Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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SSO's Debut Recording on Decca

This looks like an exciting move for our very own local orchestra: a new CD on a major international label! Nevermind that they only playing a supporting role to Qin Li-Wei (who is a contracted recording artist with Universal Music as well as a lecturer at Yong Siew Toh), what matters is that their performance, along with Maestro Lan Shui's leadership, will now be accessible to a much broader international audience of classical music lovers. So give it up for the home team! Here's more information:


Lan Shui is leading Singapore Symphony Orchestra to be the world class Symphony Orchestra- American Record Guide

Experienced Germany production team travelled to Singapore Esplanade for the live recording of the album

DECCA releases the works of the famous cellist, Qin Li-Wei's third album, Dvorak - a live recording together with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and conductor, Lan Shui. The album consist of the live recording of Dvorak ‘B minor cello concerto, ‘Silent Woods’and Brahms’s ‘Academic Festival Overture’. ‘B minor Cello Concerto’ is not only one of the masterpieces of Dvorak, but is also well received by the world. This is not the first time Li-Wei has played this piece, at the age of 17, he collaborated with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, but this time, he feels that he has grown and performed this piece more confidently.

The German production team was specially invited to Singapore Esplanade to do the recording for the album, and thereafter, the album was completed in Germany. Li-Wei mentioned that it was a lot of pressure for him during the live recording as everything that was played will be recorded in the album. However, conductor Lan Shui was very understanding and they all worked together very well along with the orchestra.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cecilia Bartoli's Puzzle

I've solved the puzzle, now its your turn!
Cecilia Bartoli's website has a new game feature to promote her new recording of Norma, also featuring Sumi Jo. Complete the image in 300 seconds and you will get to view the official trailer of the recording sessions!


Otherwise if playing games at the office is not your thing, you can view the official trailers here:

Part two of the trailer, featuring the duo singing Mira o Norma:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Two Free Concerts to Watch Out For

Here are two free upcoming concerts, by professional performers, that you might be interested in:

SOTA faculty concert: American and Spanish 20th Century Music (14 May)

Faculty and Friends Concert II

Faculty and Friends Concert II presents four 20th Century pieces for keyboard and ensemble. The concert will be divided into an American and a Spanish part each; both parts will feature one work each for the piano and the harpsichord.

Hidden messages in Samuel Adler’s Acrostics: Four Games for Six Players, and synesthetic relationships between music and colours in Michael Torke’s The Telephone Book will be presented in the American half.

Free serialism in Salvador Brotons’ Mixed Sextet and the culmination of Manuel de Falla’s Harpsichord Concerto will form the Spanish half.

Featuring SOTA Faculty members: Yang Tien (harpsichord), Lim Yan (piano), Roberto Alvarez (flute), Li Xin (clarinet), Chan Yoong-Han (violin), Leslie Tan (cello), Mark Suter (percussion) and Audi Goh (oboe).

Find out more about the concert and make your reservations here:


Piano Conversations with Julian Lawrence Gargiulo: The Art of Being Silly (1 June)

Piano recital of Julian Gargiulo in the beautiful setting of the Singapore Botanical Gardens.

Combining an informal style of presenting classical music with a rigorous Russian conservatory training, Julian G has been getting standing ovations on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether performing for 4000 people in Singapore's Symphony Stage or for an eclectic group of fifty in the 5th Avenue home of the Avery Fisher's, Julian is able to transmit a unique concert experience to each and every one present. Or, to put it in the words of NY critics, “...Jerry Seinfeld storytelling...” meets “...playing in the style of Rubinstein.”

DATE: 1 June 2013, Saturday
TIME: 6.30PM – 8PM
VENUE: Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens

About Julian Gargiulo
Julian G is a dynamic classical pianist who renders the compositions of renowned masters with extraordinary passion and precision, and a signature style of musicality that has brought him public and critical acclaim, from Bolshoi Hall in Russia to Carnegie Hall in the U.S. “His powerful energy enveloped the audience”, observed State Magazine in Washington, DC while L’Arena di Verona in Italy wrote “a romantic pianist with a particular sensibility for Schumann...Beethoven rich in textural subtleties...exquisite Gershwin.” and the St. John Times proclaimed him “A Tour de Force of wit and brilliance!”. Julian's performances bring together a mix of classical masterpieces, his own tango transcriptions and his original jazz-influenced compositions.

