Head of Music

Kerim Vergazov

chamber music

Mr. Kerim Vergazov obtained his master’s degree from the Leningrad State Conservatory in Russia. He has achieved first prize in several prestigious competitions, including the All-Soviet Union Piano Competition (1979), the Sergei Rachmaninov Competition (1985), and the International Music Competition in Kiev and Lvov, Ukraine (2000). Even as a conservatory student, he was invited to legendary studios taught by Ilya Musin, Yuri Temirkanov, and Valery Gergiev.

Kerim is a solo pianist, has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Symphony of Kazakhstan, and the St. Petersburg Opera House. He has collaborated with esteemed conductors like Nikolai Gribanov, Andrew Vasilevsky, and Tugan Sohiev.

In addition to his performances, Kerim served as an official piano accompanist at the St. Petersburg Conservatory for 18 years. His professional journey includes appointments at the Mariinsky Theatre (Russia), Komische Oper Berlin (Germany), and Theatre du Chatelet (France).

Since 2004, Kerim has been a senior lecturer at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, for over 20 years. He taught accompaniment, sight-reading, and chamber music while also leading the Violin studio. His outstanding ensemble was awarded the best ensemble at the 1st Singapore International Violin Competition.

At the same time, he pursued his musical activities both domestically and internationally. One noteworthy achievement is his organization of the chamber music concert series, “From Russia with Love,” featuring the SSO’s Russian principals. Their exciting performances made a significant impact on the Singapore music scene. Furthermore, Kerim has actively mentored as the artistic director of concerts organized by a group of professional musicians named “Viva la Musica Tokyo” in Japan since 2009 to the present day.

Kerim’s musical journey extends beyond performances. He has been invited as a judge for competitions and has conducted master classes in various countries, including Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Japan, Greece, and Singapore.

With 35 years of teaching experience, Kerim is an exceptional music educator. His instruction goes beyond piano playing, focusing on enhancing sight-reading skills and improving technique tailored to each student. Many students who have received his guidance have achieved outstanding results in competitions, grade tests, and admissions to prestigious music universities overseas.

Beyond exam and competition preparation, Kerim passionately conducts masterclasses in both piano performance and chamber music, consistently receiving high praise for his teaching.

Bobirjon Eshpulatov

chamber music

Bobur was born in a family of musicians from Tashkent, Uzbekistan and started his violin journey at the age of four (4). He won the Gran Prix winner in “Blue Bird” International Competition 2013 (Ukraine) and winner of the “individualis” International Violin Competition 2014 (Ukraine).

Since then, he participated in many international competitions in Ukraine, Russia, Singapore, France, China, Poland and Belgium etc. His talent was globally recognized. He is the Finalist of E.Ysaye International Violin Competition (Jul 2023 in Belgium) and Semi-Finalist of Qingdao International Violin Competition (Sep 2023 in China).

Bobur also actively involved in numerous concerts and performance. He is constantly playing solo, involved in chamber ensemble as well as orchestra and charity concerts. One of the few are the Concert with Aleksey Igudesman & Joo (Singapore) and the Project “United in Music: A virtual charity concert to aid  UHCHR’S coronavirus response” by The UN Refugee Agency.

Graduated with Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree in Violin Performance from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore under the tutelage of Professor Qian Zhou. He joined Music Salon Emmanuel to share his passion in music and violin.

Jessie Chua

chamber music

Jessie Chua, a winner of the 2012 Young Pianists’ Competition and 2016 Vivace piano ensemble competition, achieved second prize at the prestigious Singapore International Classical Piano Competition in 2018. A distinguished Kenneth and Violet Scott scholar at the Royal College of Music, she graduated with First Class Honours under the mentorship of Professors Dina Parakhina and Dinara Klinton. Notable for her performances in masterclasses with Martin Bartlett and Dr Kenneth Hamilton, Jessie has graced esteemed venues in Singapore such as the Esplanade Concert Hall and  Steinway  Gallery,  as  well  as various concert halls across the UK, including London, Birmingham, and Cardiff.

In addition to her solo endeavors, Jessie has thrived as a collaborative pianist, contributing to events like Piano Concertos In Perspective at the Victoria Concert Hall and the Singapore International Band Festival. Her versatility extends to working with local musicians, school choirs, and external choirs as an accompanist and repetiteur, showcasing her talents at venues like the Esplanade Recital Hall and Tanglin Club.

Beyond performance, Jessie’s passion for music education shines through her role as an educator. She has successfully taught a diverse range of students, including those with physical impairments like blindness. Drawing from two years of experience under Dr Adam Ockelford, she has also enriched the lives of children with learning difficulties such as autism and ADHD. Jessie ardently believes in the inclusivity of music education, consistently striving to make the joy of music accessible to everyone.

