A local of Wuxi, Singapore and London, Erchao speaks and thinks in Mandarin and English. Currently specializing in composition, she is an aspiring cultural bridge builder and music educator.
Erchao is both an early and late starter in music. She began piano lessons aged 4 in her hometown Wuxi but stopped soon after completing piano exams at 10. It was not until her move to Singapore for studies at 16 when she reconnected with her passion for music, thanks to her teachers’ encouragement and generosity in the form of bespoke catch-up lessons. Since then Erchao has sought to expose herself to as many different facets of music-making as possible: playing chamber music, répétiteuring for opera productions, conducting, playing percussion in orchestra, and learning sound design in theatre, etc. She graduated from King’s College London with a First Class (Honours) in Music in 2019, and is now pursuing a Masters in Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under the supervision of Professor Julian Anderson.
Over the past year, Erchao’s music has been heard at Barbican Centre’s Beethoven Weekender (Summer of 2018 for piano), ‘Sounds Like THIS’ festival in Leeds (movement for string quartet) and The Place Theatre (Mind The for clarinet, piano, electronics and dance). She has had the fortune to work with leading new music ensembles and artists such as Quatuor Bozzini, the Ligeti Quartet, Aisha Orazbayeva and EXAUDI. She is now working on her first chamber opera with writer Clare Best alongside work on her first orchestral pieces.
Whenever possible, Erchao would like to pay forward what she received from many of her inspiring music teachers. She is one of the 2020 Composers-In-Residence at the Centre for Young Musicians Taunton, where she mentors a group of young composers aged between 11 and 14 and supports them in their creative activities.
Outside music, Erchao’s happiest memory has been assisting in the production team which successfully transferred the immersive show Alice’s Adventures Underground from London to Shanghai. It was an eye-opening experience which reassured her of the value and importance of cultural bridge building across borders.
Erchao’s studies at Guildhall have been generously supported by the China Scholarship Council and the Guildhall School Trust.
Erchao has written: