The 333rd anniversary of the Trinity of the Baroque – J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel & D. Scarlatti – as well as other anniversaries (F. Couperin & Sir Walter Raleigh) all nonchalantly “misremembered” in one informatively entertaining evening of music and anecdotes, played on the harpsichord and told to you be renowned Dr Ng Kah-Ming on 22 October at No Black Tie.
Ng Kah-Ming is one of Malaysia’s more unusual public figures: a conductor, harpsichordist, musicologist, and public speaker whose work is internationally acclaimed for its imaginative combination of rigorous scholarship with panache in performance. An unwitting (and unelected) cultural ambassador for his country, Kah-Ming’s œuvre is represented by the frequent inclusion in radio playlists around the world of many of his ensemble Charivari Agréable’s 22 critically-acclaimed CD recordings as well as his concert and radio appearances around the globe, his performances being credited with ‘undoubted technical virtuosity and intellectual grasp’.
As a scholar he is a recognized authority on two of the most fundamental aspects of pre-Classical performance practice: firstly, musical ornamentation (on which he wrote two substantial entries on French and English baroque ornamentation in the authoritative and definitive New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians); secondly, figured bass improvisation in its social and artistic contexts, being his doctoral dissertation at Oxford University.
Equally adept at retailing anecdotes which contextualize the music to be performed on stage or in front of a microphone (from USA’s National Public Radio to Hong Kong’s RTHK, but most regularly the BBC), Kah-Ming is a sought-after speaker on topics ranging from academic subjects (as a former lecturer at the Music Faculty of his alma mater Oxford University) to cross-disciplinary matters on creativity, leadership, enterprise, and artistic disruption in music (as a Visiting Professor at some universities), and even on authenticity in historically-informed performance (to the Association of British Choral Conductors). The media – from the august Financial Times (which commissioned the first ever full-page feature of a Malaysian) to the glamour magazine Tatler (here in Malaysia) – often finds Kah-Ming’s career trajectory fascinating.
After gaining a B.E. in civil engineering (Monash University, Melbourne) and a short-lived career as a consultant engineer, he left for Europe supported by a prestigious DAAD scholarship and, unusually, two Chevening awards for musical studies at the Frankfurt State Academy of Music, London Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Oxford University’s St Anne’s College (M.Phil.), and Keble College (D.Phil.). Kah-Ming’s has addressed many public institutions as well as private corporations, ranging from universities, and the sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional to the London Lord Mayor’s Reflections; he has even been persuaded to appear as the brand ambassador for an haute couture production company.
No Black Tie turns 20 this year! NBT was created by a musician, for musicians, and we’ve been serving the best of jazz – local and international – in the heart of Kuala Lumpur since 1998. Celebrate with them in the month of October as they put on amazing shows for your listening pleasure.
: 17, Jalan Mesui, off Jalan Nagasari, KL: Admission: RM64. *RM10 off for students with valid Student ID, at the door. Dinner menu available. Call 03-2142 3737 after 5pm or visit www.noblacktie.com.my for bookings.