Deborah Siok’s musical journey started at the tender age of 3 when she first tinkered on the electone. She picked up the erhu when she turned nine, under the tutelage of renowned erhu master, Zhang Yu Ming. In six years, she attained Diplomas in erhu performance from the NUS Centre for the Arts as well as the NAFA-CCOM Chinese Instrumental Exams. She also holds a Grade 8 ABRSM certificate in piano performance, and is currently under the tutelage of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s concertmaster, Li Baoshun.
During her schooling years, Deborah was the concertmistress of her schools’ Chinese Orchestras, and was often selected to perform solos. In JC, she also took H2 Music at the GCE ‘A’ Level Examinations, where she honed her skills in performance and composition, and decided to further her studies in the arts. Deborah recently completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Music in NAFA, in collaboration with the Royal College of Music, London, graduating with First Class Honours.
A prominent erhu player in the school, Deborah was the concertmistress of the NAFA Chinese Ensemble and regularly performed solo and chamber ensemble repertoire. She received tutelage from erhu performer Wang Ying during the School’s International Placement to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Deborah has performed in numerous masterclasses including those from Professor Huo Yonggang, Zhang Zunlian as well as Duan Aiai, receiving excellent and encouraging reviews.
In 2018, Deborah performed Wang I-Yu’s erhu concerto The Blue Planet – Earth with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and was offered the SCO’s Musician Fellowship. She then went on to clinch the First Prize of the 2018 National Chinese Music Competition’s Erhu Open Category (now known as the Singapore Chinese Music Competition), organised by the NAC.
Since joining the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra in 2016 as a gaohu player and now as an erhu player, Deborah has performed regularly with the orchestra and participated in two of SNYCO’s overseas exchange trips. In 2019, Deborah was selected by the Singapore National Chinese Youth Orchestra to be the soloist for the Orchestra’s overseas tour to China, where she performed Wang Danhong’s erhu concerto Amannisha with the SNYCO for both the Pre-Tour Concert held in Singapore, as well as the overseas concert in Suzhou, China, both of which were very well received.