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Samuel Wong, 38

Samuel Wong

Creative Director of The TENG Company

For four years, Samuel and his team took a deep dive into the music of Singapore’s early Chinese migrants – interviewing, documenting and learning from first-generation masters, luthiers, instrument dealers and proteges of various dialect musical groups. The result is The Forefathers Project, which comprises a documentary series and a one-night-only concert titled Heirlooms that saw The TENG Ensemble performing eight new works with folk instruments such as the nanpa, the gaohu and the qinqin.

It is but just one thing in Samuel’s grand scheme of keeping Singapore’s Chinese music alive. Besides overseeing The TENG Company’s performance, academy and research divisions, Samuel, who holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology, lectures and supervises dissertations at various institutions and has written important books. His latest work, co- authored with fellow musicians Chow Junyi and Wang Chenwei, is a seminal guide to equip composers, scholars and music enthusiasts worldwide with the necessary knowledge to work with Chinese musical instruments.

Currently, he is partnering the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on a research project that fuses Chinese instruments and binaural beats to induce relaxation in listeners. “We are working at the cutting edge of arts, tech, wellness and, if successful, would yield wide-ranging benefits.”