“…Director (re: mix) Foo at full flight, helming its virtuosic solo, is one of Singapore’s most exciting artists. One really feels his driving passion, and his charges responded with similar verve and ebullience for a spirited close. … ”
(Straits Times, 17 December 2012)
“… To say that Foo plunged into its (Butterfly Lover’s Concerto) Romantic excesses with real relish would be to put it mildly. He owned the piece, colouring it with judiciously placed portamenti, or slides, which simulated the erhu’s plaint and vocal inflections of Beijing Opera.”
(Straits Times ,12 March 2013)
FOO Say Ming
At the 4th National Music Competition in Singapore (1983), Singapore violinist Foo Say Ming walked away with the 1st prize of the Violin (Open) Category, the 1st prize of the Ensemble (Open) Category, and the grand prize of the competition: the Best Performer Award unanimously awarded by the judging panel, a feat which has yet to be equaled in the history of the country’s music competition.
Say Ming was awarded the coveted PSC (Public Service Commission of Singapore) - SSO (Singapore Symphony Orchestra) Scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music (London, UK) with Rodney Friend, a former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He was later accepted into the Conservatoire de Lausanne (Switzerland), to study with French violinist Pierre Amoyal, a protégé of Jascha Heifetz. He was conferred Virtuosité -Premier Prix avec Félicitations du Jury.
Say Ming was featured as soloist on many occasions with orchestra of the region. Of note, these include Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (Switzerland), and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the latter with whom he has performed concertos by Lalo, Glazunov, Elgar, Saint-Saens, Walton, Rozsa, as well as works by contemporary Singaporean composers. He was featured as soloist and director in a concert with the Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (presently known as The Philharmonic Orchestra) performing Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" and the Singapore premier of Piazolla-Desyatnikov's "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires".
He was soloist with the National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO) on its successful tour to Scotland at the Aberdeen International Youth Festival (Scotland) in 2005, performing the “Butterfly Lovers Concerto”. His performance was described as:
"... never faltered in his interpretation, weaving through the dramatic score like a beautiful silken thread."
(The Press And Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland, Aug 2005)
"... supreme tenderness from soloist Foo Say Ming."
(Evening Express, Aberdeen, Scotland, Aug 2005)
In 2012, Say Ming was appointed as Head Of Strings at the Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts (NAFA) School Of Music, where he oversees and teaches in the tertiary programme of the string faculty in their Diploma and Degree studies, the latter of which is in partnership with Royal College Of Music, London (UK). The NAFA Project Strings, a pioneering project which allows students a hands-on experience in the running of an arts group in almost every aspect of its management, gave it's Inaugural concert in 2013. A year later, NAFA Project Strings made it's debut at the Singapore Esplanade with Singapore's International sensation KAM Ning as soloist.
In the capacity of a conductor, Say Ming is Assistant Conductor of the NUS Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO). In addition to conducting the NUSSO, he conducts young musicians of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, the NAFA School Of Music Project Strings, as well as various young musicians' orchestras in Malaysia and Indonesia. In 2011, Say Ming conducted the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) Orchestra “à la Johann Strauss”, assuming the roles of conductor, concertmaster and violin soloist in SLO’s 2011 production of Lehar’s “The Merry Widow”.
In the capacity of a Leader/Concertmaster, Say Ming has been a regular guest leader for the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) Orchestra and The Philharminic Orchestra (TPO). He has led in countless operatic productions by the SLO, as well as invited to be concertmaster for Bolshoi Ballet, the Paris National Opera Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, and the English National Ballet, as well as various international cross-over personalities as Russell Watson and Sarah Brightman.
Say Ming leads and directs a unique chamber orchestra from Singapore, “re: mix” (www.remix.com.sg). This ensemble boasts of an eclectic repertoire ranging from John Adams to ABBA, Bach to Beatles, Mozart to movies, Schoenberg to Salsa! re: mix has been responsible for the creation and championing of a host of works that is a blend of interdisciplinary art forms, and amalgamation of pop and contemporary icons with classical sensibilities. Within it’s very short history since its inception, with its wide and daring repertoire together with it’s successful debut album “Introducing re: mix” which was named "CD of the year" by Singapore Straits Times, re: mix’s unique voice has now gained some attention from audiences in this region and beyond.