Esplanade Presents

Music

Illuminations

An Esplanade Commission
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

5 Nov 2022, Sat, 7.30pm

1hr 40mins

(Intermission: 1 x 20mins)

Esplanade Concert Hall

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Lien Boon Hua (Conductor)
Abigail Sin (Piano) & Loh Jun Hong (Violin)
Jonathan Shin (Piano) & Phoon Yu (Organ)

Synopsis

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and choruses come together for an evening of classical music to commemorate Esplanade’s 20th anniversary.

 

Award-winning Singaporean conductor Lien Boon Hua leads the SSO for the first time at the Esplanade Concert Hall. This concert proudly showcases the leading lights of the new generation of Singaporean classical music talent. Prominent young pianist Abigail Sin and violinist Loh Jun Hong, both chamber music icons, perform Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra, before the highlight of the evening—Illuminations—an original composition by prolific composer-pianist Jonathan Shin and composer-organist Phoon Yu. The SSO is joined by the Singapore Symphony Chorus, Youth Choir, and Children’s Choir in this work specially commissioned for the occasion. It is inspired by the history and architecture of Esplanade, and how the centre literally and metaphorically shines a light on its artists, audiences and surroundings.

 

A programme of In New Light – A Season of Commissions, in celebration of Esplanade’s 20th anniversary.

 

Grazyna Bacewicz – Overture (1943)
Felix Mendelssohn – Concerto for Piano, Violin & Orchestra in D minor, MWV O4 (1823)* 
Jonathan Shin & Phoon Yu – Illuminations - Symphony for Organ, Chorus, and Orchestra (2022)**

 

Lien Boon Hua, conductor
Abigail Sin, piano*
Loh Jun Hong, violin*
Jonathan Shin, piano**
Phoon Yu, organ**
Singapore Symphony Chorus**
Singapore Symphony Youth Choir**
Singapore Symphony Childrens’ Choir**
Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Advisory:

All patrons (except for children aged 12 and below) need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Patrons will be required to verify their vaccination status at the venue. Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places. 

Admission Age:
6 and above.
Language: English
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Artist Information

Lien Boon Hua

Lien Boon Hua is the artistic director of Wayfarer Sinfonietta, and former assistant conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. He is on faculty at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore and leads its contemporary music ensemble, OpusNovus. He was selected to be on the 2019/20 Peter Eötvös Foundation Mentoring Program and served as assistant conductor to the Richard-Strauss-Festival 2018 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

 

Highlights of Lien’s recent seasons include debuts with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra, NFM Wrocław Philharmonic, Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Kraków Philharmonic and Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra; and has led productions of operas by Britten, Rossini, Mozart and Salieri in Singapore. He has made appearances at the Singapore International Festival of Arts, Gdańsk Music Festival and International Mozartiana Festival, and has participated in masterclasses with distinguished conductors at prominent festivals such as in Lucerne, Pärnu, Tanglewood, Seoul and Colorado.

 

Currently based in Singapore, Lien holds conducting and performance degrees from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Eastman School of Music, where he was awarded the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize for his outstanding achievements.

Abigail Sin

Abigail Sin is a prize-winning Singaporean pianist who has performed in venues across Asia, Europe and North America as a concerto soloist, collaborative musician, and solo recitalist. She is the co-founder of the More Than Music concert series, which won acclaim for its engaging, innovative presentation of classical chamber music. In 2020, More Than Music recorded the complete Beethoven violin sonatas, along with educational outreach content.

 

Sin studied with Prof Thomas Hecht at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, and Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she won the Guildhall School’s Romantic Piano Prize. She won top prizes at the Lagny-sur-Marne International Piano Competition (France), the Norah Sande Award (UK), the Royal Over-Seas League Competition (UK), and was a quarter-finalist in the Honens International Piano Competition (Canada). As a chamber musician, Sin won the Guildhall School’s Ivan Sutton Chamber Music Award and was a finalist in the St Martin’s-in-the-Fields chamber music competition and the Royal Academy of Music’s Patrons Award.

 

Sin is an alumnus of the prestigious Verbier Festival Academy and Yellow Barn Festival. Her artistic outlook has also been shaped by masterclasses with Leon Fleisher and coaching from composers including Thomas Adès, Jörg Widmann and Brett Dean.

 

A recipient of the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship, Sin completed a PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, under the supervision of Dr Briony Cox-Williams and Prof Christopher Elton. In 2018, she joined the faculty of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Recent research projects include her doctoral work on Charles Griffes, explorations of transcription and performer agency in Ravel and Kirchner, and a multimedia collaboration confronting and reconceptualising the Orientalist fantasy of Ravel’s Asie.

Loh Jun Hong

Singaporean violinist, Loh Jun Hong is an esteemed artist in Singapore’s classical scene. Together with pianist Abigail Sin, Loh co-founded More than Music, a concert series that brings music, performer and audiences together in an informal and intimate manner. Some of its notable projects include an animated music film based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, a complete recording of Beethoven’s 10 Piano & Violin Sonatas and its popular More than Music and Wine concerts which have pushed the boundaries of classical performance.

 

Before returning to Singapore, Loh was a regular at the Verbier Festival (Switzerland) where he led the festival orchestra in numerous concerts as concertmaster and associate concertmaster under the baton of Charles Dutoit, Daniel Harding, Valery Gergiev, and Gianandrea Noseda. Loh’s performance history ranges from performances at Lincoln Center (New York), premieres of the violin transcriptions of Scarlatti’s Sonatas for publishing company Ries & Erler, as well as recital tours in Asia, France, Germany, New Zealand, UK and USA.

 

A Master of Music graduate from the Juilliard School, he studied under the tutelage of Glenn Dicterow (concertmaster of New York Philharmonic), Joseph Lin (first violin Juilliard Quartet), and Sylvia Rosenberg (pedagogue). He also lectures part-time at his alma mater, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore, where he studied with Prof Qian Zhou (Head of Strings).

 

Over the years, Loh has won numerous awards, notably Top Outstanding Young Person Award for Cultural Achievement by Junior Chamber International,  First Prize at Gisborne International Music Competition, First Prize and Audience award at the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, First Prize at the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition (Senior), Third Prize at the 13th Andrea Postacchini International Competition, Fifth Prize at the Canetti International Violin Competition, and the best Singaporean Award at the Singapore International Violin Competition.

 

He has performed numerous solos with leading orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Festival Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Grand Theatre Philharmonic Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Orchestra, SIFOM Orchestra, as well as the Singapore Festival Orchestra. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with fellow artists such as Kam Ning, Chan Yoong Han, Ng Yu-Ying, Ng Pei-sian, Qin Liwei, Zhang Manqing, Melvyn Tan, Albert Tiu, Abigail Sin, Lim Yan, Louis Schwitzgebel, Drew Peterson and Kevin Loh.

 

He has recorded two CDs, Utopia Symphony with London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski at Abbey Road Studios and an EP featuring Spanish and Brazilian works with guitarist Kevin Loh. In his earlier years, Loh was featured in Channel NewsAsia’s documentary series Asia’s Wonder Kids.

 

Delving into the film, music, and theatre scene, he was cast as one of the leads in Toy Factory Productions’ 7 Sages of the Bamboo Grove at the Esplanade Theatre, as part of Esplanade’s Huayi – Chinese Festival of Arts 2020. He also recorded the violin solo soundtrack for the movie 7 Letters produced by seven of Singapore’s top directors, and film scored by Ricky Ho, a Golden Horse Award recipient.

 

Adhering to his strong belief in giving back to the community, Loh has performed in numerous charity fundraising concerts and actively leads numerous workshops and masterclasses for the younger generation. He served as part of Re:Sound Collective’s artistic committee and was co-director of Singapore International Festival of Music in 2015.

Jonathan Shin

Jonathan Shin is a Singaporean composer-pianist who performs extensively as a soloist and chamber musician and improvises across multiple genres. He has won prizes for his piano performances in North American and European competitions, as well as awards in all age categories at Singapore’s National Piano and Violin Competition. Shin’s music has been described by The Straits Times as “supremely confident and comfortable in its own skin.” His first commission The Other Merlion and Friends, was critically reviewed as “probably the most compelling and worthwhile new work from any Singaporean composer in recent years.” 

