Bravissimo! August 2020

Songs From Home: A Tune of Two Countries

What do the songs I Am Australian, We Are Singapore, Home and Waltzing Matilda have in common?

They are all part of “Songs From Home” – an original medley of Australian and Singaporean songs performed by the musicians of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to celebrate the friendship between the two countries. When Singapore declared its independence 55 years ago, Australia was the first country to establish diplomatic relations on 9 August, Singapore’s National Day itself.

In 2018, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra signed a four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. “Songs From Home” signifies not only the deep friendship between the two orchestras, but is intended as a meaningful collaboration that showcases the cultures of both countries to audiences all over the world.

It is an honour for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra to be part of this project that represents the close bonds between the people of Singapore and Australia. We are excited to ride the digital wave to perform together in the first cross-border orchestral performance in the region.

Chng Hak-Peng, CEO, Singapore Symphony Group

“Songs From Home” premiered on Friday 7 August on the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page. Arranged by the MSO’s Luke Speedy-Hutton, led by MSO Principal Conductor in Residence Benjamin Northey and SSO Associate Conductor Joshua Tan, "Songs From Home" is presented in partnership with the Singapore High Commission in Canberra.

This special collaboration is reflective of how our two nations have deepened cooperation throughout this pandemic, and aptly highlights the special role the arts play in tending to our hearts and minds. I can think of no better way to mark this occasion than to bid you a few special moments of joy and nostalgia!

HE Kwok Fook Seng, Singapore High Commissioner in Canberra
Click on image to watch this rousing performance
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