School of the Arts Concert Hall/Last Saturday
SINGAPORE - It is hard to believe that the T'ang Quartet, Singapore's first and only professional chamber group, are now 21 years old. In 1992, violinists Ng Yu Ying and Ang Chek Meng, violist Lionel Tan and cellist Leslie Tan, all in their 20s while members of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), gave their first concert.
Besides their obvious musical passion, what stood out were their attitude and fashion sense.
Clad in designer wear for gigs, posing topless in strange locations for photo shoots, the foursome made it cool to like chamber music. One musical colleague quipped that they had yet to grow up.
That might sound like a barb, but this reviewer regards this as a virtue.
A refusal to equate maturity with ageing and a continual pursuit to find eternal youth and joy in musical truths seems to be the quartet's credo. Except for the evolution of hairstyles and facial fur on the Tan brothers, the group pretty much appear the same as they were two decades ago.