The 1915 Raffles MarchComposed by A. Dietz, former Director of the Orchestra at the Raffles Hotel. Dietz himself is a mystery, with little is known of him, not even his first name. The work is known to have been performed on 13th September 1922 at the hotel, in a special concert reported in The Straits Times the day before. And in 2017, more than a century after its composition, the piano version of the score is all that remains, found in the National Library by SSO bassoonist Christoph Wichert, who followed a lead from a local musicologist.
On 10th August this year then, the Raffles March will receive its first contemporary performance, in a new orchestration by Singaporean composer/pianist Bertram Wee. The revived work will open the SSO National Day Concert 2019, in its second iteration, as part of the musical showcase of how Singapore’s arts legacy has grown in the last century.
Familiar and favourite classics will be performed alongside brand new works such as Jewel of Srivijaya, Kampong Overture and Our Singapore Dream. The all-Singaporean programme features a cast of all-Singaporean musical talent, including Jeremy Monteiro (piano), Joanna Dong (vocals), Nawaz Mirajkar (table), V M Sai Akileshwar (mridangam), Tamagoh (drums), Christy Smith (bass), and Samuel Phua (saxophone). The Orchestra, conducted by SSO Associate Conductor Joshua Tan, will be accompanied by the Singapore Symphony Chorus and Youth Choir, with Choral Director Eudenice Palaruan.
This August, join the SSO in their jubilant celebration of Singaporean music, and know that this really is home, truly, as our music tells us so!
The SSO National Day Concert plays on 10th August 2019 at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Tickets available here