Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Fung Chern Hwei absorbed a large amount of musical information since young in his diverse surroundings: Chinese pop and classical music, Indian Bollywood tunes, Malay dance music, and western classical music. He insisted on learning the violin at around 4 years old, but couldn’t find a teacher until he was 8. Since then Chern Hwei thrust himself into the world of violin and has never looked back.
Shortly after starting violin lessons, Chern Hwei found himself imitating electric guitar and saxophone sounds on his violin. In his high school years, he broke the school’s ban on rock music and electric instruments by sneaking a heavy metal band on stage during a charity night. Seeds were being sown for a musical path far from that of the typical classical violinist.
Upon finishing graduate school in New York, Chern Hwei chose to stay on as a freelance musician, playing different genres of music, absorbing even more musical languages and means of expression. Styles that he plays frequently include western classical, jazz, middle-eastern belly dance music, historically-informed baroque, rock, and hip hop. He recently self-released his debut album, “From The Heart”.
Artists that he has been fortunate enough to work with include Uri Caine, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stanley Clarke, Tony Bennett, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Wilson, Elliot Sharp, Antonio Sanchez, and composer Mikael Karlsson, among others.
Check out Chern Hwei’s website: http://chernhwei.webs.com