Meet The Concertmaster: Basil Ong

Basil Ong
Basil Ong

There are over 100 students, staff and community members in our Large Instrumental Music Ensembles at any given time. Each month we will be introducing a new section of our ensembles to you.

The concertmaster is the leader of the first violin section in an orchestra and the instrument-playing leader of the orchestra. After the conductor, the concertmaster is the next-most significant leader in an ensemble. 

Basil Ong is in his first year of a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine. He is from Singapore and is honoured to be appointed as the Concertmaster of the UNSW Orchestra for 2022.

 What is the role of a concertmaster in the Orchestra?

As a concertmaster, my role is to be the bridge between the orchestra and the conductor. For the strings, I help to convey instructions from the conductor in actionable terms and also help to coordinate and lead the orchestra. 

Why did you choose to play the violin?

The violin is a very versatile instrument that can be played as a solo instrument, for chamber or the orchestra. Being comfortably sized and portable, it can produce a wide range of sounds and beautiful melodies. Over the past 15 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed playing the violin both as a soloist and as an ensemble/orchestra player. Expressing my feelings through music is both therapeutic and stress-relieving. Making music together with friends has also always been extremely enjoyable and a delight to me.

Basil Ong


What is your favourite piece for violin and what is your favourite recording?

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major is my favourite violin piece. Not only is it technically challenging, it has such a beautiful melody as well. There are so many amazing recordings of this piece on youtube, but I listen to Midori’s performance of it the most. I have always loved listening to it and it is one of my dreams to be able to perform it one day!

Registrations to audition for UNSW Orchestra or to join UNSW Wind Symphony open in O Week of each term. Check out our UNSW Orchestra page to see which instruments we are currently accepting applications for. Anyone is welcome to join UNSW Wind Symphony.