phillip conducting

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We're proud to present a broad and innovative range of choral programs, from the classic to the contemporary.

Our Music Director and Staff

Phillip Cheah, Music Director

Phillip Cheah, Music Director

Phillip Cheah, Music Director – Hailed by The New York Times for the “warm tone and carefully calibrated blend” elicited from his ensembles, Phillip Cheah is in his ninth season as Music Director of Central City Chorus. He is also the Music Director of Amuse, an elite women’s ensemble, and a founding member of the New York-based new music chorus, C4: The Choral Composer-Conductor Collective. He has conducted REBEL Baroque Orchestra, the Adelphi Orchestra, New Music New York, and Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, and he is a regularly featured guest conductor at various New York Summer Sings hosted by the New York Choral Consortium, the West Village Chorale, New York Choral Society, and the St. George’s Choral Society. He was the assistant conductor and répétiteur at the Amato Opera for three seasons and he has served as the music director for musical theatre productions at The Brearley School, Acting Manitou, Dwight-Englewood School, Bloomington Music Works, and the 13th Street Repertory Company.

An accomplished vocalist, Mr. Cheah has been praised for his “particularly potent contribution” (The New York Times), a “warm tone and stately presence” (parterre box), and a unique three-and-a-half octave vocal range which “defies the laws of nature” (Time Out New York). He is a member of the professional choir at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields and sang for many seasons with the renowned Bach Vespers Choir at Holy Trinity Church. He has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Paul McCartney, Olympia Dukakis, Ramin Djawadi, YEBBA, and Madonna at major venues like Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Madison Square Garden, Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Temple Emanu-El, the National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia), and Victoria Theatre (Singapore). He can be heard on the Pro Organo, Tzadik, and MSR Classics recording labels. Together with pianist Trudy Chan, he is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cheah Chan Duo whose concerts feature uniquely curated programs of art songs and piano works on themes of cultural and social issues. Time Out New York has lauded the Duo’s “restlessly inquisitive” performances at The National Opera Center, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, Cornelia Street Café, Spectrum NYC, the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and Symphony Space’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia.

Mr. Cheah has held teaching appointments at The Putney School, Cathedral High School, Barnard College, and Manhattan School of Music, as well as serving as the staff accompanist at The Brearley School. He has been the personal assistant to Peter Schickele and worked at Oxford University Press as Manager for Concert and Choral Promotion. He holds both B.S. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied piano, conducting, and opera coaching. In addition to studying at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien under the auspices of the Institut für Europäische Studien, he was also a recipient of the 2002 National Endowment for Humanities Grant to study the German operas of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna, Austria.

Ji Yung Lee, Accompanist

Ji Yung Lee is currently a graduate student at The Juilliard School studying collaborative piano with Margo Garrett, Jonathan Feldman, and J.J. Penna, and voice with Cynthia Hoffmann. As an active performer, she has made appearances with various instrumentalists and singers at John F. Kennedy Center, Carnegie Weill Hall, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Jordan Hall, and Chicago Cultural Center. She most recently won the 2nd prize and the "Cicerone Music and Art" special award with violinist Hahnsol Kim as Lorca Duo at Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Verona and Mantova, Italy. Other recent highlights include Dame Myra Hess Concert Series broadcast live on WFMT 98.7 fm with Emmanuel Vukovich, violin; OperaComp Project, premiering excerpts from new operas at The Juilliard School; Finalist at Boulder International Chamber Music Competition; Rehearsal pianist and chorus member in Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride at Music Academy of the West. She attended Aspen Music Festival and School in 2014 and Music Academy of the West in 2016, in both as a vocal piano fellowship recipient. Lee's other mentors include Diane Richardson, Roger Tapping, Warren Jones, Rita Sloan, Max Levinson, and Hojeong Jeong.

Lee received her Master’s Degree and Graduate Diploma in Collaborative Piano at New England Conservatory, studying with Cameron Stowe and Jonathan Feldman, and Bachelor's degree at Yonsei University in Korea, majoring in choral conducting.