:: The Flying Inkpot: Classical Music Reviews – The Inkpotters

:: The Flying Inkpot: Classical Music Reviews – The Inkpotters

The Flying Inkpot’s Classical Music Section scours the world for excellence and the unusual in our most universal art. Its international team of writers share their insights and opinions with frankness, a sense of fun, and passion for their work.

Editors
Derek Lim b.1978 Editor (left) email: dereklim78@gmail.com Just past his first quarter century, Derek Lim is on the verge of becoming a doctor and juggles his schoolwork with his commitments for The Flying Inkpot. Best known for his Mahler-intrigues, he is also responsible for the latest slew of design changes in The Flying Inkpot, with Frontpage and Photoshop as his trusty tools. He begs your indulgence in all matters Inkpot. Write to him at the email address provided for a quick reply. S. James Wegg b.1952,
Contributing Editor (Toronto) (left) email: sjwegg@hotmail.com Toronto native James Wegg has been active as a conductor, composer and writer since 1973.  He studied clarinet at the University of Ottawa (Mus. Bach. 1975) and obtained a Master of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (1980).  He has won a number of awards for composition and conducting, including the 1982 Heinz Unger Conducting Competition.  Through the Nepean Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 1974, he conducted the world premires of more than 50 works.In the 90s Wegg re-focused his artistic muse from music direction to television production as both producer and writer.  Simultaneously, he led and assisted a number of cultural and social service agencies including an HIV/AIDS supportive housing provider and a museum dedicated to the display and preservation of fine craft.  As time permits, he is currently continuing that role as fund development and organizational consultant to not-for-profit, charitable organizations
In recent years, he has concentrated on the writing through articles, short fiction, performing arts and film reviews, profiles and commentaries.  Currently, Wegg is Managing Editor and Publisher of JWR (http://www.jamesweggreview.org) and a contributor to Film Threat, Rotten Tomatoes, Stage-Door and The Flying Inkpot.   Wegg is a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, the Online Film Critics Society and the Canadian Authors Association. Jon Yungkans b.1961 Contributing Editor (California) email: jonyungk@earthlink.net Writer, editor, former English teacher and general gadfly, Jonathan became hooked on classical music early on, and despite some piano and viola lessons has primarily developed a fearsome virtuosity on the stereo. A tall red-headed Dutch-American with a beard, his resemblance to Vincent van Gogh has not encouraged him to slice off his ear, but rather to use it on a neverending stream of recordings, keeping his wits sharp and his wife’s decorating schemes in constant disarray. A fan of famous chef Emeril Lagasse and more recently a Martha Argerich enthusiast, he loves good food as much as fine music, even if it’s a great hot dog, and wishes La Martha would please appear on the “Emeril Live” TV show someday as a guest, or, barring that, at least record Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto. Benjamin Chee, Contributing Editor (Australia) email: benjamin.chee@aco.com.au Benjamin Chee has been described as a Renaissance Man, although he has no memory of his past lives as an Setite High Priestess, Tzimisce Voivode or Albigensian Crusader. Apart from music, he also enjoys reading, soccer and watching lots of cable TV. More recently, he discovered an uncanny knack for mixing arts with business, and is currently trying to get a piece of paper to prove it. He is, incidentally, the same person who appears in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. Things to talk to him about: Shakespeare, cable movies, starship engineering, Manchester United FC.
Current Contributors
Chang Tou Liangtouliang@hotmail.com Steven AngWILLIAM BEH b.1972 The details of William Beh’s dark and dubious career as the scourge of incompetent concert performers have been recorded elsewhere, and the foolhardy may seek them out at their own peril. With the inept soloist, he wields his pen as a lead-tipped lash and a cat-o-nine-tails; against the egotistical conductor, his vehemence makes Torquemada, the Maquis de Sade and Count Vlad Dracul appear as but weak and simpering children. His lifelong goal is to ensure the limpieza de sangre: that performers be aware that there are such things as minimum standards of competence, and to make clear to concertgoers what these standards are. email: kapellmeister@bigfoot.com

