoring of the ballet.

I was inspired by my colleagues in the process of music making. In return, I gave my best in every performance with them. It felt special to be connected with everyone in the ensemble and I enjoyed this experience thoroughly.

What are your next musical goals that you’ll be working towards?

I would like to be an active part of the chamber music scene in Australia. It will be great to be able to form my own chamber groups when I return home next year.