Born in Malaysia, Ka Ming Tan is a diverse musician with extensive experience as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, and a music educator. Ka Ming received his Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters’ Degree at DePaul University in Chicago – USA, both with High Distinctions. During this time, he studied extensively under highly acclaimed violinists such as Ilya Kaler, Felicia Moye, and Vartan Manoogian, while receiving masterclasses from prominent musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Silverstein, Vadim Repin, and Robert Chen.
While pursuing his career abroad in Chicago, Ka Ming performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago under a two year fellowship programme. During his time in the Civic Orchestra, he worked with many world renowned conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Mark Elder, Jaap van Zweden and Michael Tilson-Thomas. Additionally, Ka Ming performed in several chamber music settings with the esteemed cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Other orchestral experiences include playing with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Kent Blossom Festival Chamber Orchestra, Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra, and Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra. He also held concertmaster and principal positions in Roundtop International Music Festival Orchestra as well as both UW-Madison and DePaul University orchestras.
Equally well versed in chamber music, Ka Ming has collaborated with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, Pacifica Quartet, Miami Quartet, and Pro Arte Quartet. During his time at the Roundtop Music Festival in Texas, Ka Ming won the Roundtop International Festival Chamber Music Competition. As the first violinist of the Lucido Felicie Quartet, he has performed in many settings throughout the Midwest. He is also a founding member of Quartet Tito, which won first prize in the 2015 Plowman Chamber Music Competition held in Columbia, Missouri, USA.
As a prize winner of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Concerto Competition, Ka Ming was a violin soloist with the UW Symphony Orchestra, performing the Glazunov Violin Concerto. He was also a top prize winner in the 2007 HSBC String Concerto Competition held in Malaysia. Equally accomplished on the piano, Ka Ming won the Irving Shain Woodwind/Piano Duo Competition in Madison, USA, and has performed extensively as a piano collaborator abroad, as well as Malaysia.
Ka Ming is currently a first violinist in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he has held since 2014. He is also a regular guest violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Besides performing with the MPO, Ka Ming is a highly sought after music educator. His students have won multiple international competitions such as the Osaka International Music Competition in Japan, Singapore Raffles International Music Festival, Singapore Violin Festival Competition, Singapore Nanyang International Music Competition, and Euroasia Strings Competition amongst others. He has also given numerous masterclasses in international schools and universities such as The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), Tenby International School in Setia Alam and Miri, International School at DesaParkcity (ISP), and Sunway University. He was also invited to be the music adjudicator for the IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools) Cultural Convention organised by ISKL in 2021, and was a panel of jury for Euroasia Strings Competition.