DEBORAH SIOK started learning the erhu at the age of 9 under the tutelage of Zhang Yu Ming, a renowned erhu master and teacher. She went on to be a part of her schools’ Chinese Orchestras in secondary school and in junior college, where she was the concertmaster and sectional leader. She was also part of the Music Programme during her time in National Junior College, where she attained top grades in performance and written work as part of the H2 music programme. She has recently attained a Diploma in Music at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree in the School. She has been the Erhu Principal in the school’s Chinese Ensemble for the past few years.
Deborah has extensive experience in ensemble playing, having been part of the Toa Payoh West Community Club’s Chinese Orchestra as well as the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra for many years, and is often invited to guest play with other ensembles, such as the Ding Yi Music Company. She has therefore performed regularly at the Esplanade and Singapore Conference Hall, and she has also held solo performances for three years at the Esplanade as part of Zeitmusik, the NJC Music Programme’s annual concert. In 2016, Deborah also led NAFA’s Chinese Chamber Ensemble to win the 2nd runner-up prize for the Ensemble category in NAC biennial National Chinese Music Competition. In 2018, Deborah staged her first solo performance with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra at the SCO Concert Hall, garnering encouraging reviews. Also in 2018, Deborah won the 1st prize for the Erhu Open Category in NAC biennial National Chinese Music Competition.
Deborah holds two Diplomas in Erhu performance (awarded by the Central Conservatory of Music and NUS Centre for the Arts), Grade 6 Theory of Music (ABRSM) as well as Grade 8 Piano performance (ABRSM). Having a passion for learning and teaching, she is patient and a hard worker who strives to understand each student and tailor her lessons to every student’s different needs.
She has also performed overseas with various orchestras and ensembles on exchange programmes, such as to the China Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Central Conservatory of Music Middle School, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Ying Wa College. She has also had the privilege of attending masterclasses by Professor Zhang Zunlian, Professor Huo Yonggang, Professor Zhao Hanyang and veteran Erhu performer Xue Ke.