Press and Reviews

Helsingin Sanomat // Strings & Hammers

CRITIC'S CHOICES: 4. STRINGS & HAMMERS, THE MCCORMIC [sic] PERCUSSION GROUP. RAVELLO. ★★★ "The McCormick Percussion Group and violinist Sini Virtanen’s Strings and Hammers trio received a Gold Medal for their collaborative album in the New Classical Music category...

Finnish Music Quarterly // Strings & Hammers

"By contrast, the ritualist sounds pregnant with meaning in Memento mori by Emily Koh demand the listener's immersion in - rather than cogitation of - a shimmering, modern version of an ancient lament."

Chamber Music America // Beyond The Frame

"\very/ specifically vague shifts to linguistic terrain, as Singaporean composer Emily Koh creates a musical analogue to Singlish, Singapore's English-based creole. The tile, describing Singlish's characteristic roundabout quality, is borrowed from a Reddit forum."

NACWPI Journal // Strings & Hammers Album

"Memento Mori by Emily Koh is a piece for violin, double bass, and percussion quintet. According to the composer, the violin and bass were conceived as a single instrument that she refers to as the "superbass." The piece starts out with a taiko-inspired opening played...

Percussive Notes Review // Strings & Hammers Album

"The third composition is Koh's "Memento Mori", which features Keller and Virtanen. Koh is from Singapore and is a double bassist who teaches at the University of Georgia in Athens as an Assistant Professor of music composition."

New York Concert Review // Strings & Hammers Album

"Memento Mori (a reminder of one's mortality) by Emily Koh begins with ominous rumblings in the percussion, followed by the lowest notes of the double-bass, which is cleverly combined with the violin to create one "super" instrument. This seems to open up a cavernous...

Hyde Park Herald // reitario’

"Koh's "reitario'" (the composer's own neologism) opened the concert. This brief, four-minute work is quiet, still music which gradually builds in speed and complexity. The ponderous solemnity is enlivened by a flurry of grace notes -- combined with Longendyke's...

Pianomania // Tune In 2020

Read the full review of the concert here, by Dr Chang Tou Liang! "Works for larger ensemble with a more modern persuasion occupied the concert’s second half. Emily Koh’s Resonate was originally conceived for Chinese ensemble and western wind ensemble to represent a...

Midwest Record // Transient Canvas – Right Now, In a Second

"A modern clarinet/percussion duo that actively commissions new works and premieres them, they seem to favor works that feel influenced by 50s Bernstein with their flow moving forward from there. This program is full of progressive hotspots showing just how much white...

EarRelevant // SoundScape Series: Under Construction

"Singaporean composer Emily Koh's synpunkt (2013) for flute, clarinet and percussion commences with key clicks and short breathy notes in the winds, punctuated by dry strikes on suspended cymbal, gradually building into a spirited dialog between the contrasting...

The Straits Times // Young Artist Award

"Currently based in Georgia, the United States, where she is assistant professor of composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia, Koh graduated from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and did her postgraduate studies at the Peabody...

Arts Equator // Love! Be: Sing;

"The choir's performance for the second half of the concert was noticeably more settled and less tentative compared to the first half, opening with the world premiere of Emily Koh's Homemade Recipe: Char Kuay. I found the performance reminiscent of my attempts in...

CSS // Project IDIOM

"For cello and prepared piano, Emily Koh's piquant and colourful smidgen(s) explores five different spices, each in a separate movement. Yummy!"

Chicago Classical Review // Zafa Collective

"Emily Koh's trans-[migra].nation (2011) honors the late Steven Baxter, onetime dean and director of Peabody Conservatory and its Singaporean sister school Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, both of which Koh attended. The 11-minute octet offered the evening's most expansive...

The Rehearsal Studio / Helia Music Collective + Liaison Baroque

"Thus, during the first half of the program, Koh's "am burning, have burned, will burn" served as a "response" to Caccini's "Ch'amor sia nudo" (that love is naked). The result was a pair of complementary takes on Cupid with sharply contrasting rhetorical stances."

CSS // SETTS #8

"Next was Emily Koh's Bridging Isolation (2013) for clarinet, violin and piano. The clarinet introduced with a bright opening. At times listeners could hear random vocal calls from the clarinet that echoed Olivier Messiaen's birdsong quotations. The work is slightly...

N/A ensemble // Composer Feature

"Her musical inspirations are wide and varied. She is especially attracted to uniquely human things: language, philosophy, sensory details (food, visual art, experiences etc.) Her music definitely reflects this variety of influences. I was initially drawn to Synpunkt...

