Emily Koh

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Emily Koh
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Alma mater
  • Hugh Hodgson School
  • University of Georgia
  • Temasek Junior College
  • National University of Singapore
  • Brandeis University
  • University of Wisconson-Whitewater

Emily Koh (born 1986 in Singapore) is a Singaporean composer based in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 2017, she is Assistant Professor of Composition at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her works have been described as "beautifully eerie" (New York Times)[1], "subtley spicy" (Baltimore Sun)[2] and having a "dancing, stop-start motion" (Boston Globe)[3]. Emily was a student of the music elective program at Temasek Junior College[4], and played double bass in the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. She continued her studies in composition with Ho Chee Kong and double bass with Guennadi Mouzyka at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore. She moved to Baltimore, Maryland to pursue her Master's degree in composition and music theory pedagogy at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University as a student of Kevin Puts. She earned her Ph.D. in music theory and composition at Brandeis University in Waltham, Waltham, Massachussetts under the tutelage of David Rakowski, Eric Chasalow and Yu-Hui Chang. She was commencement marshal for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis' 66th commencement ceremony, held May 21 2017[5]. Emily is a recipient of the 2020 Opera America OGFC Commissioning Grant [6], 2019 Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council, Singapore[7], 2019-2020 Copland House Residency Award[8], 2013 Yoshiro Irino Prize (Asian Composers League)[9], 2012 Barlow Endowment General Commission[10], 2012 American Society of Composers, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award[11], and 2012 PARMA Student Composers Competition[12]. She has been a fellow at MacDowell and Avaloch Farm Music Institute. In 2019, her work After Igor was selected to be read by the Aguascalientes Symphony (Mexico) as part of the American Composers Orchestra's Earshot program[13]. She was named as one of "30 of Singapore's rising stars under 30" by the The Straits Times in 2015[14].

In March 2020, Emily performed as the double bass soloist in her work diver[city] with the University of Wisconson-Whitewater Symphonic Wind Ensemble (conducted by Glenn Hayes) at Carnegie Hall, as part of the New York Wind Band Festival[15]. She was on the composition faculty of the International Composition Institute of Thailand (2020)[16] and Alba Music Festival (2019)[17].


  • heteronym/ on PRISM Quartet's album, Surfaces and Essences. XAS Records / XAS 108, released April 17 2020[18].
  • memento mori on McCormick Percussion Group's album, Strings & Hammers. Ravello Records / RR8037, released July 10 2020[19].
  • \very/ specifically vague on Transient Canvas' album, Right Now, In A Second. New Focus Recordings / fcr267, released October 16 2020


Year Piece Instrumentation
2007 Two Miniatures Clarinet
2008 vom Empirischen Standpunkt Oboe
2008 Si fallor, sum Piano
2009 About E.C.O. Symphony Orchestra
2010 After Igor Symphony Orchestra
2010 [circum]-perceptio flute (doubling piccolo), oboe, clarinet, horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 percussions, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello and double bass
2010 binary states // dichotomies Flute and Harp
2010 Generations 4 sopranos, percussion, piano and double bass or 4 sopranos and piano
2010 The Remorse of the Dead SATB acapella choir
2011 re-intro:spect Sinfonietta
2011 trans-[migra].nation flute (doubling piccolo), clarinet, french horn, bass trombone, percussion, piano, violin and double bass (with C extension)
2011 f-sion clarinet, saxophone, percussion, violin and bass (acoustic and electric)
2011 frigia flute (doubling alto flute), clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), piano, violin, cello and soprano
2011 byte Violin
2011 There Is A Painted Bus Children’s Choir (SSA) and optional piano accompaniment
2012 … the blood-drops, scarlet-colored… String Orchestra
2012 tra[d/ns]itions String Quartet
2012 cycrotations P1 vib, xyl, 4 unpitched metal tubes, Chinese cym, 2 splash cym, 2 toms (higher), 5 woodblocks (high), whip

P2 glock, hi-hat, 2 susp. cym, 2 bongos, BD, 5 woodblocks (low) P3 crot, xyl, timpano (with cro and cym), 3 nipple gongs, 2 cowbells, 2 congas, rain stick, [optional: frying pans] P4 vib, tubular bells, bell tree, mar, 2 tam-tams, 2 tri, 2 toms (lower), guiro [preferably wooden]

