The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced its 2019/20 lineup of concerts of both familiar and new music, featuring 32 artist debuts, new Singaporean works, and violinist Rachel Barton Pine as SSO Artist-in-Residence. Other highlights of the season to look forward to include the launch of a brand new season pass for fans and frequent concert goers.
Says Singapore Symphony Group CEO Chng Hak-Peng: “The SSO’s 2019/20 season poses the question, ‘What is our place in the world?’ Contemporary concerns form the backdrop of the season. Singapore’s debate on the meaning of the bicentennial of 1819 and our national identity, and climate change. This has inspired us to explore our community’s sense of history, and the ‘space’ we inhabit in geographical, cosmic, and cultural terms. The three themes for this season are “British Journeys”, “Voice of a City”, and “Nature and the Universe”.
“In addition,” he adds, “we continue to offer repertoire to meet the different needs and wants of our wide-ranging audience. For those who can’t get enough of the perennially popular composers, there are works from the likes of Beethoven, Haydn and Mozart. For explorers of new sounds, we perform contemporary music within and outside our Red Balloon series. Choral lovers can also look forward to operatic arias from Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja, as well as other choral works by Beethoven and Faure.”
There are three distinct ‘sets’ of concerts the SSO has divided their season into for 2019/20. The first set of concerts looks at Great Britain and the sea-faring journeys that started and ended there – from the works of European musicians who were inspired by their travels to London and Scotland, to those of British composers in the 19th to early 20th century writing about their travels and the world around them. In another set, the SSO follows the Voice of a City through music inspired by and composed in the cosmopolitan cities of Singapore, Leipzig, Dresden, and New York. The concerts also explore Nature and the Universe with pastoral- and cosmic-themed works including two film concerts celebrating the aurora borealis and marking the 50th year of Man’s landing on the moon.
The SSO has also announced its latest Artist-in-Residence, American violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who will perform in two concerts at the Esplanade Concert Hall, conducted by SSO Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Litton and returning Polish conductor Michał Nesterowicz, respectively. Known for her philanthropic work and inspiring life story, Pine will also give a talk at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Forum series.
Four Singapore premieres feature in this season’s lineup: Zhou Tian’s Cello Concerto “Flowing Sleeves”; Penderecki’s Horn Concerto and “Adagio”; Salgado’s Aurora Triptych; and George Enescu’s Pastorale Fantaisie for small orchestra, which will also be an Asian premiere. The SSO will also unveil four newly-commissioned works, one each from Joyce Koh and Tony Makarome and two from Lee Jinjun – where the latter three works will premiere at the SSO National Day Concert on 10 August 2019. Singaporean musicians who will perform with the SSO this season include Akilesh VMS, Jeremy Monteiro, Kevin Loh, Nawaz Mirajkar, Samuel Phua, and Tama Goh. In addition, audiences can look forward to music by some of the most exciting Asian composers today, including Zhao Lin, Zhou Tian, and Chen Qigang.
This will also be SSO’s first season since former Music Director Lan Shui stepped down in January 2019 after a 22-year career with the national orchestra. The SSO appointed its new Director of Artistic Planning Hans Sørensen, also in January 2019, who will plan the 2020/21 concert season. The orchestra is currently on a global search for its Chief Conductor.
Fans of the SSO can look forward to the return of the SSO’s Friends programme, following a year’s hiatus. Aimed at strengthening the orchestra’s friendship with regular concertgoers through savings and privileges, patrons can purchase the brand new SSO Friends Season Pass, available for 3, 6 or 12 concerts and enjoy savings of up to 25%. All Friends will enjoy exclusive perks like meet-the-artist sessions, the convenience of online ticket redemptions, as well as additional discounts for Singapore Symphony Group activities. To continue encouraging a wider audience profile for concerts, the SSO continues to harp on the affordability of its concerts, where tickets in Categories 3 to 6 are kept affordable with the support of Temasek Foundation Nurtures. The SSO Young Symphony Explorers programme, supported by donors such as Swire and Santa Lucia Asset Management, also extends discounted or complimentary tickets to youth and students, while free tickets are made available for charities in Singapore.
For more information on the SSO’s 2019/20 season, visit their website here