The Singapore Symphony Orchestra has unveiled the first half of its 2022/2023 season. Apart from spotlighting a stellar line-up of international artists including Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman, South Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon, Canadian violinist James Ehnes, South Korean pianist Yeol Eum Son, Venezuelan trumpeter Pacho Flores, Scottish pianist Steven Osborne and Ukrainian-born Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman, the new season affirms a fresh restart in the music scene with full programmes, full audiences as well as new appointments – where the SSO’s current Chief Conductor Hans Graf will be appointed as Music Director, the third in the orchestra’s history.
In the new season, Singapore’s brightest violin star Chloe Chua will be named Artist-In-Residence. The young violinist, who has already won hearts all over the world with her astonishing musicality, will perform in a handful of concerts, while completing a Mozart Violin 3 CD album with the SSO, directed by Hans Graf. Watch both in the Temasek Foundation SSO Hans Graf Inaugural Concert on 28 and 29 July at the Esplanade Concert Hall, or catch the livestream on SSO’s YouTube channel on 28 July.
The inaugural concert of Hans Graf as the new Music Director of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra marks a new height in the SSO’s musical evolution under his baton. Aside from the heroic adventures of Don Juan and the magisterial beauty of Brahms’s Second Symphony, the Maestro will lead the SSO in accompanying Chloe Chua in Mozart’s delightful Violin Concerto No. 5. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness an indelible chapter in the history of the SSO.
In the new season, SSO continues to attract acclaimed conductors from around the world to lead its orchestra including Han-Na Chang, Vasily Petrenko, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Stephen Layton, Andrew Litton and Gerard Salonga.
Through the popular SSO POPS, SSO Babies’ Proms, and Concerts for Children, families can take the opportunity to bond with their loved ones over great music. The Singapore Symphony Chorus, Youth and Children’s Choirs will also be back on the stage to perform live with the SSO for the first time since the pandemic.
Other notable highlights include two Gala concerts: Strauss Four Last Songs and Sibelius Symphony 5 on 14 October and Krystian Zimerman In Concert, happening on 7 and 8 December. The former will star veteran Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste as he leads distinguished soprano Evelina Dobračevaand the SSO through an enthralling performance featuring Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. The programme also features the divine Act 1 prelude from Wagner’s Lohengrin and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5.
In December, Polish legend Krystian Zimerman leads the SSO as both soloist and conductor in Beethoven’s meditative Piano Concerto No. 4 and the vigorous Fourth Symphony.
As a prelude to the new season, the popular free SSO Lunchtime Concert on 6 July features a programme of popular orchestral overtures conducted by Jason Lai. This is followed by Symphony in the Gardens on 10 July – a free performance held at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and livestreamed online, featuring the Brass Ensemble of the SSO with popular themes from movies and musicals.
On 16 July, witness the exceptional talent of Churen Li, one of Singapore’s finest young pianists in Han-Na Chang and Churen Li – Beethoven and Grieg, as she sets out to dazzle the audience with the breathtaking poetry of Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Led by renowned South Korean conductor Han-Na Chang, the SSO will also perform Rossini’s famous William Tell Overture and Beethoven’s trailblazing masterpiece, the Eroica Symphony.
Catch another South Korean music talent in action on 21 and 22 July in Yeol Eum Son Plays Mozart. Vasily Petrenko, Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chief Conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra, will also lead the SSO in Sibelius’s triumphant Second Symphony.
Look forward to another exciting month packed with performances by acclaimed artists, starting with Hans Graf and Vadim Gluzman – Beethoven and Shostakovich on 5 and 6 August, spotlighting distinguished Ukrainian-born Israeli violinist Vadim Gluzman. Featuring Flow, a new work by Singaporean composer Zechariah Goh, the performance will conclude with Beethoven’s symphonic tribute to nature’s serenity, the Pastoral Symphony.
To commemorate the nation’s birthday, conductor Darrell Ang will lead the Singapore Symphony Choruses, featuring members of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and special guests Lorong Boys to present the Temasek Foundation SSO National Day Concert 2022 on 13 August, celebrating Singapore’s music, including six brand new pieces by Singaporean composers.
On 18 August, Mozart Piano Concerto 24 and Brahms Symphony 1 will star prolific and award-winning pianist Steven Osborne, and Swiss conductor Stefan Blunier in these titular staples of classical music.
Round up an eventful month with the President’s Young Performers Concert on 26 and 27 August, featuring three young stars: NUS Medal for Outstanding Achievement Award recipient pianist-composer Pualina Lim, former Singapore National Youth Orchestra Principal Oboe Quek Jun Rui, and award-winning soprano Evangeline Ng, who is based in New York.
The month is off to a spectacular start with the return of SSO POPS: To Broadway, With Love, on 1 and 2 September. Led by conductor Gerard Salonga, the SSO and distinguished vocalists Lara Maigue, Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Poppert Bernadas, and Sean Ghazi will come together to perform music from renowned Broadway productions like The King and I, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and more.
