Photo by: Gracia Teo
Michellina Chan, 陈嘉灵 (b. 1992, Singapore) is a saxophonist active in both Singapore and Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Performance) with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM) and the Diplôme d’Etudes Musicales (DEM) at the Conservatoire de Bordeaux Jacques Thibaud, Bordeaux, France under the tutelage of Marie-Bernadette Charrier.
Michellina studied with Ian Godfrey, Tarko Sibbel and Shannon Ebeling at the MCM. She began her musical journey in Singapore at the tender age of 4 on the piano. At the age of 13, under the baton of Mdm Tan Soh Hwa, she then picked up the saxophone in the Crescent Girls’ School Symphonic Band. Since then, she has received several accolades for her musical endeavours including the First Prize of the Hugo Stockigt Award (Open Unaccompanied Solo) at the CLASAX Performance Competition 2015 and the coveted First Prize of the MCM Chamber Music Competition 2014 as the soprano saxophonist of her quartet, 2.0 Saxophone Quartet. In 2016, she was featured in the Singapore local newspaper, Lian He Zao Bao and was broadcasted on the influential Mediacorp Channel 8 Television program Star Awards 2016.
As an avid traveller, Michellina had the opportunity to perform in master classes and take lessons from many international saxophonists including Kenneth Tse (USA), Alain Crepin (Belgium), Arno Bornkamp (Netherlands), Niels Bijl (Netherlands), Christian Wirth (France), Joshua Hyde (Australia), Dan Gelok (USA), Joseph Lallo (Australia) and Barry Cockcroft (Australia). Consequently, Michellina has performed in world-renowned concert halls and her playing has been described as energetic and distinctive.
As a passionate chamber musician, she founded one of Singapore’s first professional saxophone chamber group, Xin Saxophone Quartet. Their vision is to share their love of all genres of saxophone quartet music and to encourage more local composers to write for this instrumentation. They performed the world premiere of two works by composer Jay Ong, entitled Enclosures and Sea Scenes. With her saxophone quartet in Melbourne, 2.0 Saxophone Quartet, they performed the world premiere of a work by award-winning composer Clare Johnson, entitled The Jive (2013) which was later aired on a local radio station. At the beginning of 2015, she founded the Super 3-o which has the unusual instrumentation: piano, saxophone and violin. They were well-received in Melbourne and performed on The Talent, a series which is broadcasted on 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne (103.5FM).
With a passion for new works, Michellina has partaken in world and local premiere performances with different ensembles presenting works such as Antikythera Mechanism for saxophone quartet by Andrew Ball, De Stijl by Louis Andriessen, Polychrome by Thiery Alla and Yes, With a Bang! by Gregory Wanamaker. Alongside Leigh Harrold, Australia’s 2008 Musician of the year, Michellina performed the Australian premiere of distinguished Singaporean composer Zechariah Goh’s Suite for Alto Saxophone and Piano.
Michellina will continue working with young composers in both Singapore and Australia to create new pieces for the saxophone. Recently, she was an invited artist to the 6th Singapore Saxophone Symposium where she performed the world premiere of a piece written for solo saxophone by Singaporean composer, Jay Ong. Michellina is very grateful to her family’s never-ceasing support of her musical endeavours.