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The Composers Society of Singapore is delighted to announce the 2nd edition of Young Composers Forum (YCF), taking place from October 2023 - March 2024. Under the tutelage of senior CSS composers, up to 10 aspiring young composers will have the opportunity to go through a 6-month creative period of writing a new piece (3-4 min) for Weird Aftertaste, YCF ensemble-in-residence. The forum will consist of meet-the-musicians sessions, masterclasses and workshops. The young composers will then have a chance to write their very own piece which will culminate in a final concert, featuring the works of young composers selected from our YCF programme.


Participants should be Singaporean citizens/residents aged 15 to 19 (or up to 21 for those required to fulfil the National Service obligation).

Composition Mentors

Ensemble in Residence

Weird Aftertaste is an artist-driven new music collective that aspires to the sustainable performance of today’s best contemporary concert work. As advocates for the experimental, risky and non-commercial in sound, since its inception in 2021 the group has performed work not just by genre-defining stalwarts of new music, but also the work of young musical innovators both locally and abroad.

YCF participants will be able to write a piece for a duo/trio subset of Weird Aftertaste: Bertram Wee (Piano), Lynette Yeo (Piano), Michellina Chan (Saxophone), Christoven Tan (Violin/Viola), Chee Jun Sian (Cello)

Participant Benefits

As part of YCF, participants will be offered the following:

  • Meet-the-musicians sessions with Weird Aftertaste (YCF ensemble-in-residence)

  • Workshops focusing on compositional techniques, Jamming & Experimentation sessions, as well as an Open Panel Discussion on 'Composing as a Journey'

  • 4 individual lessons (1h) with assigned mentor (Nov ‘23 - Jan ‘24)

  • Intermediary reading session with mentors and ensemble

  • Premiere of new work by Weird Aftertaste at YCF Final Concert (Mar ‘24)

  • [Non-Members] Free 1-year Membership until 31 Dec 2024

Participation Fee: $50 (CSS Members), $100 (Non-Members)

To Apply

Submit the following materials by 31 Aug 2023 (Thu), 11:59pm SGT to

  • One to two of your most representative compositions: Score (PDF) & Audio (MP3) - MIDI realisations of the pieces are accepted.

  • Please share about yourself, your motivations for the programme, compositional goals, and what you hope to gain about the programme. (Between 150 to 500 words)


Selected participants will be notified via email by 15 Sep 2023 (Fri).

For more information on YCF and schedule of activities, email


Our Participants

Joel Tan

Cubic Ribbon

for Alto Saxophone, Cello, and Keyboard w/ Electronics (5’)


Joel Tan (b. 2003) is a Singaporean composer who discovered his passion for composition in 2021, transitioning from a focus on mathematics. Despite excelling in mathematics and earning multiple awards throughout his secondary school education, Joel embraced his journey as a "late bloomer" in music, continuously refining his skills and exploring new artistic perspectives. He often incorporates mathematical concepts into his compositions but remains open to diverse creative avenues. Currently serving his National Service obligations, Joel actively develops his musical abilities and engages in music-related projects. He had the privilege of participating in the Young Composers' Academy at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in 2023 and looks forward to commencing formal composition studies in 2024 at the conservatory. 


Tan Zheng Rui


for Piano Trio (Violin, Cello, Keyboard) w/ Electronics (4.5’)


Tan Zheng Rui is a Singaporean composer who writes music that prioritises deriving different ideas from the calculated and intangible part of nature as his musical material, and experiments with the extremities of treatment of sound. Drawing ideas from mathematical concepts and natural phenomena of physics have become a motivation for his musical predilections. This approach has transformed the perception of these existing ideas and concepts, while propelling him to deepen his exploration in this realm. Furthermore, his music usually seems to delve into the idea of physicality where he thinks of music as a human body, which possesses life. This approach has pushed him to create his own language for expression, along with the use of existing language, and possibly poetry and literature, to craft a sound world personal to him. He will be pursuing a major in music in the future.


Apart from composition, Zheng Rui has attempted conducting Chinese Orchestra for a few occasions, and is a soundpainter. He explores the interactions between each instrument and enjoys how he can develop and morph sounds. Also, he plays the piano and yangqin. He favours performing contemporary classical music and seeks to expand possible musical boundaries on each instrument through experimenting.


Tjan Yi Xuan

entropy IV: Fallouts

for Viola, Cello and Live Electronics (4’)


Tjan Yi Xuan (b.2003) is a Singaporean composer, pianist and hornist. He has always been passionate about music since young, learning piano from Jeunesse Tan from 2009 - 2018 and Shawn Neo from 2019 - 2021, but discovered his love for composition in his JC years. Ever since, he has been exploring composition on many frontiers, like contemporary music and music for media. He has mostly written pieces for chamber ensembles, but intends to explore other instrumentations and genres too.