CHIA HAN-LEON b.1973 Trained in literature but not so much in music, Leon has the uneviable task of running the Classical Music department of TFI as its editor, graphics designer, HTML coder, self-sleep depriver and general all-weather wizard. Constantly fighting vicious battles with crashing hard disks and small insects, Leon’s most listened-to CDs are actually the ones sporting women with guitars. Capable of travelling long distances within small places, Leon lives in a house with blue walls and a bright yellow sofa. He has the dubious honour of having played in the Chinese Orchestra (bamboo flute), military band (clarinet, orange peel) and symphony orchestra (clarinet, bass drum [ok, once only]). Leon is a full-time web designer, Lego enthusiast, closet Trekker and is author of an 11,798-word thesis on Goethe’s Faust and das Ewig-weibliche. In his spare time, he builds Federation starships on his dining table, much to his wife’s chagrin. email: echelon@pacific.net.sg

(Dr) BARRY D. STEBEN b.1948 Barry Steben is the “old man” of the Flying Inkpot Classical Music Section, and the only one with a bushy half-white beard. As a professor in the NUS Department of Japanese Studies, he is supposed to be reading Japanese books and writing serious academic essays all the time. But he has an irrepressible love of classical music that has mushroomed since he bought a DVD player last year and joined the SSC and SLO in January of this year. A rich friend unfortunately introduced him to Amazon.com and eBay last year, and he ended up buying more CDs and DVDs than he has had time to listen to yet. But he also loves to attend live concerts. Barry has been an avid lover of Baroque music and chamber music since his 20s, and since last year he has discovered the joys of watching whole operas instead of just listening to famous opera arias out of context on CDS. At present his favourite composers are Wagner, Vivaldi, and Bach, but Handel and Mozart (etc.) are never out of the picture.

email: jpsbs@nus.edu.sg

The Been-here-a-whiles
MARC BRIDLE b.1964 Having learnt the violin at school, Marc’s large finger span was eventually recruited to play the double bass, although opinions vary on the quality. Educated at Scotland’s oldest university, Marc failed to excel at Greek and Hebrew, so changed to medieval history. Failing to find any real purpose in life, he then became a writer and ultimately to join the murky depths of the Inkpotters. Previously trained in the art of bow ties, Marc now happily dresses in Helmut Lang jeans and designer T-shirts. Musically, Bruckner and Wagner are fab to him, but Marc is just as happy listening to Stockhausen as he is to Beethoven. He is generally not happy listening to any conductor who is still of this world. Hero No.1 is Celibidache and hero number No.2 is Victor de Sabata. A self-professed chain smoker, Marc nevertheless expects to live a very long and healthy life. The way he would most like to exit this world is with a marlboro between his lips, a large gin in one hand, a libretto in the other and his ears seduced by the prelude to Tristan. Paradise indeed!!! email: Meclb@aol.comThe INKPOT SIBELIUS NUTCASE™ b.1132 Loves Hot Dogs The Flying Inkpot is proud to be home to the World-Famous, World Premiere Recording of The Inkpot Sibelius Nutcase. Having heard of the fabulous web machine from Singapore, the mysterious white-winged ISN hefted his 6-ton armour of Nordic Music review expertise and crossed the Bifrst bridge to the tropics, bringing with him several boxes of BIS CDs, his Nordic Sounds and Finnish Music Quarterly subscriptions, a copy of the Everyman edition of the Prose Edda, as well as The Kalevala. To date, he refuses to reveal his identity except to the closest of friends (all Inkpotters, heh). Naturally, he only uses Nokia handphones. Due to intense concentration while listening to multiple-layer, multi-pedal sonorities, he does not check his email very often. [Email editor for quickest response -Ed.] email: sibeliusnut@inkpot.com
The Circle of Silence
ONG YONG HUI b.1980  email: happywolfie@hotmail.com Back from a two year hiatus training young skinheads into fighting soldiers, Ong Yong Hui is now back to wielding the pen instead of the gun. Just as before, he is still looking for the definite Ysaye sonatas recording and back at trying to usher people from the grand hall to the chamber. By day he talks mainly about literature in school and spreche Deutsch als Fremdsprache. By night he chats with his fingers as an active netizen and makes good toast as supper. Also a committee member of the NUS Outdoor Activities Club, he is an enthusiastically mad trekker, climber, kayaker and badminton player all rolled into one. He lives together with his hamster of six months in the school residence of NUS.

