Taipei choir conductor eyes New Southbound cooperation

The conductor of the Taipei Philharmonic Chorus, John Ku, says the choir's exchanges with other ensembles in the region are growing. Ku also said such exchanges could help play a role in the government's New Southbound policy.

Ku is also the director of the Taipei Chamber Choir. He said that choral music has been growing in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in recent years and that Thailand is also starting to catch up. Ku said he was pleased to see how his choirs' exchanges with other countries have been flourishing in the last couple of years.

For example, a song composer from the Philippines came to write a new work for us. Our ensembles have taken part in some major activities in Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, musical events in Malaysia," said Ku. "This year we have a creative cooperation project with Cambodia. In the last two to three years exchanges have been thriving, especially over the last 18 months when these plans have been taking place at the same time."

Despite these exchanges, however, Ku says the choirs' activities have not had a great deal of official attention in Taiwan. Taiwan is currently seeking closer trade and civil ties with other countries in the region through the New Southbound policy. Ku said the government could treat exchanges in choral music as one valuable aspect of this outreach.

Source: Radio Taiwan International