Passionate about using the gift of music to bless others, he actively plays as a keyboardist in church and has done multiple personalised arrangements of popular songs for others. He is also involved in co-initiated music projects like Re:Cinta Wind Symphony and High-Key, both of which are youth startups pushing for innovation and inclusivity for young wind players and composers alike.

Yi Xuan is currently serving his National Service obligations and will be matriculating into the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music to read a major in composition in 2024.

When not thinking about music, Yi Xuan explores other disciplines like graphic design, video editing and coding, and also gives back to the community through volunteering activities.


Grace Sen


for Viola and Toy Piano (5’)


Grace Sen (b. 2006) is a Singaporean composer and pianist. Her musical influences are diverse, ranging from renaissance music, to the common-practice period, to contemporary sound art. She is particularly interested in the expressive properties of the human voice due to her early exposure to vocal music in church hymns and choral music, as well as the visceral nature of so human a sound. Her musical interests are also influenced by her religious identity, and her desire to explore timeless concepts of spirituality and reverence in a contemporary language. 


Having graduated from the Music Elective Programme in Methodist Girls’ School in 2022, Grace is currently taking the Higher Level Music course as part of the International Baccalaureate programme in Anglo-Chinese School (Independent). In 2023, Grace was awarded the Music Elective Scholarship, as well as the Academic Award for Music. 


When not making music, Grace can be found tinkering with and looking through her telescopes, reading mathematics or poetry, or writing. She is currently under the tutelage of Dr Hoh Chung Shih. She has also been playing the piano since the age of 7, and currently studies with Bertram Wee.


Mah Ji Rui


for Saxophone, Violin/Viola and Cello (5’)


Mah Ji Rui is a highly skilled individual currently studying Music Production at Singapore Polytechnic. He has composed music in various styles, including songs, soundtracks for film and games, as well as compositions and arrangements for ensembles.


Ji Rui spent six years in the Symphonic Band as a percussionist, specializing in playing the marimba. His proficiency earned him opportunities to perform solo pieces during band concerts, such as "Flight of the Bumblebee" or "Terremoto," one of his compositions.


Ji Rui completed an internship at the music production company White Noise Music, where he acquired skills in scoring and audio editing from industry experts. During his time there, he collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and co-composed for their short film, "The Shoes." Additionally, he composed the song "SGRawr" for Mediacorp.



Chan Hao Li

You by the Merlion

Soprano Saxophone, Cello, Keyboard w/ Electronics (7’)


Chan Hao Li (b.2003) is an aspiring Singaporean composer, and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in 2024. Hao Li’s musical upbringing began at age 4, when he first picked up piano. At age 12, he learnt to play the clarinet in his secondary school band, and also began his formal studies in music.


Hao Li began his composition studies at the age of 16, majoring in Composition for his A-Level Music in Junior College. At this time, he also began formally learning the clarinet under Singaporean clarinettist Ralph Emmanuel Lim. As a young composer, he regularly takes part in local composition events and opportunities to expose himself to new music, and has had his work premiered in Singapore. Hao Li is also a student member of the Composers Society of Singapore, an association dedicated to the creation and promotion of new music in Singapore and internationally. Hao Li continues to play clarinet casually, regularly participating in local wind band events and concerts. He is also a member of the Singapore wind bands Novo Winds, Singapore Wind Symphony and most recently, Re:Cinta Wind Symphony, serving as principal clarinettist.


Andre Goh


for Alto Saxophone and Violin (5’)


Andre is a trombonist who has been composing for around 3 years. He usually writes for small ensemble and concert band settings.


Verena Low


for 2 Keyboards (2’)


Verena Low is an aspiring composer currently in the Music Elective Programme in Tanjong Katong Girls' School. She has composed various styles of music, and recorded and performed them as well. She is classically trained and specialises in playing the piano. Verena has been awarded 'Gold' in the category of original composition for the London Young Musician music competition in 2021. With her passion in composition, she hopes to further hone her skills and dive deeper into the world of music.


Xavier Hui

enthalpy III

for Alto Saxophone, Keyboard and Tape (5’)

As a composer of a multitude of styles, Xavier Hui embraces stylistic diversity in his fusion and integration of many contrasting styles - from neoclassicism to swing jazz to electro-acoustics to Javanese Gamelan. He continues to explore new styles of writing and firmly believes that the bounds of exploration are limitless. Another unique feature of his music would be his strong desire to challenge common perceptions and boundaries, and hopes to explore the fine line between the avant-garde and other styles of music.

At present, Xavier is currently one of the directors of Re:Cinta Wind Symphony, a new wind ensemble which strives for new musical pushes and directions with a strong youth-centric focus. In the span of five months alone, Xavier formed the group with his good friend Dylan Lim, led the group in its first Tune-In project, its first outdoor performance at Changi Jewel, and its first indoor performance at Esplanade Recital Studio. Xavier also manages the new music group what the FORTE (WTF), having led the group in the concert Melomania VI. The group is moving towards an exploration of interdisciplinary collaborations, and is currently working on a film project. He frequently composes/arranges for the two groups.

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