More information available at http://juliangargiulo.com/

About Room to Read
Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world through a focus on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than four million children by providing increased access to high-quality educational opportunities through its network of libraries and schools, local language children’s books and its Girls’ Education program. Room to Read is changing children’s lives in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015.

Learn more at: www.roomtoread.org

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

SLO Presents "Pursuant" the Musical

The Singapore Lyric Opera presents an original musical by composer Chen Zhangyi and Jonathan Lim.

This May, leap into the future and catch Pursuant, a musical about dreaming by the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) at the Drama Centre Theatre on 31 May, 1, 2 and 4 to 8 June 2013, featuring a cast of TV and theatre regulars. Here's more information:


Set  in  the  year  2023 in a familiar country called SingaCorp,  Pursuant  is  an  original  musical that  follows  the  adventures  of  young  Ethan,  a  secondary  school  boy  with  an  unstoppable capacity  for  dreaming. The  only  problem is  –  dreaming  is  illegal and dreamers  are arrested and sent for treatment!

Ethan’s  wild  dreams soon spiral  into  a  nightmare  when he  is  captured  and sent  to  a  high‐security  concentration  camp  for  torturous  brainwashing.  When he  and his fellow dreamers are rescued by a band of vigilantes called Dream On, Ethan leads them all on a quest to find the mysterious Old  Man  who  has been  haunting his  dreams – the legend who started it all and built the country from a dream.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

International Festival Chorus's "Earworms from Everywhere" - 1 May 2013

Click to enlarge
The International Festival Chorus presents their concert Earworms from Everywhere on 1 May 2013, presenting choral arrangements of musical theatre, pop and movie theme songs. Here's an excerpt from their press release:


Earworms from Everywhere - A celebration of music from the screen, the stage and The Beatles

The International Festival Chorus (Singapore) invites music lovers, theatre fans and film buffs to this family-friendly Labour Day concert, Earworms from Everywhere — the annual Spring concert of the International Festival Chorus (Singapore).

The term ‘earworm’ comes from the German ‘ohrwurm‘ — a catchy tune that sticks in your head. Earworms from Everywhere presents classic melodies that wedge themselves in our brains and refuse to let go, from the nostalgia of The Beatles to entertaining numbers from the screen and the stage.

Audiences can expect a range of pieces performed by full chorus, entertaining duets and trios, and inspired solo performances — from Broadway hits such as Rent, Avenue Q, Cabaret, Miss Saigon and The Phantom of the Opera, and music from blockbuster films such as Sister Act 2 and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A selection of poetry readings from Shakespeare to more modern, humourous poems will be interspersed through the concert. Pieces are performed a cappella and with musical accompaniment by the Chorus’s Resident Pianist as well as brass music from guest artists, B5 Brass.

Concert Details
Date: Wednesday 1 May 2013

Time: 5.00pm

Dunman High School Performing Arts Centre
10 Tanjong Rhu Road
Singapore 436895

Tickets: Adults S$20, Concession S$10
Please email tickets@singaporeifc.org to reserve your seats

Conductor: Albert Tay
Pianist: Francesca Lee
Guest Artists: B5 Brass

Friday, April 12, 2013

Songs of Frank Wildhorn - Free Concert on 12 April 2013 (TODAY!)

An excerpt from what the producers sent in:


Frank Wildhorn is best known as the composer of the musical Jekyll and Hyde, and he has always been called the Andrew Lloyd Webber of America. The score of his musicals are often filled with soaring contemporary pop melodies. Other than Jekyll and Hyde, Wildhorn wrote many other musicals including The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Civil War, Dracula The Musical, Wonderland: Alice’s New Musical Adventure, and last year’s Bonnie and Clyde. This month, we will showcase the lovely music of Frank Wildhorn.

