Foong Chui San is a homegrown ruan musician from Singapore. She was introduced to the world of Chinese musical instruments when she was 8 years old. She soon followed in her brother’s footsteps and joined the Chinese Orchestra when she was in school, where she fell in love with playing percussion. A year later, she was elected to learn the ruan under the tutelage of Mdm. Koh Kim Wah when the school’s orchestra performed at an old folk’s home, and needed a steadier and more rhythmic player.
In 1985, she joined the People’s Association Youth Chinese Orchestra (PAYCO) where she learned sanxian from the late Mr. Yeo Puay Hian. It is also where her passion for music grew.
In 1991, she won third prize in the 8th National Music Competition Zhongruan Open Section and the National Chinese Instrumental Solo Performance Open Competition in 1992. Chui San also represented PAYCO in the National Chinese Instrumental Ensemble Section Competition held in 1993 and 1995 and walked away with third and second prizes respectively.
In 1997, she joined the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) as a tutti musician and received the SCO scholarship the following year, where she went to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to study ruan under the tutelage of renowned liuqin and zhongruan professor Mdm. Wu Qiang. She obtained her degree in music in 2001.
Chui San also performed as the ruan soloist during the PAYCO Ruan and Guzheng Recital in 1999, and the SCO Ruan and Dizi Recital in 2001.
Besides performing locally, she has also performed world-wide with the SCO including in China, Europe, Korea, Malaysia, and Taiwan.
She is a strong believer that music brings joy to people’s lives, and she enjoys sharing her musical experience with her students. She is currently an instructor teaching at Chinese Orchestras in several schools.