Founder of KOA Music
I am a composer, teacher, video producer, and author. I was born in the UK but now live in Connecticut with my wife and daughter.
I have been lucky to have had a diverse and rich musical life. I started out in music through classical piano, which remains my primary instrument. For my secondary school recital I performed selections from Debussy’s Images, J. S. Bach’s French Suites, and Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor. I continue to learn and enjoy new repertoire: I have recently been working on works by Albeniz, C. P. E. Bach, Poulenc, Moszkowski, and Haydn. I also learn jazz piano, and attended an advanced jazz piano workshop with Tim Richards at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Aside from piano, I also have sung in choirs, played in a steel band, directed musical productions, studied organ, classical guitar, percussion, recorder, and accordion. I played timpani for many years in orchestras in London, including the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra and the London Shostakovich Orchestra. I currently play recorder in the Richmond recorder consort in New Haven, which focuses on medieval and renaissance music.
I started composing as a hobby, while a teenager. By the time I started university, I had written various pieces for piano, a wind quintet, a brass quintet, a 4-movement string trio, some choral pieces, and a piece for string orchestra. Although my interest in music never waned, my first career took me in another direction, and I returned to composing much later on.
My first career was in teaching Chinese. I graduated with a first class degree in Chinese and Korean at the University of Oxford, and then returned for an MA in East Asian Studies at Yale University in 2011. I continued my Chinese teaching career at Choate Rosemary Hall, before leaving teaching to start a video production business in 2015. While working as a teacher, I also wrote a series of Chinese textbooks which have been endorsed for the UK’s GCSE examinations.
I returned to composing when my niece and brother began learning the piano. I decided to write repertoire which could help them make progress and expand musically. Together with my older compositions, this repertoire became the foundation of my Journeys series. After sharing my music with a few piano teachers, I found that other learners were also enjoying my pieces, so I decided to publish the series.
My compositions vary widely in genre. They are typically tonal, incorporating some extended harmonies and a lot of syncopation, but almost always retaining a very simple and clear structure. My style been most influenced by late 19th and early 20th century composers, jazz, and folk music from around the world.
I set up KOA Music to share my compositions with others, and to provide a fresh, more diverse choice of music for learners. I truly hope that you enjoy my music. I am always interested to hear from you, so please get in touch and let me know your thoughts!