Neil Chua WeyChong’s musical career started in High School when he was first introduced to the traditional Chinese musical instrument ZhongRuan.  Intrigued by the instrument, he began his in-depth study of ZhongRuan under Ms Chua Bee Lin.  At the age of 16 and he won his first musical award in the ‘Malaysia Chinese Instrumental Music Competition’ in December 1999.

After graduating from high school, he proceeded to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to further his interest under the mentorship of renowned musician Ms Liu Bo, who is a 1st class musician in China and the ZhongRuan sectional principal of the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra. Neil proved himself to be a talented musician and was made the sectional principal of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Youth Chinese Orchestra.

In July 2006, Neil graduated with a Bachelor Degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His excellent results and performance capabilities won him a place in the Conservatory’s masters programme and became the first musician to major in ZhongRuan as well as being one of the youngest musician in the history of the Conservatory. Neil is also the only musician in Malaysia and Singapore to have a Master Degree in ZhongRuan.

From 2007 onwards, Neil began his intensive study of ZhongRuan performance and techniques under the guidance of Ms Wu Qiang - a renowned LiuQin and ZhongRuan performer and Associate Professor of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.  He also studied under Mr Liu Xing, a renowned composer and ZhongRuan master. In November 2007, he won an Outstanding Performance Award in the CCTV National Traditional Chinese Instrument Music Competition and was invited to participate in the ‘Hong Kong International Art Festival’ in August 2008.  Neil also held his first and second ZhongRuan Recital in Shanghai Conservatory of Music during this period. He completed his academic dissertation ‘History of Ruan and the Creation of Ruan Works’, under the tutelage of Professor Chen Yinshi in May 2009 and received his Master of Arts in Music in July 2009.

Neil continues to accept invitations to perform around the region, from Malaysia to Indonesia, Singapore to Beijing and most recently he joined the Singapore Ruanxian Ensemble to perform in Taipei for the Taipei ‘Luiqin Ensemble Annual Celebration’ in June 2013. He is currently based in Singapore and conducts ZhongRuan classes to improve the skills of his students.

Watch Neil in action playing the Zhongruan

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