Celebrated as a contemporary classical soprano, choral conductor and voice teacher, Khor Ai Ming is the recipient of the COMPASS Artistic Excellence Award 2015 for her exceptional achievements as an artiste in Singapore. Active in various fields of the Singapore arts scene, Khor has also been honoured repeatedly with invitations to present new music works for world and Singapore premieres. Khor has graced many large-scale celebrations, a testament to her innate musicianship.
Works Khor has presented as Singapore or Asia premieres include Gottfried von Einem's Der Besuch der alten Dame in the lead role of Claire Zachanassian, the complete cycle of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Berio’s O King, Gaslini’s Magnificat, Paul Wilson’s Spiritus, Messiaen's La Mort du Nombre and Juhi Bansal’s The Lost Country of Sight. She was featured in the grand finale of the Chingay Parade 2011 and the grand opening of the Chingay Parade 2014. She was also the soprano solo in the Music for Fireworks at the Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2012. In 2013, Khor performed her second Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire under the Esplanade Spectrum Series with the Asian Contemporary Ensemble to critical acclaim by The Straits Times. The Straits Times has also reported that her annual solo recitals at the Esplanade Recital Studio are “a keenly awaited fixture in the concert calendar”.
Khor is the principal of Ms Khor's Studio, one of Singapore's leading voice and music schools for aspiring vocalists. Ms Khor’s Studio consistently produces the highest scorers for Trinity College London’s music examinations. Between 2013-2019, thirty- nine of her solo voice students won top prizes at the American Protégé International Vocal Competition (including Best Performer Awards and Judges Distinction Awards), and were accorded the honour of performing at the legendary Carnegie Hall, New York. Students of Khor have also gone on to pursue their aspirations to become professional vocalists at premier music conservatories around the world. Her students have been accepted to renowned colleges, including the Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music and The University of Queensland.
In 2014, reflecting her devotion to the art of vocal pedagogy, Khor established the Vocal Associates Festival Choruses (VA Festival Choruses) as a platform for her vocal students to gain stage experience. This dynamic non-profit arts group consists of six major wings - VAFC (Vocal Associates Festival Chorus), VAFYC (Vocal Associates Festival Youth Choir), VAFCC (Vocal Associates Festival Children’s Choir), VASC (Vocal Associates Seniors’ Choir), VACC (Vocal Associates Chamber Choir) and VA Artistes (Vocal Associates Artistes). Blending distinct voices into melodious choruses is Khor’s forte. With more than 100 singers, this active multicultural, intergenerational performing arts group reflects her trademark versatility. The VA Festival Choruses perform regularly in a wide range of genres, including orchestral works, opera, chinese orchestral music, jazz, musical theatre and pop favourites. The group has performed Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Mahler's Symphony No. 8, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and the World premiere of Alarcón's Marco Polo Trilogy. In 2016, Khor led the VA Festival Choruses in a spectacular performance at the prestigious Carnegie Hall, New York, to a standing ovation. In 2018, they went on to perform at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The VA Festival Choruses’ most recent music tour in 2019 took them to Okinawa where they performed at the Okinawa Civic Theatre.
Khor was the chorus mistress of both the Singapore Lyric Opera Chorus and Children’s Choir. As chorus mistress, she gained considerable experience working with distinguished opera directors including Andrew Sinclair, Tom Hawkes, David Edwards and Paul-Emile Fourny for the productions of Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffman; Puccini’s La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, and Madama Butterfly; Verdi’s La Traviata; Bizet’s Carmen; Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni. She has also had the pleasure of collaborating with many eminent orchestra conductors including Tsung Yeh from the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Joshua Tan from the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and Alice Farnham from the Royal Opera House.
Khor enjoys working with young people and believes in spreading joy and love through singing. She conducts several local school choirs, some of which have garnered Distinction Awards at the Singapore Youth Festival. She gives vocal lessons to students in the Music Elective Programme at local schools and has served as a mentor to the Singapore Street Festival for the past 15 years. In recent years, Khor has generously dedicated much of her time and effort to community work, with a special interest in the elderly and disadvantaged children. She founded and established the Light House School Choir for visually-impaired children. She also gave singing classes to the children at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore. She started weekly therapeutic singing programmes for the Lions Home for the Elders, and saw encouraging improvement in some residents with dementia. She has also been the instructor of Breast Cancer Foundation Ladies Chorus for the past 10 years. In 2015, she founded two community choirs: The Joy Chorale under Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra, and the East Coast Choir under Kampong Chai Chee Community Centre.
Khor holds a Fellowship in Voice (FTCL), and is under the tutelage of international opera star Ning Liang.
Acclaimed by the Straits Times:
“... few are blessed with Khor's versatility. After all, who is equally at home singing Chinese and Malay songs, Western classical standards and modern works such as Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire?
“She brought out the delightful innocence of these far-from-straightforward miniatures by means of some captivating vocal and visual characterisations. “...gloriously communicative personality and innate musicianship...a highly sophisticated and perceptive performance which went far beyond an ability to control a voice.”
“...one of the nation’s most versatile and distinctive art song practitioners.”