Shao-wen started his musical education on the violin at an early age. As a young teen, he won 1st prize in the National Piano and Violin Competition in his native Singapore in 1997 (Violin Junior Category) and 1999 (Violin Senior Category). Shao-wen’s formative years included lessons with Erick Friedman, Hu Kun, and Adrian Adlam, among others. It was through the violin that he would be drawn deeper into the study of music that would eventually lead him to conducting.

After graduating from Columbia University in 2011, Shao-wen went on to obtain an MMus in Choral Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2012 where he studied conducting under Stephen Layton. He is equally at home with the polyphonic vocal music of the Renaissance as with symphonic works of the classical canon.

Shao-wen especially enjoys premiering music by contemporary composers as well as exploring non-classical genres of music. In September 2015, he was the conductor for ELEVEN, a concert featuring original compositions by Chok Kerong. In May 2017, he was the conductor for Hong Kong Episodes, a series of concerts in China celebrating the cosmopolitan cityscape of Hong Kong, featuring the music of Teriver Cheung and Fung Lam with cinematic visuals by Anthony Lai. In August of the same year, Shao-wen conducted the premiere of Disquiet, a newly composed piece for pipe organ and string orchestra written by Chok Kerong and commissioned by Singapore Symphony Group for the Victoria Concert Hall Organ Series.

Shao-wen is passionate about music education and teaches harmony, composition, and violin privately. His other musical interests include songwriting and music production.


Shao-wen is a graduate of Columbia University (majoring in Music) and has a Master’s in Choral Studies from the University of Cambridge. At Cambridge, he studied conducting under the esteemed Stephen Layton (Director of Music at Trinity College, Cambridge).


Shao-wen studied the violin under internationally renowned violin professors such as Prof. Erick Friedman of Yale University (student of Jascha Heifetz) and Prof. Hu Kun of the Royal Academy of Music, London (student of Yehudi Menuhin).


  • National Piano and Violin Competition (Junior category, 1997) — 1st Prize
  • National Piano and Violin Competition (Senior category, 1999) — 1st Prize

What You Can Expect

Shao-wen’s lessons are for the serious young musician, for the conservatory student, and for the advancing young professional that seeks to elevate their level of violin playing.

This typically includes (but is not limited to):

  • Music Elective Programme (MEP) students
  • Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) members
  • Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) students
  • Yong Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory students
  • School Of The Arts (SOTA) students
  • Other (foreign) conservatory students
  • People preparing to audition for conservatory admission
  • People fresh out of conservatory
  • Motivated secondary school music students
  • Tertiary institution students
  • Competition entrants
  • Gifted young musicians