Sadness in September: Vale Sonny Chua …

It was with great sadness that we read of the recent death of Sonny Chua: composer, pianist, music educator and friend of Moving Into Music.
Students who have taken AMEB exams will have come across music written by Sonny … his music appears in all syllabi.
Sonny’s contemporary take on how to bring music to life for piano students is legendary. His reputation stretched beyond our shores … from the world of education and into the world of Disney entertainment.
We recall the fun of a Xmas Concert item from bygone days. Seated at 2 grand pianos, a trio of our piano teachers played Sonny’s “Three Blind Mice” resplendent in mice ears, masks, whiskers and tails.
In honour of Sonny we dedicate the following acknowledgements to the man and his music …
Vale Sonny Chua …
 Sonny Chua Pic 1  Sonny Chua’s music reveals an accumulation and assimilation of seemingly incongruous ideas, displaying the use of a broad palette, with myriad influences from classical, pop, jazz, rock folk to “techno” music.
Chua was born on 2 November 1967 in Penang, Malaysia. The eldest of four children, he also lived in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Malacca before the family immigrated to Melbourne, Australia. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree with specialist studies in Piano Performance (Honours) at the University of Melbourne in 1990.
Chua started piano lessons in Malacca at age 8, and continued his piano studies in Melbourne with Julie Zelman, who encouraged him to explore a range of modern music styles. It was at this point that his creative journey began. He attended the Victorian College of the Arts (VCASS) studying piano under Stephen McIntyre. He completed a Bachelor of Music degree at University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music, specialising in piano performance, with Ronald Farren-Price AO, Alexander Semestky and Max Cooke: and also studied composition with Peter Tahourdin, Barry Cunningham and Brenton Broadstock.
Discovering how to compose independently, he explored freely in many musical directions. With insatiable curiosity, Chua ventured into and experiemtented with the world of classical music (as soloist and accompanist), repetiteur
(cabaret, musical theatre and opera), folk festivals (touring with a Celtic band) and Musical Director (the Walt Disney Company).
Very sadly Sonny died on 9 September 2020 following a stroke. He left a wife and two young children.
Another Tribute to Sonny  … by Australian Music Centre

Sonny Chua (1967-2020)

Sonny Chua - Pic 2Composer, pianist and music educator Sonny Chua has died at the age of 52 years, following a stroke.Born on 2 November 1967 in Penang, Malaysia, as the eldest of four children, Sonny Chua also lived in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Malacca before the family immigrated to Australia. He continued his piano studies in Melbourne, attended the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, later completing a Bachelor of Music degree at University of Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music, specialising in piano performance. Primarily self-taught as a composer, he also conducted studies in composition with Peter Tahourdin, Barry Conyngham and Brenton Broadstock.

Sonny Chua’s music is characterised by its playfulness with styles and musical techniques. His music strives for the beauty of simplicity and brevity, and speaks in an accessible and lively language. As many of his piano pieces were written as educational works for his students, there is a particular emphasis in developing performance techniques in these works.

Chua’s music is listed on all Australian examination syllabi and his piano works are regularly heard in competitions for young musicians and on the radio. He was sought after as a speaker on piano teaching and music education at workshops, festivals and conferences.

From 2002 to 2007 he taught at Melbourne High School, was the last Director of Music at the Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, and later the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Carey Baptist Grammar School in Melbourne.

The AMC would like to express our heartfelt condolences to Sonny Chua’s family and friends, and all those people, many of them quite young, into whose lives his music brought so much joy.

> Sonny Chua – AMC profile. See also:

> Sonny Chua’s piano music is available on the Theme & Deviations album (Move) available from the AMC. For collections of Sonny Chua’s works for piano, see for example Sonny Chua piano music: vol. I (Preliminary and Grade 1); Sonny Chua piano music: vol. 2 (Grades 2-3); Sonny Chua piano music vol. III (Grades 3-5); and Sonny Chua piano music : volume IV (Grade 6-8 – includes CD).

Listen to Sonny’s music … here’s a sequel to Three Blind Mice … “You Dirty Rat!”
Sonny Chua Pic 3
Consider this for your performance piece at our next concert.
Get the music and start learning it NOW!!!!
See Samples of Sonny’s Music:
Sonny Chua Pic 4
Support Sonny’s family … purchase his music:
Sonny Chua Pic 5
           It is with great sadness that we announce that Sonny Chua
            passed away on 9th September 2020, at the age of 52.
         If you would like to purchase any of Sonny’s music, or have
          a query regarding Sonny, please don’t hesitate to contact
                                          Melinda Cresoli
         Sonny will be greatly missed by so many. He was a talented
          composer, pianist and an inspirational educator. He was
            also a great cook, movie enthusiast, loving family man,
                                        and a doting father.
With sincere sympathy, Moving Into Music wishes Sonny’s family well in the dark days of their bereavement.
We know that TERM 4 will begin with sadness in many music classrooms due to the loss of Sonny Chua from our lives … but we trust that his memory will burn bright – kept alive by the music students who continue to play his music.
Why not dedicate some of your next practices and performances to Sonny???