On 8 September, Venezuela’s charismatic trumpet virtuoso Pacho Flores returns to Singapore to present two trumpet showcases, the quintessential Haydn Trumpet Concerto and the Concierto de Otoño of foremost Mexican composer Arturo Márquez. British conductor Leo McFall will also lead the SSO in this attractive programme that includes Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony, a brilliant symphonic showcase in the sunlit key of G major.
Introduce the young ones to the magic of the orchestra at the Temasek Foundation SSO Concerts for Children: A Musical Tumble Through Time, a fun-filled, action-packed musical extravaganza by Platypus Theatre, coming to you on 10 and 11 September.
Don’t miss Fantasia, Farewells and Fauré on 16 and 17 September, featuring an evocative line-up of English and French choral and string tradition. From the faraway nostalgia of Tallis and Vaughan Williams to the heart-breaking beauty of Walton’s musical farewells, this poignant programme concludes with Fauré’s jewel of tranquility, his Requiem, starring the Singapore Symphony Children’s and Youth Choirs, the SSO, award-winning London-based Singaporean soprano Victoria Songwei Li, Singaporean baritone Martin Ng, and led by famed British choral conductor Stephen Layton.
On 22 and 23 September, conductor Nicholas Buc and the SSO will come together for SSO POPS: Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Watch the cult classic film while listening to the SSO perform, live on stage, Bernard Herrmann’s chilling score of anxiety, fear, and the sinister soul of a killer.
Come 6 October, Soyoung Yoon and Mario Venzago will see South Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon perform the Asian premiere of Mario Venzago’s intense Violin Concerto, under the baton of the veteran Swiss composer-conductor himself.
SSO’s popular Babies’ Proms makes a long-awaited comeback on 8 October at the Victoria Concert Hall, providing parents and young children with an opportunity to come together to discover the enthralling world of the orchestra and its different instruments.
On 21 and 22 October, Canadian violin extraordinaire James Ehnes will return to Singapore with the Barber Violin Concerto for Romantic Airs – Hans Graf and James Ehnes, his first concerto performance with the SSO. Be inspired by this poetic journey of Romantic songs featuring the Singapore Symphony Chorus and Youth Choir, capped by Schumann’s optimistic Second Symphony.
The month ends off on a high note with Capriccio – Stravinsky’s Piano Concertos on 28 October. Led by SSO Music Director Hans Graf, this lively programme will feature two symphonies by Mozart, and the accomplished pianist Alexei Volodin in the trademark wit of Stravinsky.
The SSO will star in a handful of concerts this month including SSO POPS: A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY on 1 and 2 November, led by conductor-composer Eric Roth.
Families with young kids will want to mark their calendars for Concerts for Children: Family Film Favourites presented by Alasdair Malloy on 13 November, which will feature music from popular films like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen and Little Mermaid.
Two of SSO’s key musicians, Jin Ta (SSO Principal Flute, Stephen Riady Chair) and Gulnara Mashurova (SSO Principal Harp) will star in Mozart Flute & Harp Concerto on 25 and 26 November. Led by renowned French conductor Ludovic Morlot, both musicians will join hands to perform Mozart’s sublime union of flute and harp, closing with Schumann’s jubilant tribute to spring.
The month wraps up with Seika Ishida Plays Mozart on 30 November and 1 December. Led by conductor Andrew Litton, the multi award-winning Japanese pianist is set to captivate the audience with Mozart’s trailblazing Piano Concerto No. 20.
Get into the festive mood with SSO Christmas Fundraising Concert on 15 and 16 December, as the SSO and the Singapore Symphony Choruses bring you a Baroque-themed Christmas programme featuring favourite tunes from Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Pachelbel’s Canon.
Along with the live concerts, fans can stream SSO’s music from the comfort of their own screens. On 28 July, the Temasek Foundation SSO Hans Graf Inaugural Concert will be streamed live on SSO’s YouTube channel. On 13 August, the Temasek Foundation SSO National Day Concert will be streamed live on both SSOLOUNGE and SSO’s YouTube channel.
Other new releases on SSOLOUNGE include Gábor Káli & Dénes Várjon: Mozart in Major (7 July), Hans Graf & Ye-Eun Choi: Love, Carmen and Mozart(8 September), Jun Markl & Kam Ning: The Sound of Mendelssohn, featuring the composer’s popular Violin Concerto and Italian Symphony (13 October), as well as To Paris with Cédric Tiberghien & Carlos Kalmar (10 November), taking viewers through Ravel’s La Tombeau de Couperin and Mozart’s popular Paris Symphony, written when he visited the French capital in 1778.
SSOLOUNGE’s exciting line-up continues into December with the SSO Christmas Fundraising Concert Livestream on 15 December.
In the month of September, the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir will return to conduct The SSCC Experience and the SSCC Auditions, at the Victoria Concert Hall and SNYO studios respectively, after running it online the past two years.
Conducted by the SSCC conductors, The SSCC Experience features a one-day programme that is designed to equip both budding and experienced choristers, aged between 8 and 12, with the basics of rhythm, solfeggio and choral techniques. At the end of the workshop, participants will get to apply what they have learnt with an opportunity to perform onstage with the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir.
Budding choristers with and without musical experience are warmly invited to join the SSCC Auditions, where a future of extensive choral training and performing opportunities await.