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Presently the Head of Music at the Nanyang Academy of FIne Arts, Phoon began his composition studies In the seventies with Leong Yoon Pin. In 1980, he was offered a scholarship by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra to pursue his musical training in the Queensland Conservatorium in Australia. Within four years, Phoon graduated with a degree in Music Composition and a degree in Music Instrumental (Flute) simultaneously. While in Australia, he had studied composition under Elaine Dobson, Alen Lane and Karl Vine and the flute under David Cabbin, Geoffrey Collins and Louise Dellit.

Phoon's diversified and imaginative composition skills may be testified by the string of awards received, including the distinguished awards in "Our Songs" Writing Competition (1977), Nanyang University Song Writing Competition (1978) and "Song for Workers" Writing Competition (1978). In Australia, he was thrice awarded the prestigious Dulcie Robertson Prize for composition in the years 1980,1981 and 1983. In 1984, his composition, "Autumn" won him the Yoshiro Irino Memorial Prize by the Asian Composer's Society.

In addition to receiving commissions from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Youth Orchestra and the People's Association Chinese Orchestra, Phoon has been approached annually by the Hwa Chong Junior College Chinese Orchestra from 1981 to 1991 to write for the college's yearly public concert. His works are also regularly featured in the "New Music Forum" - the platform for contemporary music.

Phoon had collaborated with various dance and drama groups and Singaporean artists such as Tan Swie Hian, Kuo Pao Kun, Goh Lay Kuan and Lim Fei Shen. Many of these works were performed in the Singapore Festival of Arts, Festival of Dance and the ASEAN Arts Festival. Outside home, Phoon's work have been performed by various orchestras in Hong Kong, Taiwan, England, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, France and Italy.

Phoon has established himself as possibly the most promising and imaginative composer of his generation. His music successfully combines a basically Chinese idiom with contemporary techniques and styles. It is often transparent and spare in texture, making effective and careful use of tone colour.

Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
PHOON: Symphonic Works Yellow River Chinese
Chinese Music

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