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Kelly Tang’s Two Symphonic Dances: Radiance and Spark

Performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO)


Published: 27 May 2020

Time taken : ~10mins

Esplanade was established to accommodate the rising hopes and dreams of a new Singapore. In commemorating its 10th anniversary by composing a new symphonic work, the best I could aspire to was to capture this newfound energy and passion that Esplanade has come to symbolise.

Kelly Tang

One of his more notable recent compositions, Two Symphonic Dances: Radiance and Spark is Singapore composer Kelly Tang’s exuberant ode to the beauty and brilliance of life. 

Signifying hope, Radiance introduces a theme that soars optimistically, suggesting that even in the most difficult hour, there are life-affirming moments that can banish the dark and brighten our paths. Recurring throughout the movement, the spirited motif makes its way across an aural terrain characterised by jagged dissonances and rhythmic shifts before reaching its climax.

The second movement Spark is a study in expressing positive energy through music. Lively syncopations and vivid orchestral colours drive the work, building to an upbeat reiteration of the theme in Radiance, culminating in a celebratory dance.*

Premiered by the SSO at Esplanade Concert Hall on 11 October 2012, Two Symphonic Dances: Radiance and Spark was specially commissioned by the performing arts centre to commemorate its 10th year. 


*Adapted from Dr Kelly Tang’s original programme notes.

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is Singapore’s flagship orchestra comprising over 90 professional musicians. Today, its extensive repertoire continues to cover works from orchestral masterpieces to international premieres. Bridging the musical traditions of the East and West, the orchestra has toured extensively in Europe, the United States and various parts of Asia. The SSO performs more than 60 concerts a year and aims to enrich communities while spreading the love for music. 

Dr Kelly Tang (b.1961) is a Singapore composer whose works have been performed on the international stage by renowned groups such as the Russian National Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra. A prolific and versatile composer who shifts effortlessly between genres, Dr. Tang has created pieces for wind bands such as the Desford Colliery Brass Band, the Ensemble Contemporain of Montreal, and the United States Marine Band. For his contributions to Singapore music, he was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2011.

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