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Adrian So

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Personal profile

Adrian So

Adrian So is currently a Doctoral Research Candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London, under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Rose. His primary research area focuses on the theological and intellectual contexts of Johann Kuhnau's church cantatas. During his undergraduate and master's studies, he completed dissertations on the theological and cyclical meanings of J.S. Bach's B Minor Mass and an analysis of the stylistic features in Johann Kuhnau's church cantatas respectively.

 

Adrian has presented his research in various countries across Europe. In 2023, he was awarded the Royal Holloway Doctoral School Travel Award, which enabled him to present his new findings on Kuhnau's notorious 1709/10 cantata cycle at the Leipzig Bachfest and the 20th Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music in Geneva, where his work received positive acclaim. He has also given lectures in various institutions, including The Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK), Hong Kong International Institute of Music, and Hong Kong Music Institute. Additionally, he serves as a teaching assistant for first and second-year music history and musicology courses at Royal Holloway.

 

Adrian aims to bring his research interests into the community. In 2023, he delivered an all-Bach organ lecture recital alongside with organist Jason Tang at Hong Kong St. John’s Cathedral. He also organised a church service in the order of J.S. Bach’s time, which was held at Hong Kong CCC China Congregational Church in Spring 2024. Adrian also supplied programme notes for concerts by Hong Kong SingFest.

 

Aside from his academic pursuits, Adrian is also passionate about composition. He studied composition with Prof. Mark Bowden, Dr. Samantha Fernando, and Dr. Nina Whiteman. His worked has been performed by various choirs and ensembles in Hong Kong and in the United Kingdom, including Chroma Ensemble, Riot Ensemble, and Ying Wa College Choir. He was appointed as the Composer-in-Residence for the Royal Holloway Picture Gallery and the Royal Holloway New Music Collective back in 2018 and 2020 respectively. He was also listed as one of the younger generation composers by Contemporary Music for All (CoMA) in the UK and was commissioned to write an open-scored composition for their 2020 Festival. Adrian's works are characterized by their exploration of different soundscapes through unique orchestration and instrumental techniques.