- June 9 Sunday @ 5pm, City Hall, Yangon: "Souls of Russia"
- June 11-17: "MMF Music Camp"
- June 14 Friday @ 10:45am, The Khayay International School, Yangon: "Dear Violin - an Educational Concert"
- June 16 Sunday @ 5pm, City Hall, Yangon: "MMF 2019 Celebration Concert
All events are free but require anyone interested to RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org and bring their IDs (NRC or Passport), especially for the concerts at City Hall of Yangon.
For more information on each event, please download our press release below.
Kimball Gallagher, Artistic Director,
Kimball Gallagher has risen to prominence as one of the most dynamic and multifaceted pianists on the stage today. Gallagher’s sold-out 2008 debut at Carnegie Hall launched his international 88- Concert Tour blazing a trail across all 7 continents appearing in 30 countries, while performing in distinguished venues and intimate gatherings all over the world, from the Kennedy Center to Kabul, Bombay to Boulder, Chicago to Shanghai, and Tuscany to Tunisia. The number 88 alludes to the 88 keys of the piano.
Kaiyin Huang, Artistic Director, Piano
Valuing the power of music and its importance to transform lives, Kai-Yin in 2015 founded Kairos Arts, of which she is the artistic director. Graduated from The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, she received the Doctor of Music Arts at SUNY Stony Brook University. She has appeared on the stages around the world, in countries such Italy, United States, England, Germany, Denmark, Egypt, Tunisia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and China.
Erina Iwasaki, Associate Director
An educator and polyglot, Erina is a doctoral fellow at Teachers College Columbia University. With a background in philosophy and the spirit of an entrepreneur, she studies multilingual education. She is building and refining an innovative curriculum that weaves the study of multiple languages, peace education and ethics into traditional curricula of science, math, social studies and the arts.
Our Assistant Directors
Aung Moe Kyaw
Assistant Artistic Director, Piano
Kevin Kyaw is a pianist from Myanmar. He recently graduated summa cum laude from Missouri Western State University where he studied piano performance under Dr. Nathanael May. He grew up in Myanmar studying the piano mostly by himself, relying on free online resources found on the internet and YouTube. During his first year of undergraduate studies in engineering at a local university in Myanmar, he met Kimball Gallagher and Kaiyin Huang, two international concert pianists from the United States and Taiwan, who ignited his passion in pursuing music as his lifelong aspiration. Under their guidance and support, Kyaw enrolled at MWSU as a music major on a full scholarship and will soon be continuing his graduate studies in piano performance at the University of Kansas.
Assistant Associate Director
Toru Kimura, a student and an educator, is the assistant school coordinator at the Khayay International School in Yangon, Myanmar. A multilingual proficient in Japanese, Myanmar, and English, he enjoys empowering school systems with his communication skills. He is also the basic coach ofthe Myanmar Kendo National Team. Teaching Kendo and the spirit to the national kendo players and new trainees from Myanmar. At the same time he is also volunteering as the general secretary of Myanmar Baseball Fan Club for the development of baseball in Myanmar. This is his first year serving as the Assistant Associate Director of the Myanmar Music Festival. His role is to coordinate within the Khayay International School and facilitate intercultural exchanges between international participants and Myanmar participants. He learnt Japanese traditional sword dance, Japanese and Chinese poem reciting and has performed the Japanese traditional sword dance at one university in Yangon. He is also a BA student in Myanmar language at the Yangon University of Foreign Languages, and he has worked in various kinds of music events as a coordinator and an interpreter.
International Guest Artists
An Mei Chen, Violin
Born in Taiwan, she recently graduated from Taiwan National Sun Yat Sen University Department of music. During the school years, Ms. Chen has tour with church orchestras to Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia for various concerts and master classes. She served as a violin faculty at the special elementary school music program in Kaohsiung. In addition to maintaining great enthusiasm in teaching, she is pursuing her career as a performing violinist. In recent years, she has been an active violinist performing with famous Taiwanese singers, the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation, Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra, and Tainan Symphony Orchestra.
Nguyen Hong Anh, Cello
Graduated with distinctions from Vietnam National Academy of Music, she was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra in 1999, 2000 and 2004 and has toured with the orchestra in many country in the world such Japan, Hong Kong, the USA, Australia, Canada and among other. In 2004, she was selected to perform with CISMA Orchestra in Guangdong China. In 2009- 2010, Nguyen Hong Anh attended the Liszt University of Music Weimar in Germany with full scholarship. There she studied with Professors Ulrich Beetz, Birgit Erichson, and Brunhard Bohme.