2012 the tide rises, the tide falls… unaccompanied SSAATB
2013 homonym soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
2013 ombre soprano and clarinet
2013 bridging : isolation clarinet, violin and piano
2013 synpunkt flute, clarinet and percussion
2013 motes solo alto saxophone and electronics
2014 petrichor 2 flutes, clarinet, soprano sax, baritone sax, horn, trumpet, 2 trombones, tuba, piano, percussion, electric guitar, electric bass, soprano and mezzo soprano
2014 Jia[k] Symphony Orchestra
2014 e(e)-m flute, clarinet, piano, violin, cello, percussion and soprano
2014 kilobyte Solo Violin
2015 cis-[flux] Sinfonietta
2015 diver[city] Wind Ensemble
2015 implodex!! violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet
2015 smidgen(S) Cello and Piano
2016 heteronym/ soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones
2016 logos violin, viola, double bass (with B string/extension)
2016 medi+aTion solo baritone saxophone
2016 nakuniku 16-voice acapella choir (SSSSAAAATTTTBBBB)
2017 resonate Chinese chamber octet ( gaoyin sheng, pipa, zhongruan, daruan, guzheng, percussion, gaohu, erhu/zhonghu) and woodwind quintet (flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, bassoon)
2017 peri{methe soprano, bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, percussion, violin, double bass
2017 emojicons soprano, double bass
2017 {plithe amplified viola and toy piano
2017 esphyr amplified violin, piano and percussion
2017 \very/ specifically vague bass clarinet and marimba
2017 within the inside down Solo Bass Trombone
2018 am burning, have burned, will burn mezzo soprano, harpsichord, baroque cello, baroque guitar
2018 cryptonym: soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone
2018 [sub]contractures contrabass flute, contraforte
2018 chronoma soprano and alto saxophones (1 player), percussion [hi-hat, water gong, 3 large gongs, large metal can, triangle, 6 unpitched metal tubes, 2 tomtoms, 32″ timpani], piano
2018 Fräulein Datuk 拿督姑娘 Chinese orchestra
2018 Fantasia on “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir” organ
2018 Bosniak film score
2019 winged throat guitar
2019 aphonia violin, viola (both vocalizing)
2019 o'phony kalimba ensemble
2019 memento mori violin, double bass, percussion quintet
2019 emoyo percussion quartet
2019 homemade recipe: char kuay 12-voice acapella choir (SSSAAATTTBBB)
2020 homemade recipe: nasi ulam wind symphony
2020 Opera Green film score
2020 amuse-b口uche bass clarinet, baritone saxophone, trombone, euphonium
2020 mega[byte] viola
2020 under; elsewhere quartertonal trumpet
2020 saturation temp! piano and melodica (one player)


  1. Kozinn, Allan (2010-06-04). "In Low-Key Buffalo, a New-Music Milestone (Published 2010)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  2. Smith, Tim. "A sampling of new operas at Peabody focusing on women". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  3. Weininger, David (December 17, 2020). "The local recordings that helped us through 2020 - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  4. "Music Elective Programme (MEP)". www.temasekjc.moe.edu.sg. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  5. "Emily Koh PhD'17 Will Serve as the 2017 GSAS Commencement Marshal". www.brandeis.edu. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  6. "OGFC Commissioning Grants 2020". Opera America. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  7. "NAC - Cultural Medallion & Young Artist Award 2019". www.nac.gov.sg. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  8. "Composers / Copland House Residency Awards // Copland House …where America's musical past and future meet". www.coplandhouse.org. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  9. "31st Asian Composers League Festival and Conference, Singapore : Blog Article : Australian Music Centre". www.australianmusiccentre.com.au. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  10. Barlow Endowment (2021-01-07). "Barlow Endowment Commission Recipients".
  11. Staffon, NewMusicBox; 2012 (2012-04-09). "ASCAP Foundation Announces 2012 Morton Gould Young Composer Awardees". NewMusicBox. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  12. "Emily Koh wins music composition competitions". BrandeisNOW. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  13. "EarShot Aguascalientes Symphony – Composer Spotlight: Emily Koh – American Composers Orchestra". Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  14. hermes (2015-07-01). "30 of Singapore's rising stars under 30". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  15. "UW-W's Department of Music sets a very musical March with guest artists, faculty concerts". Daily Jefferson County Union. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  16. "Faculty Mentors – Thailand Music and Arts Organization". Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  17. "The 2019 Program". ALBA MUSIC FESTIVAL COMPOSITION PROGRAM. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  18. "Surfaces and Essences". PRISM Quartet. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
  19. "STRINGS AND HAMMERS - McCormick Percussion Group". www.ravellorecords.com. Retrieved 2021-01-07.

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