RMA South-East Asia Chapter

There has for several years been a need for a forum that would bring together music practitioners in performance, composition, and musicology with music educators in South-East Asia. As a cultural and geographical nexus, Singapore seemed to be the ideal location for such a venture. There is, moreover, a considerable and active enthusiasm among Singapore musicians and music teachers for the opportunities that a regional RMA chapter might offer.

The South-East Asia Chapter, founded in 2015, was formed to enhance and deepen musical scholarship in the region, and widen the reach of the RMA, by hosting similar annual events, whether conferences, study days, or other occasions for discussion. The Chapter is convened by Monika Hennemann.

The Chapter was inaugurated with a symposium entitled “West meets East: Intercultural Transfers in Music” on 4 April 2015 at Raffles Institute in Singapore, organized by Dr Monika Hennemann (RMA Council Member; Cardiff University), Dr Ruth Rodrigues, and Dr Hoh Chung Shih (both Raffles Institute). The event attracted generous sponsorship from the Singapore National Arts Council and the Tote Board Arts Fund. Keynote lectures were delivered by Professor Mark Everist (President, RMA; University of Southampton), Professor Dieter Mack (Lübeck Academy of Music), and Dr Anothai Nitibhon (Vice-President, Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music, Bangkok).

Singapore, with its unusually rich cultural heritage encompassing both a Western imperial past and a vibrant modern indigenous culture that in many ways combines the best of East and West, was a thought-provoking location for relevant scholarly discussions.