Arts Music Preview Singapore

Preview: Of Music and Story – River of Life by Ding Yi Music Company


In collaboration with Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Chinse chamber music ensemble Ding Yi Music Company is back with the 2019 edition of their signature Of Music
Series, which brings together multiple disciplines with music to create a unique concert experience. This time around, in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial, they’ll be uniting Chinese chamber music with storytelling, a concept by Ding Yi Principal Conductor Quek Ling Kiong inspired by late historian Han Shan Yuan during a conversation with him.

Initially, the idea was to create a musical production themed around Han’s famed literary work on the Singapore River《新加坡河:讲不完的故事》– in celebration of SG50, and perhaps appropriately, is finally being staged now with the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore at the Singapore River. “This concert is also to realise the wish of our dear Mr Han Shan Yuan, therefore we invite his sibling Mr Han Lao Da, recipient of the Cultural Medallion and the inaugural Singapore Chinese Cultural Award, as the scriptwriter and director for the concert”, says Quek.

Celebrated local composer and Cultural Medallion recipient Law Wai Lun will be featuring his world premiere composition specially commissioned for Ding Yi and the
concert, marking his first time writing for the professional Chinese chamber ensemble. “We are excited and looking forward to Mr Law’s commissioned work as this is his very first time writing for us and for Chinese chamber music since we mooted the idea more than three years ago”, says conductor Quek.

Joining the collaboration with Law Wai Lun and the Han Lao Da, local senior editor and
daughter of Han Shan Yuan, Han Yong May will take on the role of script consultant
while local theatremaker Yang Shibin will play the narrator for the concert.

In the leadup to this showcase, audiences can also enjoy two free outreach events – Arts Chat: River of Life on 7th Dec 2019 at Stamford Arts Centre Black Box, featuring a screening of the documentary film “Memories of Singapore River” 《忆记新加坡河》 followed by a dialogue with the featured artists and the film director Eric Lim (林少鹏) on their thoughts for the upcoming concert. The public can also visit a free exhibition tracing the memories of Singapore River at library@esplanade throughout December (2nd – 31st December).

Of Music and Story – River of Life plays at the Esplanade Recital Studio on 15th December 2019. Tickets available from the Esplanade. Tickets to Arts Chat and screening of “Memories of Singapore River” on 7th December available from Peatix


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