DAVID CHEW b.1980 email: davidchew80@hotmail.com David Chew is currently studying in the arts faculty and is looking at a major in English Literature too. He keeps himself busy watching arty-farty indie films and organise efforts of freelance writing for the sake of promoting literacy in the NUS. He is big on strings, and has a major soft spot for the cello. Besides being a fan of Yo-yo Ma, he is also a big fan of jazz lumineries like Diana Krall and Ella. That and chocolate…

RENÉ CHIA b.1974 Long-Suffering Partner of Le Previous Editore email: belladomna@hotmail.com She was the perfect role model for this country (Singapore) – married before 27.4, lives near her mother, intends to have as many children as possible and a civil servant to boot – until she decided to stop “moulding the future of our nation”, a.k.a. teach. [Input maniacal laughter]. Her many talents include eating as much as her weight, creating metaphysical poetry, keeping little brown bears in check and putting up with her husband’s ever-increasing collection of…. things. She has dabbled in many instruments, including cello, percussion and fax machine. Within the green walls of her home, she keeps a collection of music ranging from Antonio Vivaldi to Michael Nyman to Marilyn Manson. Her ultimate wish is to remain 18 forever.

ROY CHAN HENG SENG b.19?? email: mozartc@mbox2.singnet.com.sg

 

JASON TAN b.1982 Although Jason began playing the piano at the Mozartian age of 4, he later taught himself the violin, and went on to dabble in the guitar, and even the harmonica. He is the Inkpot’s other conductor-in-practice, leading the Hwa Chong Junior College String Ensemble. Jason also composes “mushy love ballads” in his spare time, while mulling over the Symphony for 97 Strings in E-flat which he will compose sometime this century. Recently, he was stung by the Chernobyl bug. Oops. Besides that, our young friend here is just your normal kid. email: rudy@pacific.net.sg

ISAAK KOH BOON HENG b.1973 Isaak Koh enjoys status as the only ex-editor of the Classical Music Department. He had to quit to “serve his nation”, radioing the cannons where to shoot. Without him badgering Leon into writing and then taking over the editorship, who knows what’ll have happened. Currently, Isaak is busy at Raffles Institution training young boys to become “future leaders” (ha ha) – with a large dose of music. Three cheers. Things to talk to him about: Beethoven, piano stuff, hifi. email: isaak98@cyberway.com.sg

 

SOO KIAN HING b.1976 Kian Hing is one our incoming-doctors-in-residence. Mild-mannered, bespectacled, and sporting a disposition similar to a warhorse chewing hay in between crusades, Kian Hing is the sometimes ferocious champion of great pianists and piano music. Currently undergoing medical training, he is one of the few Inkpotters who has actually delivered babies. (You see! We know we were talented!) email: tuxcard@hotmail.com

JOHANN D’SOUZA b.1966

email: sirjohanndsouza@yahoo.com.sg In his previous life, Johann was a 7-foot Viking who, while aiming to sail to Australia, ended up in Portugal instead. Christened Iohannus de Soup l’Potata, he later developed the long bow string to new heights. One thing led to another, and suddenly one day they were using it in pianos. Johann is an accountant by training and also enjoys music by Depeche Mode. But piano makes his day. Johann is the Inkpot’s default piano person. Things to talk to him about: piano stuff, Rachmaninov, Chopin and a good meal.

ADRIAN TAN b.1977 email: adrian@inkpot.com By day, Adrian Tan is a band conductor, theatre director, band conductor, chamber orchestra director, house-owner, and philosophy major. By night, Adrian Tan is a band conductor, theatre director, band conductor, chamber orchestra director, house-owner, philosophy major and champion of porridge. Always out somewhere, Adrian can be decidedly hard to find, but he gets good grades in university. A little known fact about him is that he’s actually signed on as a Naval Officer. Things to talk to him about: Bernstein, Grainger, band music.

WILLIAM BEH
b.1972 email: kapellmeister@bigfoot.com The details of William Beh’s dark and dubious career as the scourge of incompetent concert performers have been recorded elsewhere, and the foolhardy may seek them out at their own peril. With the inept soloist, he wields his pen as a lead-tipped lash and a cat-o-nine-tails; against the egotistical conductor, his vehemence makes Torquemada, the Maquis de Sade and Count Vlad Dracul appear as but weak and simpering children. His lifelong goal is to ensure the limpieza de sangre: that performers be aware that there are such things as minimum standards of competence, and to make clear to concertgoers what these standards are.

 

MICHAEL ANTHONIO b.19?? email: mike_ant@hotmail.com

 

NG YEUK FAN b.1972 email: yeukfan@inkpot.com

KERRYN CHAN b.19?? [no info yet]. email: kerrynchan@pacific.net.sg

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