Nguyen Hong Anh currently teaches cello at the Vietnam National Academy of Music and is a principle cellist with the Hanoi Philharmonic Orchestra.
Dr. Phang Kong Chien, Tenor and Vocal Coach
Myanmar Traditional Artists
Sein Kalar aka Aung One Two, Circle Drums
Sein Kalar, aka. Mr. Aung One Two, is a Myanmar Saing Waing (Drum Circle) and Xylophone player and a Staff Officer of the Myanmar Traditional Orchestra in the Department of Fine Arts in the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture. He is the winner of seven gold medals and four silver medals in the Myanmar Traditional National Ethnic Performing Ar ts Competition and has performed in Japan, India, China, Korea,Vietnam and France as part of cultural exchange programs and international cultural events.
Myo Min Than, Oboe / Flute
Professional Myanmar oboist as well as flutist Myo Min Than was born in Pyapon in 1984. Since his graduation, he has been serving as a music teacher (tutor) at the Department of Music, the National University of Arts and Culture, Yangon. His music performance activities have taken him internationally to Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thai, Laos, Indonesia, among others. He has won 16 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 6 bronze medals in Myanmar Performing Arts Competition. He released a solo traditional music album entitled “The Great River and breeze” in 2018.
Thae Su Su Aung, Traditional Singer
Ma Thae Su Su Aung was born in 2001 and she is a second year Music Major Student who is currently studying at the Department of Music, National University of Arts and Culture in Yangon. She won the second runner up award at the Starlets’ sky vocal competition for children in 2013. She is a talented vocalist since her young age. It is her first participation in Myanmar Music Festival.
Thet Lwin Aung Htun, Xylophone
Mr. Thet Lwin Aung Htun is a Professional Xylophone player as well as a Pianist. He was born in 1992. Moreover, he can play many musical instruments such as violin, Myanmar Harp, Dounmin instrument and etc. He teaches music to the students at the Department of Music, National University of Arts and Culture (Yangon) since 2013.
Special Guest Artists
Win Ko Khine
Win Ko is Rakhine the elder son of U Than Shwe and Daw Thaung Khin, have one younger sister. He was born in Taung Gup Township, Rakhine State. His celebrity name in Win Ko Khaing and he is a vocalist and a song writer. Art of music is one of their family traits, belonging to that family was born with the passion for music. Played the Rakhine traditional flute and mandolin since he was a young boy.
One of Myanmar’s most recognized artists Ah Moon is finding new fame amongst international audience. Listed in Forbes annual ‘30 Under 30 Asia’ in 2018, the Kachin State born singer/songwriter has earned the support of the nation, whilst internationally she has been referred to as “Myanmar's Rihanna” by the Huffington Post.
Myanmar Music Festival Choir
YiLing Chaing, Vocal Director & Mezzo Soprano
YiLing is our festival vocal director and has been participating in MMF since 2016, first as a guest artist from Malaysia. She holds her bachelor degree from Birmingham Conservatoire (UK) as vocal and operatic performance singer and completed master degree at the Kodály Institute of Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Hungary) as Kodály expert. During her studies in England, YiLing won gold medals for opera and lieder category in North London Music and Drama Festival, Ella Ceshire Soprano Award, Margaret Pascoe Singing Prize, and Joseph Weingarten Prize, a full scholarship for her postgraduate study in Hungary.
Lee-Alison Sibley, Guest Vocal Coach
An author, vocal artist, teacher, actor and social activist with international experience spanning three decades. Having earned degrees in music from Boston University and The Manhattan School of Music, and a Masters in Education from George Mason University, Lee has sung, taught, lectured and acted all over the world. Having performed everything from folk to opera, to art songs, to Broadway, in a variety of languages, Lee recorded the songs of Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore on her album “The Distant Near”.
Seoyeon Hong, Festival Choir Accompanist
Seoyeon Hong was born in 1993 in South Korea. From an early age, she has had lessons in piano, violin, flute and voice as well as many ensemble experiences in Incheon City Children’s Choir and Kyeongin-Kyodae-Buseol Elementary School Orchestra. At the age of 16, she decided to study opera as her major, and she successfully enrolled at the Incheon Art High School. After she graduated from high school, she continued her college education at Missouri Western State University as a voice student. During her second year, she developed a special interest in piano pedagogy, which led her to major in piano and study under Dr. Nathanael May. Since then, she has had many teaching experiences through community piano workshops and pedagogy classes. She was the first prize winner in the 2017 Concerto/Aria Competition at MWSU during her second year of piano studies. For two years, she worked as a piano tutor and class piano teaching assistant for all sections of collegiate group piano under the guidance of Dr. Nathanael May. She also gave private piano lessons to beginning students at Western Institute Community Music School at MWSU. She graduated summa cum laude from MWSU, and she will be pursuing a master’s degree in piano pedagogy and work as a graduate teaching assistant at Western Illinois University starting August 2019.
