“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 of Singapore.

Koh will spend the grant money on attending music festivals and conferences in music composition and contemporary improvisation, such as the Asian Composers League Festival and Conference, the Etchings Festival held in France, and Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice in Boston.

Koh says in an email to Life!: “It really means a lot to me for my work to be recognised in Singapore as this is where I first gained interest in music and composing, and because it helps my family relate better to my work.

Her father, 51, is a business man and her mother, 53, is an administration assistant in an IT company.

Koh, a Bachelor of Music graduate, has won many awards and grants including the United States-based Barlow Commission and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Morton Gould Young Composers Award.”