Cleveland Classical // Transient Canvas

"Emily Koh's brilliant \very/ specifically vague (2017) promises a depiction of roundabout conversation -- and trading snippets of material, the duo maintained a dialogue that grew heated at moments but remained productive."

Brandeis // Emily Koh PhD’17 Will Serve as the 2017 GSAS Commencement Marshal

“More than 170 GSAS students will be honored at Commencement,” says Eric Chasalow, Dean of GSAS, “and we are delighted that Dr. Koh will represent the school during their final event before becoming Brandeis GSAS alumni. In my three yearsa s dean, I have been extremely impressed with the intelligence and accomplishment of our graduating students, and while I am a bit prejudiced since I helped advise Emily, she certainly rises to that level of excellence.”

The A List // Modern Mozarts

My work is generally introspective. It contemplates difficult questions on what it means to be a human being.

The Straits Times // New music ensemble premieres new works by seven composers

“Emily Koh’s Implodex! (Singapore premiere) for six musicians opened the proceedings. Conducted by Setts co-founder Christoph Wichert, its configuration had strings (violin, viola and cello) placed onstage, complemented by offstage woodwinds (flute, oboe and clarinet).

With its title alluding to the origin of matter and anti-matter, fragments of sound passed around the hall, the concordant alternating with the discordant. Its climax was a solo cadenza from oboist Joost Flach, who went on to tear up pieces of paper, symbolic of a point of no return, before all the musical parts coalesced in a serene C major chord.”

SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL, APRIL 12 2015

"Food is important to Singaporeans. Hawker centers serve up local fare such as prawn noodles, char kway tiao, chicken rice, laksa, mee goreng and other dishes. It never fails to surprise me that if I make mention of the Redhill...

THE STRAD MAGAZINE, OCTOBER 15 2014

"The 35 selected candidates from 14 countries will perform a range of repertoire, including kilobyte, a commissioned work by Singaporean composer Emily Koh."

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, JUNE 17 2014

"The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) meanwhile, has scheduled for it's upcoming 2014/15 season a work from conservatory alumnus Chen Zhangyi, 30, and commissions from Emily Koh, 28, as well as Terrence Wong, 25, who has just completed his bachelor's degree in music...

THE BOSTON CLASSICAL REVIEW, FEBRUARY 1 2014

"The final piece on the program, Emily Koh's synpunkt, for alto flute/piccolo, clarinet/bass clarinet and percussion, played out like an intense conversation between the players. Flutist Sue-Ellen Tcherepnin and clarinetist Katherine Matasy traded motifs back and...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, JULY 9 2013

"Two Singaporean works that received World Premieres were aggressively atonal... Emily Koh's bridging : isolation (2013) treated saxophone and violin like fraternal twins, each with its own voice that could be heard separately or together. In the latter, they bonded...

NEW MUSIC BOX, JULY 2 2013

"The final student work of the evening was Emily Koh's cycrotations for percussion quartet, which I remember for it's haunting, ghostly and spacious quality."

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, MAY 5 2013

"The second half of the concert showed the pianist at her best. Her keen sensitivity to the pianistic and harmonic idiom of Si fallor, Sum (2008) by Singapore composer Emily Koh made her reading cogent. The tricky running notes and leaping chords were tackled with...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, APRIL 29 2013

"Her programme for the evening includes a 10-minute Si Fallor, Sum by 27-year-old United States-based Singaporean composer Emily Koh. She played a shorter version for her own graduation ceremony from the conservatory in 2010. 'It shows a different texture for the...

KENT RIDGE COMMON PRESS, MARCH 20 2013

"On Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013, two highly accomplished musicians, composer Emily Koh and conductor Wong Kah Chun, were awarded the inaugural Paul Abisheganaden Grant for Artistic Excellence. Despite being only 26 years old, each of the talented artists have won awards...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, FEBRUARY 29 2013

"An awards ceremony honoured conductor Wong Kah Chun and contemporary classical composer Emily Koh, both 26, as the first two recipients of the grant, which recognises emerging young talents in the performing arts among students and alumni of the National University...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, AUGUST 28 2012

"The most adventurous work was Emily Koh's Freyja for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, which portrayed the changing seasonal foliage of New England. Autumn was vigourous and sprightly, giving way to the static austerity of winter before the augurs of spring...

