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Dr. Goh Chia-Chien has professional performance experience in orchestras, chamber groups, and as a soloist in the United States, Italy, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries. Having been a former Associate Professor of violin at UCSI University, former Principal of the Bentley Music Academy, and the current Artistic Director of the Musicians Linkage group of ensembles, Dr. Goh is sought after internationally as both a teacher and performer and is on the faculty of the Clazz international Music Festival. Additionally, not only was he the youngest founding member of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, but on the level of advanced accomplishments, he is one of less than twenty violinists alive who have accomplished a live performance of the complete 24 Caprices by Niccolo Paganini, one of only five violinists alive who have done several live performances of the complete solo violin works by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (whose works are known as the absolute apex of violin technical literature,) and one of only two alive who have accomplished live performances of both complete works as well as a recording of the Ernst solo violin works.
Chia-Chien has been very fortunate during his training to be exposed to many different schools of violin pedagogy and musicology. His foundation was laid by the Suzuki School of Violin, and he had the wonderful opportunity of having several private lessons with Dr. Shin’ichi Suzuki. When studying with Efim Boico, Chia-Chien was taught one of the more prominent schools of Russian violin playing. From Vartan Manoogian, formerly trained in the Julliard School and the Paris Conservatory, he learned both the teachings of Ivan Galamian as well as Mr. Manoogian’s observations from the Paris Conservatory. Chia-Chien collaborated with many of his colleagues in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra who shared with him some of their ideas in violin pedagogy. Many teachers and colleagues have also introduced Chia-Chien to some of the more accessible pedagogical methods today such as Dalcroze, Rolland, and Kodaly. Recently, he worked extensively with Professor Felicia Moye, another Julliard School graduate from Ivan Galamian and Margaret Pardee, on bringing together all of his pedagogical experiences in order to streamline his approach to both his performance practice and teaching. From Pinchas Zukerman and Dorothy Delay, he learned professional expectations for aspiring soloists. Additionally, the training and coaching he received from members of the Pro Arte String Quartet, including Julliard graduate David Perry, heavily aided in the training Dr. Goh gave to his students in both chamber music and orchestra settings.
Chia-Chien’s past experiences in performance, teaching, and coaching have influenced him to pursue an occupation in the pedagogical side of music performance. Two of his proudest accomplishments in teaching have been his private teaching and the Kampung Strings Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Goh founded the Kampung Strings Chamber Orchestra to train young, local Malaysian musicians ages 12 to 26 in a chamber orchestra setting using some of the musicians in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra to play along with the students. Many of the violin and viola students in the program who were also under his private instruction earned certificates through the Royal School of Music, Guild Hall School of Music, Trinity School of Music, and Australian Board examinations in Malaysia. Chia-Chien coached and performed with this group extensively and provided performance opportunities for them whenever possible, including the MPO/BBC Proms at the PETRONAS Twin Towers. Reviews of the Kampung Strings performances, just one year after its inception, marveled at the level of performance of a group consisting of local musicians. Within one and a half years, the front principals of Kampung Strings were the section principals of the Kuala Lumpur Symphony Orchestra. In addition, in 2007, there was an International Strings Competition held in Malaysia. All five winners were former students of Kampung Strings. After Dr. Goh left the MPO in 2002 to pursue further degrees, the Kampung Strings Chamber Orchestra was eventually transformed into the MPYO under the able leadership of Kevin Field.
In order to benefit his students, Dr. Goh has endeavored to apply all he has learned from his experiences of teaching and performing to everyday violin pedagogy – everything from basic violin etudes to advanced caprices, chamber music coaching to orchestra parts. No amount of high profile performances and/or advanced accomplishments have any meaning to a student if a teacher cannot apply the lessons learned to their own pedagogy. By request from his students, Dr. Goh has been uploading video tutorials of Rodolph Kreutzer Etudes for his students in the United States and Asia. Additionally he teaches the business expectations of the industry to his students so that they have a better chance of a successful career in their future. Chia-Chien believes the combination of pedagogy based on his personal experience, martial arts, and biomechanics, plus his background in being able to create new programs and teach people from all walks of life make his teaching particularly unique.
His interest in overlooked or new music has led him to many great new works of music. Some of the wonderful new pieces he’s been exposed to are White Tiger by Jerry Hui, For Two by Gary Powell Nash, and Cinematic Dreams by Hollywood composer Corey Wallace. Chia-Chien enjoyed performing with his colleague from the Maud Powell Music Festival, Daniella Carvalho, in Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall on a rarely performed piece by Villa-Lobos. Some of the overlooked gems he has had the pleasure of performing are wonderful works such as Le Boeuf sur le Toit by Darius Milhaud and the Concerto for Violin op.24 by acclaimed Hollywood film composer, Miklos Rozsa, for his centennial celebration. One of his greatest joys is to perform either overlooked or new works of music to not only open new horizons for the audience, but to also add to the brilliant repertoire available to the violinists of today and tomorrow.