Quek Ling Kiong was a recipient of the Singapore National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award (2002); the Cultural Fellowship (2013), Singapore COMPASS Meritorious Award (2016), and Singapore ‘Lianhe Zaobao’ iconic personality (2018). In 2019, Singapore Management University established ‘Quek Ling Kiong Arts and Cultural Scholarship’ to support undergraduates venturing into arts management.
Under the NAC Overseas Scholarship, the Lee Foundation and Singapore Hokkien Huay Kwan scholarships, he attained his Degree at Shanghai Conservatory of Music, China where he studied Chinese and Western classical percussion under Prof. Li Minxiong and Xue Baolun. He also explored various percussion arts with masters An Zhishun, Li Zhengui and Zhu Xiaolin. In 1997, he joined SCO as Percussion Principal.
He learned conducting from Cultural Medallion recipient Dr. Tay Teow Kiat, Maestro Prof. Xia Feiyun and attended masterclasses of luminaries including Maestro Tsung Yeh, Johannes Schlaefli, Marc Kissoczy, Kirk Trevor, Colin Metters, Harold Farberman, Oleg Proskumya, Leonid Korchmar, Jorma Panula and Kurt Masur.
Ling Kiong’s career in professional conducting took off after becoming SCO’s first Conducting Assistant in 2003. In 2004, he became SCO’s Assistant Conductor cum Conductor for the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO). Since then, he has led SNYCO to perform at Tainan International Arts Festival, Hsinchu Chinese Music Festival in Taiwan, and various cities in China.
In September 2006, with supports of the above scholarships, he pursued Conducting Studies in Zurich, Switzerland. In 2007, he completed the International Conducting Workshop in St. Petersburg and obtained his Diploma in Advanced Studies from Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (Zurich University of the Arts) in 2008. During residency in Europe, he conducted European symphony orchestras including Westbohmisches Symphonieorchester in Marienbad, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra and Berg Komorni Orchestra of Prague etc.
Upon returning to SCO, he was promoted to Associate Conductor. Well trained in east and west musical culture equipped him to create highly acclaimed productions resonating across communities hence often known as “People’s Conductor”. Ling Kiong is also a popular guest conductor among oversea orchestras including Shanghai Chinese Orchestra, Guangdong Chinese Orchestra, Jilin Chinese Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, Macau Chinese Orchestra, Kaohsiung Chinese Orchestra etc.
Beyond professional conducting career, as a music educator who loves to inspire and share essence of music to young generation, he also teaches in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Lasalle College for Arts. His strong beliefs in supporting the special needs community with music lead him to assist in establish and become the Artistic Director of The Purple Symphony – Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra since 2015 and Hong Kong’s largest inclusive orchestra – True Colours Symphony since 2019.
Ling Kiong was appointed as SCO’s Resident Conductor in 2013, and has assumed appointment as SCO’s Principal Conductor in January 2023. He is also currently SNYCO’s Music Director since 2016.