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Chloe Chua — More Than an “Ordinary” Wunderkind

Chloe Chua rehearsing with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Chloe Chua rehearsing with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra
© Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Chloe Chua, a 13-year-old Singaporean violinist, was the laureate of several major competitions, most notably Menuhin Competition 2018 (Junior Division) and 24th Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in 2017. Studying with Mr Yin Ke at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, School of Young Talents, she has captured the attention of classical music lovers since her victory in Geneva and achieved international fame after her recent collaboration with TwoSet Violin.

You may wonder – there are so many child prodigies around the world, what’s so special about her? Indeed, there’s no lack of precocious talents and we have seen young performers tackling pieces that aren’t humanly possible for their age. However, what makes Chloe stands out from her peers is her maturity, musicality and naturalness. Chloe’s musicianship is immensely evident in this performance:

Chloe Chua

© The Violin Channel

How would one imagine an 11-year-old (at that time) being able to pull off such a convincing interpretation, exhibiting such a deep and instinctive understanding of Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango style? The melancholy and nostalgia were so persuasively conveyed in this strongly evocative rendition. This kind of natural affinity for the music and expressivity without any affectation (not often observed in so-called “prodigies”) is what I’m most impressed with.

Without question, she possesses the abilities that one would expect of a wunderkind – virtuosity, great memory and composure on stage. Chloe’s finger dexterity, whenever the music asks for it, is unfailingly impressive. In Sarasate’s virtuosic Carmen Fantasy, the technical challenges were overcome effortlessly – it requires not only talent, but also devotion of countless hours of practice to achieve this level of technical facility. Chloe’s daily practice session is said to take up to 6 hours!

Let’s watch her performance at the Closing Gala of Menuhin Competition now – observe the chemistry between the soloist and orchestra! Here’s some imaginative and well-communicated playing of the often-played Winter by Vivaldi, clearly with the accompanying sonnets in mind. The self-confidence and high level of craftsmanship displayed are simply remarkable!

I’ve recently watched her online performance of Mozart Violin Concerto No.2 with Singapore Symphony Orchestra and was immediately captivated by the purity of her sound. Benefitted by beautiful phrasing and an enticing range of tone production, the operatic nature of the music was revealed with a sense of melodrama throughout. “Sung” with a Mozartian voice, the cantilena of Andante was played with serenity, while the outer movements had clarity, filigree and varied articulation.

To say that Chloe is a wunderkind would be an understatement, as the violinist presented here has proven herself to be a promising musician. Marked with thoughtfulness and emotional depth exceptional for her age, her playing demonstrates genuine passion for music and performing. Without a doubt, there is a bright future awaiting her.

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