Fest tunes in to Chinese chamber music

Fest tunes in to Chinese chamber music
Different faces of chamber music: (above) Pop tunes from Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra from Taiwan, contemporary Chinese music by ConTempo Beijing, and traditional ‘silk and bamboo’ tunes from Macau Chinese Orchestra.

Singapore's first festival dedicated to Chinese chamber music will be held in December.

Presented by the Ding Yi Music Company in collaboration with the Esplanade, the three-day-long programme will host a trio of international Chinese chamber ensembles and will also feature talks, workshops, fringe performances and an exhibition. Tickets at $30 for the chamber ensemble recitals are available from Sistic outlets.

Festival director and Ding Yi's conductor Quek Ling Kiong, 46, says: "Chinese chamber music is not that popular in Singapore yet and the Ding Yi Music Company as a young Chinese chamber music ensemble wants to champion this genre."

Ms Carolyn Tay, 49, deputy director of programming at the Esplanade, adds: "It is a unique and valuable opportunity for young musicians and music students to learn more about the music and to interact with some of the best Chinese chamber music ensembles."

Chamber music is usually played by small groups of musicians in a cosy setting, and Mr Quek says that two words which characterise chamber music are "intimate" and "delicate".

He adds that playing in a chamber orchestra, as opposed to a full orchestra, requires a higher level of competency: "Chamber music is a very important part of music learning. Playing in a smaller set-up requires more skill and demands more technicality and musicality."

The three international ensembles which will perform at the Esplanade recital studio were chosen to offer variety, with one traditional, one contemporary and one popular group.

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