I would like to thank Steve Goss, who is the director of IGRC and organiser of this conference, for having my presentation. I am honoured to have Graham Wade who was my chair.

My presentation was on “John Duarte’s contribution to the classical guitar repertoire in Malaysia: Variations on a Malaysian song op. 125, ‘Getaran Jiwa’  and Variations on an Indonesian song op. 124, ‘Gubahanku’.

The presentation was as follows:

Part 1. Performance of both the pieces

Part 2. The paper

  • The Importance of these pieces
  • The commissioning of a work
  • The World Premiere
  • The Publication
  • The Premiere Recording
  • The performance of these pieces after the premieres
  • A paper on Variations on a Malaysian Song op 125, ‘Getaran Jiwa’


Please go to my website at www.simoncheong.com to read my paper.


Graham Wade’s closing comments on my presentation were (I made a transcript of his speech from my video and would like to share it here):


“…delivery and presentation was done with wonderful humour and we all (an assumption made on behalf of those present) thoroughly enjoyed the performance, I loved the tunes, the tunes were marvellous. It (is as if it) could almost have been set by Llobet (too) and I do admire your tenacity with the piece of music (he means on the copyrights)…you had a share of it (he gives an example of his own on copyright problems)…and be midwife for it, produce it. You should defend it. Like the way you do – I admire that. You own these pieces in a way, it’s like Segovia says about a piece – it is like raising Lazarus…he made it live and gave it life…and therefore even share in that…you keep at it! Thank you for a wonderful performance and also a very, very stimulating presentation.”


I would like to thank Graham Wade for his encouragement and kind comments. I am very inspired.


I noticed that I was the only one representing Asia, where are the others?


Steve mentioned that there was an overwhelming response at the call for papers in his closing speech and that he had to turn away something like 40 per cent of the proposals. With this, it can be seen how successful the conference was  and how alive the classical guitar is in the academic world not least in performance too!

by Simon Cheong