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Music Is: SSO nominated for Gramophone’s Orchestra of the Year 2021 Award

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is one of the 10 orchestras to be globally nominated for Gramophone’s prestigious Orchestra of the Year 2021 Award. To support Singapore’s national orchestra in its exciting journey, SSO is seeking public support as the voting goes live on 1st July. The voting link will remain live until 3pm (SGT) on Monday, 13th September.

Capturing the attention of the Gramophone’s editors and reviewers with the orchestra’s critically-acclaimed releases of Rachmaninov — Symphonies and Orchestral Music and Richard Strauss – Rosenkavalier Suite and other works, the nomination for the award is a testament to orchestra’s recorded sounds, its dynamic programming and ongoing initiatives, as well as the leadership of SSO’s conductors.

SSO stands alongside industry heavyweights like Philharmonia Orchestra (UK), Berliner Philharmoniker (Germany) and The Cleveland Orchestra (USA) in contention for the title. SSO is also the second-ever Asian orchestra to earn a nomination since the Orchestra of the Year Award was introduced in 2018.

Launched in 1977, the prestigious Gramophone Classical Music Awards are one of the highest honours accorded to notable works in the classical record industry and draws parallels for being the Oscars for classical music and often viewed as equivalent to or surpassing the American Grammy award. For the fourth consecutive year, the Gramophone Classical Music Awards will be naming an Orchestra of the Year, which is the only award determined through public voting. Past winners of the esteemed award are the Seattle Symphony (2018), the Hong Kong Philharmonic (2019) and The Philadelphia Orchestra (2020).

“We are very honoured and excited to be nominated for Gramophone’s Orchestra of the Year 2021 Award. It is particularly meaningful to receive this nomination in 2021, when an orchestra’s recorded sound is the only way for many ensembles to reach their audiences. Building on the SSO’s four decades of recording tradition, with more than 30 albums released under the BIS label. In addition to the digital season launched last year to bring out music into the homes of our local and international audiences as they went through lockdown, the pandemic also allowed us to continue recording for international labels and staying on track with the scheduled releases with BIS.

In a year when our international fans were not able to travel to Singapore to hear us, we are thrilled that our releases kept us connected globally through music. The musicians of the SSO are proud to represent Singapore in the international arena, even as we continue to keep the music going as artistic life resumes in the city.” shares Mr Chng Hak-Peng, Singapore Symphony Group CEO.

Since its inception in 1979, SSO has been making waves in the local arts scene and championing the celebration of classical music. The orchestra is renowned for its orchestral virtuosity, having received sterling reviews for their quality performances alongside a growing catalogue of widely-acclaimed recordings and releases.

SSO has played a significant role in revitalising classical music for the community through their well-received outdoor and community appearances including SSO National Day Concert, SSO Mother’s Day Concert, and SSO Concerts for Children. Also, a pivotal force in the local scene to nurture young music aspirants to achieve their highest musical potential, the orchestra has been playing an instrumental role in talent development through organising and hosting various events including President’s Young Performer’s Concert, and National Piano & Violin Competition.

During the period of uncertainty brought on by Covid-19 where live events ground to a halt, SSO soldiered on in their efforts to bring the wonderful gift of music to Singapore’s community during difficult times by pivoting to online concerts. By adapting their traditional live performances to a digital space, both casual listeners and music aficionados could seek solace in classical performances within the comforts of their own home.

Votes for SSO can be cast on Gramophone’s website until 3pm, 13th September 2021. The Orchestra of the Year will be revealed on 5th October 2021 at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards.

Listen to Gramophone’s curated playlist of works and excerpts by Singapore Symphony Orchestra, and Gramophone’s curated playlist of works by nominees of Orchestra of the Year 2021 Award

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