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Singapore flautist spreads his music worldwide

18 April 2012

Rit is a versatile flautist who plays a broad spectrum of instruments in the flute family

Photo: Lianhe Zaobao © Singapore Press Holdings Limited
The Yong Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory of Music at NUS is nurturing musical talent that resonates within and beyond Singapore's shores.

Rit Xu, a first-year student pursuing a Bachelors of Music (Honours) in classical flute performance, played a part in the soundtrack of Taiwanese epic movie Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale which won the 48th Golden Horse Award for best original film score. He contributed to the piece using different types of flutes including the western flute, Chinese xiao and Japanese shakuhachi.

Rit is much sought-after as a soloist and session musician, having played in both recording studio and concert hall. His versatility extends to a broad spectrum of instruments in the flute family such as the Chinese bamboo flutes, shakuhachi, Indian bansuri, Andes quena and pan flutes.

He was the first Southeast Asian to win the United States National Flute Association's Jazz Masterclass Competition last year. He was also awarded the first prize in the Juniors Division at the Thailand International Jazz Conference Solo Competition 2011.

Rit's melodious notes have enchanted local and overseas audiences at events such as the Chingay parade, the inaugural Youth Olympic Games 2010, the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2010/11 and Grand Opening of the Marina Bay Sands. He was also a member of a seven-piece band formed by renowned local composer Iskandar Ismail to represent Singapore for a performance in South Africa.

The flautist is a founding member of the Singapore Pop Orchestra. A talented improvising musician, composer and arranger, he will soon be releasing his debut album as a Singaporean jazz artist.

Rit is deeply appreciative of his education at YST Conservatory: "It's a highly niche area of study focused on developing me as a well-equipped orchestral player in the symphonic tradition and also as an all-rounded musician with a range of relevant skills, whether in performing, writing or teaching. It is an exciting and rewarding experience studying here - broadening my horizon and understanding of the western classical canon and being mentored by professional players from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and great musicians elsewhere across the world. This experience not only shaped me as a better musician but also as a better human being, so I can contribute back to society through this powerful tool called music."