Preview: VCHpresents 2019/20 Season presented by Singapore Symphony Orchestra
The Victoria Concert Hall has announced its brand new VCHpresents 2019/20 seaso, marking the fifth anniversary of its re-opening. The season will include a range of performances that explore the chamber music repertoire, solo voice recitals, more intimate happenings, and two music festivals.
The VCHpresents Chamber series promises to be Singapore’s widest offering of chamber music at the highest level – from western classical strings and the Chinese sheng (Endless Sound featuring Wu Wei) to a chamber version of Mahler’s spellbinding First Symphony (Stradivari Quartet plays Mahler) and the titanic “Great Fugue”, one of Beethoven’s final works (Pavel Haas Quartet).
Performing together, two familiar faces of the SSO Lynnette Seah (violin and Co-Concertmaster of the SSO) and Gulnara Mashurova (Principal Harp), bring enchantment to the hall through Massenet’s heavenly Meditation from Thais and the perfumed lyricism with Ravel’s well-known miniature harp concerto (French Connections).
Audiences can also look forward to hearing rare male voice recitals this season. Emerging Chinese tenor Long Long and baritone Zhou Zhengzhong take the stage in two separate shows. Long’s concert features French and Italian love songs, accompanied by Malaysian pianist Tengku Irfan (Love and Longing); while Zhou performs heartfelt opera arias, contrastingly paired with Chinese songs and accompanied by Singaporean pianist Lim Yan (Songs of Nostalgia).
To challenge the boundaries of classical music, VCHpresents Excite! will also be welcoming welcomes award-winning violinist Rachel Barton Pine and Miloš Karadaglić . As the SSO 2019/20 Artist-in-Residence, Barton “shreds” her violin with a genre-defying programme featuring music from Paganini, Sibelius, Shostakovich as well as hard rock musicians such as Nine Inch Nails, Led Zeppelin and Van Halen (Shredding with Rachel Barton Pine). The genre crossover continues with the return of popular guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, who brings with him dreamy poetry and sultry fire from the Mediterranean (Here Comes the Sun).
VCHpresents Organ is back to bring more mesmerising vibrations from VCH’s 2012-pipe Klais organ, Singapore’s only fully mechanical organ – watch eminent Japanese organist Masato Suzuki presents a tantalising programme of toccatas and sublime fugues from Bach, Brahms, Liszt and Schumann (Organ, Omakase). Keeping with the spirit of community, the Organ series will include free lunchtime recitals through the year, by Singaporean organists Evelyn Lim and Joanna Paul (Pipes de deux), Isaac Lee paired with SSO trombonist Samuel Armstrong (Pipe Up! II), and Koh Jia Hwei paired with flautist Cheryl Lim (Second Wind). In addition, French organist François Espinasse goes back to Bach in a fascinating organ recital, supported by the Singapore Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (Organ, Français).
Not forgetting young concertgoers, the evergreen children’s classic, The Carnival of the Animals, is paired with The Composer and the Mouse, an animated double bill that combines film and original music for organ and piano, performed live by the Scott Brothers Duo, perfect for introducing children to the magic of music (The Composer and the Mouse).
In a brand new series called “Intimate Moments”, audience members will be able to enjoy a performance and converse with the musicians about chamber music of personal significance. The session features SSO violinists Zhang Si Jing (From West to East) and Cindy Lee (The Colourful World of Animals).
VCHpresents will also be featuring two festivals in its programme lineup, with the 2020 Baroque Festival. Taking place from 11th to 12th April 2020, the Baroque Festival takes on the theme of Genius of Rome and Orpheus of Rome. Directed by Bojan Cicic, renowned leader of the famous Academy of Ancient Music, expect composers such as Locatelli and Colista, the “Orpheus of Rome”. Plus, the annual Singapore International Piano Festival is also set to arrive from 4th to 7th June 2020 for its 27th edition, featuring a line-up of established and up-and-coming pianists: Malaysian pianist and BBC Music Magazine Best Newcomer Mei-Yi Foo; familiar figure at the BBC Proms, Briton Leon McCawley; celebrated German pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias; and award-winning Argentinian Nelson Goerner.
Says Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) CEO Chng Hak-Peng: “Since the reopening of VCH in 2014, we continue to hear people tell us how intimate the music feels in the spaces. Hearing what our audiences have to say, we also recognise that with the rush of our modern and digital lives, our audiences are seeking out something closer, and more intimate in their musical experiences. It gives us great pleasure to present new ways to enjoy VCH close encounters with music in this special venue.”
For more information on the VCHpresents 2019/20 season, visit their website here