Tan Chan Boon

Born in 1965, Tan Chan Boon is one of Singapore's established composers. His works have been commissioned and performed widely in Taiwan, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Ukraine, France, Germany, USA and Singapore.

French-trained Tan started composing at 12. His teachers include French composers Jacques Castérède and Michel Merlet, and Singapore pioneer composer, Leong Yoon Pin.

Tan entered the famous Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris just before his 21st birthday, and was a recipient of the prestigious Scholarship of the Comité Albert Roussel Fondation, which was founded specially for the 3ème Cycle in Composition (post-graduate studies). Tan's brilliance in a composition class where most of his classmates were at least ten years his senior, led him to achieve two advanced degrees in composition in only 3 years. He completed the first within two years and was awarded the second in the following year - instead of the usual 3 to 4 years between the two degrees. Tan, then 23, became one of the youngest students ever to complete the 3ème Cycle in Composition.

Semi-finalist at the 16th International Masterplayers Competition for Conductors in 1993, Tan also studied with the late Shalom Ronly-Riklis, Richard Schumacher and the legendary Leonard Bernstein.

President of the Gustav Mahler and the Anton Bruckner Societies in Singapore which he founded with friends in 1995 and 1996 respectively, Tan is also active in the research and promotion of the music of Bruckner and Mahler. He has attended the International Mahler Festival in Amsterdam (1995) and the International Bruckner Festival in Linz, Austria (1996). Tan has conducted more than 100 workshops and talks on the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler in Paris, Malaysia and Singapore.

He was also Recipient of the Top Local Serious Music Award from the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) in 1998 and the JCCI Singapore Foundation Culture Award 2004. He was made a Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of the Arts and Literature) by the French Government in 2008.

His main works include four symphonies : No.1 "Aurore" (1986-89), No.2 "Génèse" (1989-95), No.3 "Eden" (2002-04) and No.4 "Déluge" (2004-05); a Symphonic Poem (1997) and many other orchestral and chamber works.

In 2000, Tan's Symphony No.2 "Génèse" was recorded on CD with the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, with the composer conducting.

Works of Tan Chan Boon which were premiered by Miss Lim Shue Churn are:

  • Apres un Verre… for Solo Violin, award winning work premiered by Miss Lim in 1995 and the Grand Caprice for Solo Violin, in 2002. She played both works twice.
  • Ostinatissimo for Violin and Piano in 1998, also recorded in CD.
  • Together with a few other famous local string players, they premiered Tan’s First, Second and Third String Quartets between 1997 to 2007 and performed these works more than once. A CD/DVD album of the 3 String Quartets was produced from the ''live" recording of the "The Art of String Quartet" concert held in 2007.