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Chong, Kee Yong
Dr. Chong Kee Yong, one of Malaysia’s leading contemporary music composers, possesses one of the most exciting voices in new music today. Indeed, his work has been hailed as “imaginative and poetic” by leading conductor-composer Peter Eötvös, and as “very inventive and artistically pure” by composer Jonathan Harvey. The uniqueness of his music stems not only from a rich palette of sounds, but his experimentation into traditions, infusing his own Chinese and multi-cultural Malaysian heritage into his work.
Dr. Chong's distinctive style has won him many awards and commissions. His list of prizes at various competitions is remarkable, for example the Prix Marcel Hastir by Belgium Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters & Fine-arts (1999, 2003), the 4th International Andrzej Panufnik Competition for Young Composers in Poland (2002), the Grand Prix at the 2nd Seoul International Competition for Composers (2003), the Max-Reger-Tage International Composition Competition in Germany (2004), the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra International Composers' Award (2004), second prize at the 2nd Lepo Sumera International Young Composer Prize (2006), Lutoslawski Award (2006), BMW Award in the International Isang Yun Music Prize in Korea (2007), 2nd prize in the Preisträgerkonzert des Internationalen Kompositionswettbewerbes "global music—contemporary expression" in Germany, 3rd prize in Luxembourg International Composition Award 2008 and Giga-Hertz-Award 2009 (Germany).
He has been awarded the composer-in-residency with Akademie der Künste (Germany), Herrenhaus Edenkoben (Germany), Asian Cultural Council (USA), the Center Henri Pousseur (Belgium), SWR EXPERIMENTALSTUDIO (Germany), Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship 2014 (USA/Italy), National Gugak Center Fellowship 2015 (Korea), ignm-vs_forum Wallis 2017 (Switzerland), Spring Workshop 2017. (Hong Kong), CulturalSummit Abu Dhabi 2018, Goethe Institute's "Virtual Partner Residency 2020/2021(Germany) and Villa Ruffieux 2022 (Switzerland).
He is the first Malaysian composer received the prestigious commission grant award by the Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation (USA) and the prestigious "The Outstanding Young Malaysian Awards" in the Cultural Achievement category.
To recognize Chong’s contributions to South East Asia’s contemporary music scene, Huddersfield University (UK) awarded him a full scholarship for a special PhD by publication 2014-2016 under the guidance of Prof. Liza Lim.
Dr. Chong is the creative director of Studio C, vice president (2011－2016, 2021-2023), former president (2017-2019) and executive committee (2019-2021) of Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers. He was the artistic director of the 2009 Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival and Biennial SMCC “SoundBridge” Contemporary Music Festival 2013-2021. In 2016-2017 he was visiting professor of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and 2018 visiting professor of Danish Royal Academy of Music.