 

Shin’s chamber, orchestral, and dramatic works have premiered and been performed across Asia, Europe and North America. He is also a founding member of the Lorong Boys, a multi-genre group. 

Phoon Yu

As an organist and composer, Phoon Yu is active in Singapore and the United States. He performed solo in the Victoria Concert Hall Organ Series from 2015–2022, as well as at multiple venues in Singapore, the Netherlands, and the United States. Recent concerts include his performances at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale, New York, as well as at St. Andrew’s Cathedral and the Concert Hall at Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay in Singapore. His first album, SEVEN – Organ Music of Singapore, features the solo works of up-and-coming Singaporean composers and was released by Centaur Records in April 2022.

 

Yu’s performance career as an organist is supplemented by his composing ability. His composition premieres include works for various solo instruments and chamber groups across various venues in China, Singapore and the United States. Notable premieres include his 2013 solo piano piece Prelude (Chorale Prelude on Singapura, Oh Singapura), his chamber work Elegy for Violin, Piano and String Quartet (2014), his Sonatina for Dizi Quintet (2016) for the Dicapella Dizi Ensemble, Piece for Organ and Trumpet (2017), and his Prelude and Fugue on Wynne’s Theme for solo organ (2017). Notable arrangements include Munnaeru Vaaliba and Home (2015) for Singapore Sounds’ inaugural gala concert, his medley for about 200 violinists for World Strings Day organised by Tong Ming Xi Gallery, as well as for pieces in Spot Pocket Opera Theatre’s The Silent Front project (2020). Yu’s Three Organ Anthems was released by Muziksea, a Southeast Asian publisher specialising in choral music, in 2020.

 

Yu was previously a C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at the Juilliard School, pursing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance under the tutelage of Paul Jacobs. For his dissertation on Handel and Porpora’s settings of Siroe, re di Persia in connection to Jacobitism, Yu was awarded the Richard F. French Doctoral Prize. He did his Bachelors of Music in music composition at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music under full scholarship and participated in the partnership between the Conservatory and the Peabody Institute during his undergraduate studies as a member of their joint degree programme. He then did his Masters of Music in organ performance at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded the Bruce R. Eicher Prize at the conclusion of his studies. His teachers included Professor Donald Sutherland and Dr Evelyn Lim (organ) and Associate Professor Ho Chee Kong and Dr Oscar Bettison (composition).

Singapore Symphony Choruses

The Singapore Symphony Choruses is a premier choral body comprising the Singapore Symphony Chorus, Singapore Symphony Youth Choir and Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir.

 

Since 1980, the Choruses have seen members from diverse ages, backgrounds and nationalities. Regularly sharing the stage with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Choruses record and tour with the orchestra, as well as give their own performances in Singapore and abroad. Through holistic training that nurtures artistic growth and personal development, the Choruses aim to articulate an ecosystem of choral excellence. Repertoire for the respective choruses straddle musical worlds and styles, ranging from orchestral masterpieces to a cappella favourites, and spanning the renaissance to contemporary 21st-century music.

 

In the first year of the pandemic, the Choruses released a music video, We Will Get There to rally the nation. In 2021, the Choruses challenged the boundaries of remote collaborations in music-making and presented a one of a kind joint choral production Longing, entirely enabled by technology.

Singapore Symphony Youth Choir

Comprising Singapore’s finest young choristers aged 17 to 28, the Singapore Symphony Youth Choir is an energetic ensemble inaugurated in 2016 to complement the Singapore Symphony Orchestra with a chorus of vibrant voices.

 

Exploring the best of different musical worlds and styles, the Youth Choir has performed Scriabin’s Prometheus, Puccini’s La bohème, and recorded Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. In its past seasons, the Youth Choir has had opportunities to perform with world renowned conductors and tour with the Singapore Symphony Choruses and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, to present at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur. In 2021, at the height of the pandemic, the Youth Choir continually challenged and overcame performing limitations to produce its own digital production, Where I Belong.