Date: Friday, 12th April 2013
Venue: library@esplanade
Time: 7pm - 8pm
Admission is FREE

Crenshaw Yeo
Vicky Williamson
Melissa Gan
Catherine Campion
Valerie Choo
Rachel Tay
Gavin Low

Leonard Neo

Free Music Download from EMI Classic


EMI Classics has launched their new website with more interactive features than before! As a special promotion you can download a free collection of eight MP3s, excerpted from classic recordings and upcoming releases. Check it out here:


Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Musici with Nancy Yuen - 9 June 2013

Check out the press release excerpt below for I Musici's concert on 9 June 2013 at the SCO Concert Hall. The world-famous string ensemble will present a programme of baroque music including excerpts and transcriptions from  The Barber of Seville, La Traviata plus their trademark, award-winning version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. Nancy Yuen will make a guest appearance.


Enjoy baroque music at its best! The internationally-renowned Italian Chamber Orchestra, I Musici returns to Singapore with a new delightful programme of operatic music with works by popular Italian opera composers that include Rossini’s Overture from Barber of Seville, Verdi’s La Traviata, and Puccini’s O Mio Babbino caro and the ever popular, Vivaldi’s the Four Seasons. Soprano, Nancy Yuen makes a special guest appearance.

I Musici is a conductorless ensemble. Founded in 1952, they are the oldest active chamber group in the world that has been instrumental in diffusing eighteenth century Italian music. They created history by recording for the first time ever Vivaldi's masterpiece, the Four Seasons, selling an astonishing 25
million copies in various editions, making it one of the most famous pieces in the musical repertoire. Their performances have been acclaimed world-wide as representing the finest traditions of Italian baroque music with numerous well-received recordings to their credit.

Described by the New York Times as “a model for all similar groups with a style that is full of verve, stylistic purity and impeccable artistry”

News - Tribune and Herald complimented the ensemble as showing “a mastery of baroque”

Nancy Yuen is one of Asia’s and Singapore’s most outstanding singers. She made her debut upon graduation from London’s Royal Academy of Music with Welsh National Opera, singing the title role of Madama Butterfly to great critical acclaim. She has since reprised the role all over the world, notable with the English National Opera, Scottish Opera, West Australian Opera, Opera Queensland, Opera Northern Ireland, Singapore Lyric Opera, Bangkok Opera, New Zealand International Festival of Arts, Barbados Opera Festival & at London’s Royal Albert Hall. She also played principal role in major opera productions both in & outside of Singapore.

Click to Enlarge for Programme

Monday, April 8, 2013

Yale and Julliard Students to Perform Bach's Mass in B Minor in Singapore

This looks like an event for all classical music lovers, irregardless of taste or instrument of choice. Students ensembles from both Yale and Julliard will present Bach's Mass in B Minor on 9 June 2013, conducted by famed Japanese baroque conductor Masaaki Suzuki. Here's more information about the performers, courtesy of Julliard's website:


The Yale Schola Cantorum, founded in 2003, is a 24-voice chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music before 1750 and the last hundred years.

The Yale Baroque Ensemble is a new postgraduate ensemble at the Yale School of Music dedicated to the highest level of study and performance of Baroque repertoire.

Juilliard415 is the performing ensemble of Juilliard Historical Performance. This newly-established program provides a comprehensive course of study for exceptional graduate-level musicians who have a special interest in period-instrument performance. With an emphasis on music from the High Baroque through the early Classical eras performed on appropriate instruments, the performance-oriented curriculum brings together some of the most prominent period-instrument performers, scholars, and teachers in the world.

Since founding the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach. He has remained the group’s music director ever since, taking it regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the U.S. His impressive discography on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s complete works for harpsichord and his interpretations of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan (of which he has already completed over forty volumes of a project to record the complete series) have brought him much praise.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Time Out Singapore - SSO War Requiem

Time Out Singapore's April issue features the SSO's upcoming performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, with a few words from Maestro Lan Shui. Read it in the web version, but do check out the print version too, available at most bookshops and convenience stores.


Monday, April 1, 2013

Cecilia Bartoli's Norma CD Cover

Fresh from the Italian diva's Facebook Fanpage, also featuring the pre-eminent Korean diva Sumi Jo! Woohoo!!!