Maestro Dato’ Woon Wen Kin
Passion never die
Dato’ Woon Wen Kin is a prolific performer, conductor and promoter of music and the most experienced symphony orchestra conductor in Malaysia. Educated in Penang, Maestro Dato’ Woon furthered his music studies at the Trinity College of Music in London. In England, he participated in the international
Oxford Bach Festival, the annual Sir Hendry Wood’s Concerts, worked for the London Opera Centre and also recorded several violin recital recordings for the BBC Overseas Service in London.
In 1977 he represented Malaysia as a violin tutor at the 1st Regional Asian Youth Music Camp in Manila and in 1978, was appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports to establish the National Music Camp and served as the music director. He was appointed principal conductor of the 1st ASEAN Youth Music Workshop hosted by Malaysia in 1980. In 1991 he was appointed as advisor and conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra.
Dato’ Woon Wen Kin is the founding President of the Penang Symphony Society in 1981 and has served as Music Director since. Dato’ Woon Wen Kin has led the PSO concert tours to Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, Japan & Thailand. Dato’ Woon Wen Kin has often been invited as a guest conductor to USA, Germany, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore and in China.
A recipient of Australia’s Oversea Culture Award in 1979, he was awarded a conducting scholarship by the Federal Republic of Germany in 1980 to study advance conducting. In 1984, he was invited to be the guest conductor and head judge of the 14th International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians Festival in Pueblo, Colorado, USA. 1984 He was the first Asian to be awarded the prestigious Schubert Medal Award by the Vienna City in 1986 for his ongoing contribution and promotion of classical and Viennese music in Malaysia. Dato’ Woon Wen Kin was awarded the State Cultural Award for Music by the State Cultural Council of Penang in 1985, the PJM in 1983, PJK in 1985 and PKT in 1990 by the Penang State Government and AMN in 1998 from the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong for his services to the nation. In recognition of his contribution of music development towards the nation, Dato Woon Wen Kin was awarded the Anugerah Karyawar Seni Musik (Best Director of Music) by the Ministry of Culture, Art and Heritage in December 2006.
In 2009, Maestro Dato’ Woon Wen Kin was awarded the Asia-Pacific Cultural Industry Exhibition by China for Music Development and Achievement Award the only person from Malaysia. He was appointed as Music Director of the new state Penang Philharmonic Orchestra in 2011 for his contribution to the development of classical music in the state, he was awarded DSPN title. In 2012 September he was invited to be the guest conductor of the Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra Concert at KLCC hall which received high praises. In 2013, he was officially invited to be one of International Adjudicators of 2013 International Nier Violin Competition Kunming City China.