For the first time in two years since the circuit breaker, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) looks forward to having a full orchestra back on stage in the upcoming months for selected pilot concerts, which will open at full capacity as Covid-19 live show restrictions ease.
These events include SNYO in Concert: Mozart Jupiter Symphony, happening on 17 March, led by conductor Joshua Tan, with performance by the clarinet ensemble of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO); and SNYO in Concert: Bernstein Serenade, taking place on 18 March, featuring members of the SNYO with violinist Kailin Yong.
Other notable highlights include the return of SSO to Gardens by the Bay after two years, with a string orchestra led by conductor Joshua Tan.; appearances of international guests such as violinists Ray Chen and Stefan Jackiw, the Stradivari Quartet from Switzerland, Georgian-French pianist Khatia Buniatishvili, British classical pianist Stephen Hough, and Italian conductor Fabio Biondi; and some of Singapore’s finest young musicians, including acclaimed violinist Chloe Chua and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.
This March, revel in a symphony of sounds around the island as SSO’s free community concerts make music available to all. Temasek Foundation SSO Concerts In Your Community: Our Tampines Hub, will see members of the Brass Ensemble of the SSO come together on 5 March to celebrate friendship, love and loyalty through popular tunes.
The following week, conductor Joshua Tan and members of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra will come together for two concerts where they will perform the same line-up of pieces: the popular SSO Lunchtime Concert at the Victoria Concert Hall on 10 March, and Music in the Meadows at Gardens by the Bay on 12 March. This outdoor concert will also be streamed live on SSO’s Facebook and YouTube page, and Gardens by the Bay’s Facebook page.
Come 13 March, join musicians of the SSO for VCHpresents Intimate Moments: Women Composers with Gu Bing Jie in celebration of International Women’s Day. Associate Principal Violist Gu Bing Jie will be joined by Lianhe Zaobao journalist Zhang Heyang to discuss the contributions of women in classical music, from past and present, east and west.
20 March sees the return of the much-loved Temasek Foundation SSO Concerts for Children, with a programme specially designed to teach the young ones about the orchestra through storytelling and music performed by the SSO. The Conductor’s Spellbooktells the magical story of young Tony Stradivarius, who finds an amazing book of spells during a trip to the concert hall and uses it to enchant instruments of the orchestra.
On 24 and 25 March, Hungarian conductor Gábor Káli will direct American violinist Stefan Jackiw’s performance ofBeethoven’s extraordinary Kreutzer Sonata, arranged in the form of a violin concerto.
The SSO will gather on 31 March to wrap up the March live concerts with Shostakovich with Hans Graf and Nikolay Didenko, featuring music by the famed 20th century Russian composer. The programme features his bold First Symphony from his 19th year, and Russian bass Nikolay Didenko singing the lead role in the Suite on Verses by Michelangelo Buonarott.
The impressive concert line-up continues into April at the Esplanade Concert Hall. The month kicks off with superstar violinist Ray Chen starring in two concerts: SSO GALA: Ray Chen Plays Sibelius on 8 April, with SSO Chief Conductor Hans Graf leading the combined orchestra of the SSO and SNYO for Sibelius’ popular Violin Concerto, as well as another concert hall favourite, the spectacular Pictures At An Exhibition. Hear Ray Chen in Recitalon 9 April in this intimate chamber programme accompanied by American pianist Julio Elizalde.
On 14 April, Khatia Buniatishvili Plays Tchaikovsky, featuring the acclaimed French-Georgian piano star and the SSO, led by Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Litton, will fill the concert hall of the Esplanade with scintillating drama and colour through Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable First Piano Concerto.
The VCHpresents series shines the spotlight on the Stradivari Quartet this month with VCHpresents: Stradivari Quartet & SSO on 16 April, and VCHpresents: Stradivari Quartet – Morning in the Miao Mountain on 17 April. For the former, the string quartet will join hands with musicians of the SSO to perform Dvořák’s richly varied Op. 77, Mendelssohn’s famous Octet and a new work by prolific Singaporean composer Chen Zhangyi, while the latter, will see the quartet present a programme of music inspired by Chinese scenery, tradition and song, ranging from cultural classics to contemporary colours.
The concerts by Ray Chen and Khatia Buniatishvili will also be open at full capacity.
On 23 & 24 April, witness Singapore’s brightest violin star Chloe Chua and the SSO bring the musical poetry of Vivaldi’s spring, summer, autumn and winter to life in The Four Seasons with Chloe Chua. Chloe Chua will also tackle the iconic 12th concerto from Pietro Locatelli’s The Art of the Violin, appropriately nicknamed “The Harmonic Labyrinth”.
Round up the month on a high note with Stephen Hough Plays Mozart on 29 April, where the celebrated British pianist will perform Mozart’s sparkling Piano Concerto No. 21, led by conductor Fabio Biondi.
Beyond live concerts, fans can also enjoy SSO’s music in the comfort of their homes with the digital release of Halcyon Days, featuring the evergreen tunes of Mozart and Grieg on SSOLOUNGE, available on 7 April.
More information available on SSO’s website