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Malaysian Alumna Ang Mei Foong Receives National Academic Awards
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Ang Mei Foong is the alumna of National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), where she learned under Prof. Ren Rong; she then continued her vocal studies at Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia, Rome, where she learned with Maestra Rebecca Berg; and subsequently the University of Melbourne, under the tutelage of the renowned Australian soprano Merlyn Quaife. Now, she teaches at the Music Department of University Putra Malaysia (UPM). On October 30rd, she was given the honor of the The Arts and Creativity at the Education Ministry’s 13th National Academic Awards, presented by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The good new spread to NTNU and the faculty of Music Department was really glad about it.
Oriental Daily News Malaysia have interviewed Ang Mei Foong. She is one of the most outstanding sopranos in Malaysia who has given several well received solo recitals in Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan, Macau, Rome and Melbourne. She now teaches at the Music Department of University Putra Malaysia. Apart from her tour and teaching, she actively conducts research about voices and building of music community. It was until she came to Taiwan that she realized the wide career path of music.
Ang Mei Foong has worked with many orchestra and famous conductors like Juan Montoya, Kevin Field, Ciaran McAuley, Fabio Mechetti and Guillaume Tourniaire. Many foreign conductors do not realize that we have many excllent singers in Malaysia. Ang once performed The Magic Flute produced by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. She had a great impression on the conductor who suggested press to interview local musicians instead of foreigners. He thinks local musicians are underestimated and should be seen. Ang said that she finally met a conductor who fairly treats local musicians. He is honest and so does his works.
Ang thinks the general public should be able to read art, that's why she values education. Artists should be involved in education or artistic community for that people are the body and carrier of art, and artists are interpreters. Arts, or music, should be in everyone's life. She does not like the idea of packing or air-bushing like selling products, so she's not interested in commercial performances. When teaches students in the university, she focuses on the independent thinking and ability to solve problems. It's not easy to think independently because you need to read a lot and in depth. 'I ask students lots of questions, like what you just asked me, what can you bring to this society by doing this? And lead their way or it's easy for them to be lost. According to Ang, the music in Malaysia is developing, there are so many creative careers for a music major. 'If you don't know what you want, that means you have to think more.'
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