Myanmar National Choir
The members of this choir were selected through an audition process launched by MMF in February 2018 and 2019. Members come from different states around Myanmar. Our goal is to include singers from each state and region of Myanmar to create a Myanmar national singing group.
Malaysian Guest Choir
This choir comprises university students of Universiti Teknologi Mara. MMF vocal director, Yiling Chaing is a lecturer at the university and invited her students to join MMF this year.
Khayay Violin Ensemble & Choir
“Dear Violin” (親愛的琴) is a project launched in 2014 by Executive Director Kaiyin Huang’s organization Kairos Arts and Artistic Director Kimball Gallagher’s organization 88 International, to fundraise and purchase 88 special violins made by the aboriginal community of Qinai village, a Taiwanese aboriginal mountain village located in Nantou County. These violins are distributed throughout 88 International’s network to develop youth violin programs in countries such as Thailand, Myanmar, Tunisia, Chile, Pakistan and others.
In Myanmar, 21 violins were donated to the Khayay International School to support the beginnings of their music department, the Joseph Smith Music Center, and it now benefits dozens of their students. Some students will perform during the festival. They will be coached by visiting Taiwanese violinist An Mei Chen and Myanmar violinist Thet Su Oo who has visited Taiwan and the village of Qinai in April 2017.
Additionally, the Khayay School students will also join in a choir performance together with the festival choir.
Mohd Adam Bin Masumi
Composer and arranger Adam Masumi received his Bachelor of Music Composition from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in 2009 and went on to complete a Master in Music Composition at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, where he studied composition under Gerard Brophy and Dr. Stephen Cronin. Masumi has written for a variety of mediums including orchestra, chamber ensemble, choir, voice, band, and electronic music. He regards himself as a versatile composer whose focus is on finding a musical balance between many varied streams, such as pop and classical, acoustic and electronic, concerts and records, and even serious and fun. His composition accolades include being one of the composers who composed music for an award-winning short animated film, “Batik Girl” and also being commissioned to compose the official theme song for the National Reading Decade 2020 - 2030. Some of Masumi’s compositions have so far been performed both locally and internationally such as Australia, South Korea and Malaysia.
Ne Myo Aung
Ne Myo Aung was born in Tamu but continued his studies in Yangon, where he gained a diploma in Computer Art. His interest in Sandaya (playing western piano in Myanamar Traditional music) studies led him to study piano and other music fields at the Gitameit Music Center, with artists as U Moe Naing and Kit Young; Sandaya U Khin Hla and Sandaya U Thet Oo. He has performed as a pianist, composer and singer locally and internationally. His interest turned toward the archiving and preservation of traditional music in Myanmar in various ways, including the transfer with Chris Miller of almost 3000 Myanmar 78 rpm records into digital format, and as interviewer, cameraman and editor of the music and dance of over 40 elderly musicians in Yangon and across the Burmese countryside. While teaching piano at the Gitameit Music Centre he receiving the Fulbright award for study at the University of Washington- the first prize of its kind in the art studies to a Burmese. He here completed an MA degree in Ethnomusicology. He was selected as a musical advisor of Myanmar traditional music for C ASEAN Consonant, a traditional orchestra which founded by 10 ASEAN musicians. Ne Myo Aung is currently working as a piano instructor and coordinates the Teaching Artist Program (TAP), a joint program offered by Gitameit Music Center and University of Washington.
Wai Hin Ko Ko
Wai Hin Ko Ko’s music combines both elements of traditional music of Myanmar and Western music. He grew up in a small town near Mandalay, where traditional music flourished once upon a time. As a Christian, he also grew up experiencing music in the church. As a professional popular songwriter in Myanmar, he also composes Christian music for churches in Myanmar. In 2016, he composed a cross-cultural composition for traditional ensemble of Myanmar and western orchestra, which brought him wide recognition in his native country. Since then, he has been known as a young composer who writes orchestral music in Myanmar. Since 2015, he has participated in the Nirmita Composers’ Workshop as a young composer representing Myanmar, and studied with prominent professors such as Chinary Ung, Sean Heim, among others. Recently, he developed a special interest in exploring his cultural roots as a Myanmar composer, which led him to research ancient traditional music as well as compose new works for the traditional Myanmar ensemble, while still practicing Western compositions for western string orchestra and chamber music. Wai Hin Ko Ko is also currently working on a master of performing arts degree at Burapha University, Thailand under the supervision of Dr. Kojinakano.