SINGPAPORE - SPH Gift of Music, the free community concert series sponsored by SPH, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a year-long musical journey offering a wide variety of musical treats.
A total of 26 concerts featuring different musical genres such as classical, pop, jazz, percussion, opera, choral, ethnic and local "getai" performances will be staged in the parks, heartlands, shopping malls, concert halls and the Esplanade.
The concert series was first launched on May 1, 2005 as a musical gift to the nation with a concert by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) at Singapore Botanic Gardens. Since then, it has grown in scale and popularity, and has helped many local musicians showcase their talent and expand their reach.
Some of the regular music groups for the series include SSO, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Singapore Lyric Opera, the Esplanade, The Philharmonic Winds, the Singapore Wind Symphony and Ding Yi Music Company. For the 10th anniversary this year, the series will also partner the Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) and the SYC Ensemble Singers.
OMM, made up of talented classical musicians who are mostly in their 20s, has made international headlines by performing some ambitious classical works in the past few years, including several Mahler's symphonies. They will perform Mahler's 8th Symphony (Symphony of a Thousand) as their SG50 gift to the nation at the Esplanade in July this year.
Before this, the SPH Gift of Music audiences will get a free sneak preview on July 4 when OMM stages a scaled-down version of the same concert at Paragon.
The multi-award winning SYC Ensemble Singers, a renowned choral group led by conductor and Cultural Medallion winner Jennifer Tham, will showcase their vocal prowess through an interesting repertoire of popular and experimental vocal works later this year.
Just like 10 years ago, kicking off the series this year will be long-time partner SSO, which will treat audiences to an evening of easy-listening classical music at Gardens by the Bay this Sunday at 6.30pm. Under the baton of Associate Conductor Jason Lai, the orchestra will play popular tunes about love and fantasy, including Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty Suite, Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet Suite and Stravinsky's The Firebird.
SSO will perform again at the Istana on May 1, and at the Singapore Botanic Gardens in celebration of The Straits Times' 170th anniversary on July 11. There will also be a special SPH Gift of Music 10th anniversary concert by the SSO at Victoria Concert Hall on July 30.
Other highlights of this year's series include Opera in the Park on June 6, featuring the Singapore Lyric Opera and famous operas from the movies. There will also be vibrant ethnic performances by Malay and Indian arts groups, which are part of the annual Pesta Raya (Malay Festival of Arts) and Kalaa Utsavam (Indian Festival of Arts) at the Esplanade.
Mr Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer of SPH, said: "When we launched SPH Gift of Music 10 years ago, we believed that music can cut across all language barriers and should be made accessible to all. Through this sponsorship, we have brought the best of Singapore music to the parks and heartlands for all to share. It also gives an opportunity to expose quality music to Singaporeans. Ten years on, we still stand firm on this belief and we are glad that the series has grown bigger and better. We hope that SPH Gift of Music will continue to engage and enrich the lives of Singaporeans for many more years to come."
Visit http://sph.com.sg/sph-gift-of-music for the list of SPH Gift of Music concerts this year.