Harpsichordist to the stars Ng Kah Ming strikes right chord

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MALAYSIANSKINI | Some career paths are mapped out from the very beginning while others take a sudden and unexpected turn. Petaling Jaya native Ng Kah Ming now spends most of his time in the UK after obtaining a doctorate from Oxford and has become both a leading harpsichord player and scholar of the Baroque era.

He performs regularly in front of royalty – the rock’n’roll variety as well as actual aristocrats and nobles. He heads his own Charivari Agréable company and has recorded no less than 22 CDs of fascinating Early Music.

All this is very far removed from the days when he graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Monash University and came back to Malaysia to work, initially in an engineering firm that designed improved drainage methods.

“Well, it was all rather serendipitous. I came out with a degree in structural engineering and worked as a consultant engineer for about nine months, but it was in the midst of an economic recession, and our firm was getting rather uninspiring work.

“A job came along as music master at the Alice Smith international school KL, and I found that this suited me because it gave me the time outside work to develop as a musician.

“I had a great time. I founded a choir and we did shows, which then brought me into connection with various cultural institutions like the Goethe Institute, Alliance Francaise and the British Council,” Ng told Malaysiakini in an interview.

He was actually awarded a Chevening scholarship, which he turned down in favour of…

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