Friday, June 26, 2015

OMM's Mahler 8 'Symphony of a Thousand' - 10 and 11 July

Taken from the Orchestra of the Music Makers's official press release:

Singapore’s Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) will be performing one of the most ambitious pieces of classical music, Gustav Mahler’s 8th Symphony or “Symphony of a Thousand”, live in Singapore as a tribute to SG50.

Featuring no less than eight local and international vocal soloists, four large choirs (including three from Australia), a children’s choir, large symphony orchestra, separate brass ensemble and an organ, this is only the second time the symphony will be performed in Singapore’s history.

The monumental piece starts with a medieval Pentecost hymn and culminates in the closing scene of Goethe’s Faust, drawing together fundamental philosophical ideas of Western history. Mahler wrote this immensely moving and spectacular symphony as a “gift to the entire nation” for his beloved Germany, which is fitting for OMM in its tribute to SG50.

The Orchestra's Executive Committee envisioned bringing Mahler 8 to Singapore four years ago. Since then, the group has been working towards this collective vision, laying the ground for the idea to become a reality to make this performance a gift to the nation on its 50th birthday.

OMM’s music director Professor Chan Tze-Law, a leading Singaporean conductor and Associate Director of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, remarked, “This concert is five years in the making and easily our most ambitious project to date. It is a fitting tribute to the progress Singapore has made in its short history, including the development of a classical music scene. I could never have imagined a few decades ago that a home-grown symphony orchestra whose members donate their own time would perform at this calibre.”

Comprising 140 accomplished musicians, OMM was established in 2008 to provide an outlet for talented orchestral players, many of whom have developed careers outside of music. For the Mahler 8 concert, OMM will be joined by professional vocal soloists from around the region including sopranos Hyon Lee, Ariya Sawadivong and US-based Singaporean prodigy Janani Sridhar. Other international soloists include mezzo sopranos Deborah Humble and Songmi Yang, tenor Dongwon Shin, baritone Warwick Fyfe and bass Joshua Bloom.

The symphony requires a chorus with impact, so OMM will be partnering with Vocal Associates Festival and Children's Chorus from Singapore, and the Perth Symphonic Chorus, The Winthrop Singers and the Queensland Festival Chorus will travel from Australia specially for the concert.

In order to hone the skills necessary to perform Mahler’s most difficult symphony with artistic flair and precision, OMM tackled the composer’s 1st, 2nd and 5th symphonies in performances in recent years. OMM’s performance of Mahler’s 2nd Symphony garnered international recognition in notable publications such as Gramophone (UK), Mostly Classic (Japan), the American Record Guide (USA) and Fanfare (USA).

Link to tickets available at the Events Page.

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