LIANHE ZAOBAO, AUGUST 20 2012

"全音乐室内乐团是在去年12月发出消息, 他们向本地作曲人广邀室内与作品。他们总共收到10个试听版本,经由团员们选之后,最终决定呈现其中四溅作品,分别是陈美铃的《魔术师典范》,林莘洁的《黑暗中的光芒》,许佩珊的《女神》以及黄佳慨的《蓝鸟》。除了这四首曲子,乐团也将演奏驻团作曲李凱涵的《成长》。...

BRANDEIS NOW, AUGUST 20 2012

"Emily Koh, a second-year doctoral student, and Christian Gentry Ph.D. '12 were recently named Barlow Commission winners for 2012. The Barlow Endowment for Music sponsors significant new musical works that are not yet in progress. Koh, who played piano as a child but...

BRANDEIS MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2012

"Like many 7-year-olds, Emily Koh had no interest in taking piano lessons. It was her parents' idea, she says. But, despite her apathy, she stuck with it for years. Then, when she was 15, she traded the piano for a double bass. And in high school, she started to write...

BRANDEIS MAGAZINE, SUMMER 2012

When Emily koh, 25, decided she wanted to be a composer with the Singapore Lyric Opera, the road wasn't smooth. "Many (including my family, friends and teachers) were sceptical that one could make a living as a musician. The hardest challenge is convincing yourself...

BRANDEIS NOW, JUNE 08 2012

Like many seven-year-olds, Emily Koh had no interest in taking piano lessons. It was her parents' idea, she says. Despite her apathy, she stuck with it for eight years. When she turned 15, she traded the piano for a double bass, and her life changed. Koh, who just...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, NOVEMBER 12 2011

Who: Composer Emily Koh, 25, whose original work, byte, is a set piece for the contenders in the ongoing National Piano and Violin Competition. The miennial music contest, which often kickstarts the careers of local classical musicians, ends this evening at the Yong...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, NOVEMBER 11 2011

"The evening award ceremony and concert also showcased four set-pieces chosen for the competition from local composers Eric Watson, Bernard Lee, Emily Koh and Denise Lee, demonstrating that the creative front was no less impressive."

SINGAPORE LYRIC OPERA, JULY 15 2011

"Of special interest are four pieces newly commissioned for this concert in celebration of the Choir's 5th anniversary. Emily Koh's A Painted Bus starts off sounding like the folksong The Water is Wide, but soon develops into her own optimistic style with overlapping...

SINGAPORE LYRIC OPERA, JULY 15 2011

"Currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in composition and music theory pedagogy at the Peabody Conservatory, Emily Koh is a valedictorian who studied composition with Ho Chee Kong and double bass with Guennadi Mouzyka. Emily will be composing her very own...

THE STRAITS TIMES SINGAPORE, NOVEMBER 11 2010

"A hundred years after the Paris premiere of The Firebird, TPO did some major commissioning of its own. Young Singaporean composer Emily Koh's 10-minute-long After Igor was the result. Scored for the same familiar forces as Firebird, Koh did not attempt to imitate or...

ZAOBAO NOW, JUNE 29 2010

“许佩珊 24岁/美国皮博迪音乐学院硕士生 2003年,当许佩珊还是·淡马锡初级学院音乐特选课程的学生,便发表了她有生以来第一部音乐作品。她说:“老是演出别人的东西太没意思了,我渴望过自己的作品来发感情,表达自我。” 许佩珊曾为国大艺术节,鼎艺室内乐团,新加坡爱乐乐团写过作品,去年她获选代表新加坡参加亚太·现代音乐节,由亚洲节日乐团演出他的作品 “III. Als Leben"。今年的委约则有新加坡爱乐协会与新加坡舞蹈剧场的芭蕾舞音乐After Igor,以及给新加坡歌剧团儿童合唱团的合唱作品。...

EDGE OF THE CENTER, JUNE 7 2010

"While Zozinn  had much to say about works by JiB master composers, including Steve Reich, Augusta Read Thomas, Olivier Pasquet and David Felder, he also devoted substantial space to works by this year's participants, including Daniel Bassin, Matthew Heap, Ashley...

THE NEW YORK TIMES, JUNE 6 2010

"Emily Koh's beautifully eerie "circum perceptio", built in layers of delicate string, piano and woodwind timbres, was another highlight of the Signal program."

THE BALTIMORE SUN, MAY 5 2010

"The four works I saw certainly proved interesting, in some cases more for the words and action than the music. Most impressive to me was "Generations", a snapshot of four intersecting lives in a single family. Emily Koh's subtly spicy score produced some strong...

THE BALTIMORE SUN, MAY 4 2010

"Emily Koh's 'Generations,' with a libretto by Katherine Krueger, looks at women from four generations of one family."