 

Wong Lai Foon            Choirmaster

Evelyn Handrisanto      Rehearsal Pianist

Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir

Formed in 2006, the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir has established itself as the leading children’s choir in Singapore. With over 200 members aged nine to 18, the choir enriches young singers through holistic choral training that nurtures artistic growth and personal development.

 

The Children's Choir has performed great choral masterpieces with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and with distinguished conductors such as Lim Yau, Claus Peter Flor, Sofi Jeannin, François-Xavier Roth and Julie Desbordes. It has toured and performed at the Philharmonie de Paris in collaboration with Maîtrise de Radio France, as well as at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra in concert.

 

In Singapore, the Children's Choir has an active performing calendar. It has sung at the Istana, shared the stage with critically acclaimed The King’s Singers, and presented at the 33rd ASEAN Summit. The choir actively commissions and performs works by Darius Lim, Zechariah Goh, and Cultural Medallion recipient Kelly Tang, amongst many others.

 

Wong Lai Foon            Choirmaster

Gabriel Hoe                  Rehearsal Pianist

Singapore Symphony Orchestra

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Since its founding in 1979, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has been Singapore’s flagship orchestra, touching lives through classical music and providing the heartbeat of the cultural scene in the cosmopolitan city-state.

 

In addition to its subscription series concerts, the orchestra is well-loved for its outdoor and community appearances, and its significant role educating the young people of Singapore. The SSO has also earned an international reputation for its orchestral virtuosity, having garnered sterling reviews for its overseas tours and many successful recordings. In 2021, the SSO clinched third place in the prestigious Orchestra of the Year Award by Gramophone.

 

In July 2022, the SSO appointed renowned Austrian conductor Hans Graf as its Music Director, the third in the orchestra’s history after Lan Shui (1997-2019) and Choo Hoey (1979-1996). Prior to this, Graf served as Chief Conductor from 2020, leading the SSO in keeping music alive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The SSO makes its performing home at the 1,800-seat state-of-the-art Esplanade Concert Hall. More intimate works, as well as outreach and community performances take place at the 673-seat Victoria Concert Hall, the Home of the SSO. The orchestra performs over 60 concerts a year, and its versatile repertoire spans all-time favourites and orchestral masterpieces to exciting cutting-edge premieres. The SSO launched its digital concert hall, SSOLOUNGE, in 2021. Bridging the musical traditions of East and West, Singaporean and Asian musicians and composers are regularly showcased in the concert season.

 

Beyond Singapore, the SSO has performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. In May 2016, the SSO was invited to perform at the Dresden Music Festival and the Prague Spring International Music Festival. This successful five-city tour of Germany and Prague also included the SSO’s second performance at the Berlin Philharmonie. In 2014, the SSO’s debut at the 120th BBC Proms in London received critical acclaim in the major UK newspapers The Guardian and The Telegraph. The SSO has also performed in China on multiple occasions.

 

The SSO has released more than 50 recordings, with over 30 on the BIS label. The most recent critically acclaimed albums include a Rachmaninoff box set (2021), Richard Strauss’ Rosenkavalier and Other Works (2020), and three Debussy discs La Mer, Jeux and Nocturnes. A Four Seasons album and a complete Mozart violin concerto cycle with Chloe Chua and Graf will be released in the near future.

 

The SSO has also collaborated with such great artists as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Joe Hisaishi, Neeme Järvi, Okko Kamu, Hannu Lintu, Andrew Litton, Lorin Maazel, Martha Argerich, Ray Chen, Diana Damrau, Stephen Hough, Janine Jansen, Leonidas Kavakos, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham and Krystian Zimerman.

 

The SSO is part of the Singapore Symphony Group, which also manages the Singapore Symphony Choruses, the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, and the VCHpresents chamber music series, the Singapore International Piano Festival and the biennial National Piano & Violin Competition.

Date & Time

5 Nov 2022, Sat

7.30pm

Esplanade Concert Hall

Tickets & Prices

Standard

Students, NSFs & Seniors
(Limited)

PWDs
(Limited)
Cat 1 $88 - $30
Cat 2 $58 - $30
Cat 3 $38 $30 $30

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For more details, please contact Esplanade Box Office at 6828 8389 or email boxoffice@esplanade.com.

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