Liew Kong Meng

Kongmeng is a Singaporean composer. He was recently awarded the top prize at the 2013 Goethe Institut Young Composers in Southeast Asia Competition (Bangkok, Thailand) and the 3rd prize at the 2014 Asian Composers League Festival Young Composers Competition (Yokohama, Japan) where he was also the Singapore representative. His music has been read and performed by musicians such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Mosaik, Quatour Bozzini, the Australian Brass Quintet, Ensemble Kujoyama, and the EDQ Woodwind Quintet, at festivals and workshops such as the Bozzini Lab (Canada), the Academie de Musique, Francaise de Kyoto (Japan) and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra Young Composers Workshop (Singapore). Currently, he has an interest in psychology, music and emotion, and his compositional approach involves the development of systems and processes within the construction of music, while simultaneously focusing on a cognitive perception of sound. He is also influenced by his Christian faith in the conceptualisation of his pieces.

In 2011, Kongmeng was awarded a full scholarship to study composition with Ho Chee Kong at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, the music faculty of the National University of Singapore, where he is currently a fourth year undergraduate student.

Mini-interview with Kong Meng

Where are you from? Does that have any influence on your music? If so, how?

Singapore. I think the biggest influence would be on the way I approach composition, that is, by giving myself several limitations, and I compose by creating systems that work within these limitations. Perhaps this could be due to the valuing of structure and systematic thinking in the local education system?

When did you start composing and why?

I started composing about 12 years ago when I was 13. I wanted to be a film composer and write the next Star Wars soundtrack.

What, if any, was the most inspirational experience you have had as a composer? (It could be a lesson, a piece, a concert, a sound, a walk, a bus trip, an image, etc.)

About 7 years ago, I watched a monodrama by Rich Swingle entitled Beyond the Chariots, and there was a scene in it where at the height of the plot, he sung the Finlandia hymn, and I remember being so moved by the performance, at the way music could elicit such strong emotions.

What is most important to you when writing a piece?

That the piece must exist for a reason.

What's the title of your new work?

Petals in the Blue Forest

Describe in a few sentences what your new work is about.

I wish to create a state of contemplation in the listener, where unexpected changes in mood parallel the experience of watching petals fall.


Kong Meng's Petals in the Blue Forest along with 8 other works by young composers from around the globe will be premiered by the Trio SurPlus at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory's Orchestra Hall on 12 July 2015 at 7:30pm.

Register your attendance for the concert.

About the DRK 2015 concert

About the DRK 2015 composers

Getting to Yong Siew Toh Conseratory of Music (YSTCM)