Esplanade Presents


Musical Duos of Shakuhachi and Di Xiao

Chua Keng Chiu and Ivan Tay (Singapore)

18 Jun 2022, Sat, 5.15pm, 6.15pm & 7.15pm


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Concourse

This event is over.


The shakuhachi (尺八) is a Japanese end-blown flute associated with the komuso monks of Zen Buddhism, who played the instrument as a form of meditation. The Chinese xiao (簫) is an end-blown flute that appeared during the Han dynasty, possibly originating from the Qiang people of southwestern China.

In this session, there will be a cross-cultural collaboration performance between the Chinese xiao and Japanese shakuhachi. Please sit back and enjoy with easy-listening duets like Silk Road composed by Kitaro and Hidano-Sato (飛驒の里) composed by Nomura Hozan, presented by Keng Chiu and Ivan.

The program also includes well-loved Chinese classics such as The Three Variations of the Plum Blossom (梅花三弄) performed using the Chinese transverse flute dizi (笛子). And the austere refined honkyoku (本曲) music of the Tozan-Ryu Shakuhachi tradition.


Mask-wearing is required for all indoor events. No tickets will be issued. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.   

Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Chua Keng Chiu

Shakuhachi in Singapore Facebook | Tozanryu Shakuhachi Singapore Facebook

Keng Chiu’s first encounter with orchestral music was in 1996, when he learnt the dizi from well-known local Sheng musician Mr Er Chiang Song. In 1999, he continued his studies with Mr Phang Thean Siong, a renowned local musician from Singapore Chinese Orchestra and subsequently joined Keat Hong Chinese Orchestra. After passing the NUS Dizi Diploma in 2010 with distinction, he became a registered dizi teacher with the People’s Association of Singapore.


His passion in oriental woodwind instruments led him on the journey to master the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese flute, from Master Koshuzan Ueno in 2009. Thereafter he continued to seek tutelage with the late maestro Yamamoto Hozan, his son Yamamoto Shinzan and Kizan Kawamura. In 2019, he attained the Jun Shihan teaching status from the Tozanryu Shakuhachi Foundation Japan. He has performed regularly with the Japanese Association Koto Club and continues to promote the beauty of shakuhachi music through performance and teaching.

Ivan Tay Zhi Hao

Ivan Tay is a music activist who started off his musical journey as a chinese flute player at the age of 14, with Mr Pang Chin Soon as his first mentor. Thereafter, he came under the tutelage of two Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) dizi musicians—Mr Tony Ang and the late Mr Ronald Tan. As a dizi player in Keat Hong Chinese Orchestra, he has performed in various countries. With his passion in ancient music, Ivan went on to study guqin with local guqin experts Dr and Mrs Kee Chee Koon. Later on, he was interviewed by Lianhe Zaobao on the guqin and was featured on the main section of Pop Culture.


His deep love for conducting and Chinese instruments propelled him to seek guidance from two SCO veterans PBM Mr Sim Boon Yewand Mr Chuan Joo Hee on conducting and orchestration. Later on, he came under the tutelage of local famous composer Mr Law Wai Lun to further his studies on composing. Pieces like River of Dreams, Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flower, Shang Yi's Blooming Pea-Blossoms, Korean folk Song Arirang Symphony and Kikujirō's Summer are some of the arrangements written and performed in Esplanade's Beautiful Sunday concert series and school events. In 2014 and 2016, under the guidance from maestro Hu Bing Xu and professor Xia Fei Yun, he had successful performances as the Youth Conductor at the first and second Youth Chinese Chamber Music Project Finale Concert organised by Ding Yi Music Company.

Date & Time

18 Jun 2022, Sat


Esplanade Concourse


Esplanade Concourse


Esplanade Concourse

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