Yeo Tiong Kiat


Mr Yeo received his Undergraduate Diploma with majors in Composition and Guitar Performance and minor in Piano Performance from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). He studied composition with the eminent Singapore composer Leong Yoon Pin. Upon graduation, he was invited to join the faculty. He later obtained a Graduate Diploma in Classical Guitar Performance from the renowned New England Conservatory in Boston. From College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Ohio he obtained a Master of Music Degree majoring in Classical Guitar and Orchestral Conducting. Subsequently he engaged in Doctoral studies at the University of Southern California (USC). He was awarded numerous scholarships from the institutions he attended. During his academic career he was tutored by many world-class performers, including classical guitarists David Leisner, Pepe Romero, Oscar Ghiglia, conductors Richard Hoenich and Christopher Zimmerman.

As a recitalist, he has given many concerts both as soloist as well as a chamber musician in various kinds of ensemble in the U.S. and in Asia. While in Singapore, he served as the first guitarist of the Singapore Guitar Quartet.

His teaching experiences include tertiary teaching positions at NAFA, CCM, USC, where he taught classical guitar, sight reading, aural training and chamber music.

As a conductor he has worked with many guitar and instrumental ensembles. His conducting appointments include being the Assistant Conductor of Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra, L.A. Chamber Players, and XinPin Orchestra.

In his spare time he volunteers at non-profit organisations to promote music learning, singing and music appreciation.

Carrie Seah

Carrie Seah embarked on her path in music when she started on piano at the age of eight. She deeply appreciates the value of strong foundational skills and the right attitude necessary for learning music, namely: the ability to focus, the courage to be creative, persistence and diligence.

She began teaching at the age of twenty to individuals and groups ranging from young children to senior adults. She had served as a Church pianist while living in California and Singapore, and provided classical piano lessons, while holding on to a full-time profession in the technology sector.

As a teacher she is very patient with students, inspiring them through her love for music, and instilling in them the importance of developing the right habits and attitude. She is currently pursuing Advanced Music Certification through the Berklee College of Music. She is studying advanced classical piano by taking private lessons. She holds certifications from The Royal Conservatory (Teaching Elementary, Teaching Intermediate Piano), ABRSM (Grade 8 Piano, Theory), University of Oxford: Analysing Classical Music (An Introduction), Piareno (Jazz).

Hansen Kadiman

piano ensemble

Hansen was born in Medan, Indonesia, and commenced piano studies at the age of seven with Mrs Sri Suliani Leo. As a Lucien Wang Scholarship recipient he came under the tutelage of Dr Nicholas Ong. He obtained his Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree from the Royal College of Music.

He participated in numerous competitions, such as the 8th Lucien Wang Piano Competition (First Prize winner), the Nanyang International Music Competition (Third Prize and Best Etude winner), Batam International Competition (Second Prize winner), and the NAFA Kris Foundation Concerto Competition 2019 (Special Commendation).

He performs often and has been active in masterclasses. As an accompanist he has performed with the NAFA Vocal Concert Medan 2017, and has worked with Maestro Lim Yau, Dr Zechariah Goh as an appointed repetiteur to the NAFA Chorus and Chamber Choir. He has worked with renowned musicians like Mei Yi Foo, Alexey Lebedev, Przemyslaw Witek, Professor Andreas Weber, Professor Gabriel Kwok, and Professor Nelita True. With experience in performing and teaching, he recognises the beauty and power of music to uplift and shape character.

Alvaro Sanchez


Alvaro obtained his Doctorate in Music Education Sciences from the National Pedagogical University of Colombia with Best Music Pedagogy Teacher Award for his research on the music methods of Kodaly, Dalcroze, Suzuki, Martenot, Willems, Montessori, and Orff. Subsequently, based on his teaching experiences in the United States, France, Israel, Spain, and Italy, he developed his own methodology.

He was a special guest artist who presented a programme of classical guitar and harp music when the late President of Singapore S R Nathan staged a State Presidential Banquet at the Istana Palace in honour of President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines. When the Mexican Embassy in Singapore held its Bicentennial of Independence Celebration at Fairmont Convention Centre he was invited to conduct a full music programme which was attended by ambassadors from all over the world.

An accomplished conductor, guitarist (classical as well as flamenco), harpist, and ukulele player, he has made recordings that won him a worldwide following.

Xiu-Min Lin

chamber music

At the tender age of 11, Xiu-Min Lin became the youngest person in the world in his time to attain a Fellowship Diploma from London’s Trinity College of Music (FTCL). He had initially studied medicine in Melbourne and become a family physician in Singapore. Not wanting to give up his passion for piano, he studied with Boris Petrushansky in Imola Piano Academy in Italy. He also pursued guidance from renowned masters all over the world such as Ronald Farren-Price, Frank Wibaut, Stefan Kutrzeba, Andrei Gavrilov, Elena Kuschnerova, Dmitri Bashkirov and Mikhail Voskresensky.

Xiu-Min continues to juggle both piano and doctoring. At Music Salon Emmanuel, he hopes to raise the standards of piano-playing in the country by imparting the secrets of his art to aspiring students, and guide them towards unprecedented achievements in the musical world.