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Hello! I am Sulwyn, a composer-conductor from Singapore.

If you’re looking for a formal, third-person bio, scroll past this section to find it!

I write regularly for both professional and amateur ensembles, with some of my favorite regulars being the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Ding Yi Music Company and MacPherson Philharmonic Orchestra. When working on a composition or arrangement for any ensemble, I will ask myself -

“How do I create something refreshing or go beyond boundaries in the music, while upholding idiomatic writing for various instruments and appropriate technical requirements for the musicians?”

On the media side, I love being able to elevate visuals to a different dimension of emotions through music, composing for anything from drama films, to action films, to animation, and to commercials. Working with fantastic directors have given me the honour of letting my music be felt in places such as the Cannes Film Festival, and granting me the Best Original Music award at the National Youth Film Awards 2019 (Singapore).

My first instrument was the ruǎn/阮, a ‘Chinese lute’, during my school days. That led to more than a decade with Chinese instruments and ensembles, including being in the Singapore Youth Chinese Orchestra, working with musicians from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, as well as clinching the 1st Prize at the National Chinese Music Competition 2014 with the Ding Yi Youth Ensemble. To further promote the Chinese orchestra and explore new ideas for it, I co-founded the Victoria Chinese Orchestra where I now conduct.

For my professional music training, I have to thank my alma mater, the National University of Singapore Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, for the full scholarship to complete a degree in Audio Arts and Science. My mentors there have not only given me a rigorous training in the technical aspects of music production, but also opened up my thinking and palette as a musician and composer.


Formal Bio

With his music described as “enkindling the stage” (Lianhe Zaobao, 2014) and “magical” (Straits Times, 2018), Singaporean composer-conductor Sulwyn Lok advocates the human connection in music and going beyond cultural boundaries.

His unique "composer-language" amalgamates traditional music styles of different countries; jazz; metal; impressionism; and others. This language is used in the diverse range of mediums that he writes for, from films (including ADAM, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2019, and Chasing Paper, which premiered at the Busan International Film Festival 2018), to orchestras (including the Singapore Chinese Orchestra and Asian Cultural Symphony Orchestra), to jingles (including winning 2nd Prize at the SCO-Scanteak Jingle Competition 2018). Embracing cross-medium and cross-genre collaborations, Sulwyn has also composed for projects involving virtual reality and dance (commissioned by the National Arts Council of Singapore), food and visuals (commissioned by JW Marriott Hotel), and Chinese opera and martial arts (commissioned by Ding Yi Music Company). For his music for the film Bodhi, he was awarded the Best Original Music at the National Youth Film Awards 2019.

Sulwyn developed his music style through his extensive work across Southeast Asia promoting cultural exchange. These include being invited by the Music Society of Myanmar Festival and Competition to teach masterclasses and conduct as the Festival Artist composer; running music workshops (sponsored by Singapore International Foundation) for asylum-seekers in Indonesia; and being a representative at Southeast Asian Directors of Music Congresses in Laos and Thailand. For him, conducting and collaborating with musicians on instruments of different cultures resulted in an invaluable vault of new musical ideas and colours.

Having graduated from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music with Honours (Highest Distinction) and as Valedictorian under full scholarships, Sulwyn now works to bring films to life and create new experiences in the concert hall as a composer.

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Mentors

Musicians who have guided me and left a great impact on my life - always grateful for them!

Composition
Law Wai Lun
Composer-in-Residence, Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Cultural Medallion 2017 (Singapore)

Dr Chen Zhangyi
Assistant Professor, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Orchestration & Harmony
Adeline Wong
Lecturer, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Dr Nick Omiccioli
Assistant Professor, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Jazz
Dr Tony Makarome
Associate Professor, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Audio Production (Recording, Mixing, Studio Work)
Zhou Xiaodong
Senior Lecturer, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Gao Yang
Director, Pavane Recording Studio