Vivian studied piano at the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music in London with Frank Wibaut, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance in 1998. She also studied the violin, has a Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College of Music and did it as a minor instrument for two years while at the Royal College of Music.
Since 2002, Vivian has had premieres of her compositions, starting with Journeys for pipe organ at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) in Kuala Lumpur, Contrasts for girls’ choir, and Together, in the Spirit of the Games, performed by the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) at the 2015 Opening Ceremony of the International Olympic Committee’s Conference hosted in Kuala Lumpur. Mercu Kegemilangan for large orchestra and choir (2017) was premiered by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), the MPYO, Dythrambic Singers and MAX Orchestra and Choir of Japan conducted by Maestro Naohisa Furusawa to commemorate the MPO’s 20 th anniversary. In 2018, Maestro Eiji Oue conducted it with the MPO in Singapore, and Maestro Naohisa Furusawa conducted it in their Malaysian tours. Its Taiwan premiere with the Taiwan Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Maestra Chang Yin-Fang for the Asian Composers League conference in 2018. It was just featured on the MPO’s YouTube channel, MPOTV from 1 st June 2021. Another composition, Dance of the Wind and Sea for cello and piano is slated to be featured on the same channel later. She is currently working on a couple of original works, which includes a song for solo female voice with piano and a piano quartet.
Vivian’s vocal arrangements range from solo to ensembles. Her two solo arrangements for Malaysian crooner Sean Ghazi’s debut album Semalam were nominated in 2007 for ‘Best Arrangement of a Song’ at the Anugerah Industri Muzik (AIM) Awards which recognised Malaysian musicians’ contributions to pop and rock music. She won for Semalam, his original song. The other nominated song Getaran Jiwa, a classic by the legendary P. Ramlee, became one of Sean’s hits with his fans. Vivian has arranged Malaysian folk songs such as Oleh Oleh Bandung and Jauh di Mata for student choirs, and Watimang Landak and Joget Pahang for amateur show choirs, the latter two pending their premieres. Mak Inang is a favourite of Malaysian choral ensembles for perform at festivals in Milan, Wales, Singapore and Malaysia.
Vivian has many arrangements for the MPO. The first orchestral arrangement was Evergreen Malaysian Folk Songs (2002) performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the MPO. Tanah Pusaka, Cindai, Puteri Santubong and Jambatan Tamparuli were featured on MPOTV for the Malaysian National Day tributes in 2019 and 2020. She has numerous pop songs arranged for the orchestra to perform with their guest artistes, Malaysian pop icons Zainal Abidin, M. Nasir, Aishah, S. Atan and popular Indonesian singer Judika. She co-arranged the music for the Malaysian action movie epic, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa by KRU Productions in 2010 for the MPO recording conducted by Maestro Claus Peter Flor.
Vivian believes in educating children from young to appreciate, understand and cultivate a lifelong love for music. She is the Principal and a teacher at Ann Perreau’s School of Music where she has taught piano, music appreciation, arrangement and composition for 23 years, and has arranged many enjoyable pop songs for the school’s student chamber ensembles and orchestra. Some of her former students have studied at prestigious institutions in the UK, such as the Royal Academy of Music, Wells Cathedral School, Milfield School, Queens College, and in the US, such as Julliard School of Music and Harvard University.
Photo credit: Essence Photography