Bravissimo! July 2019

New SSO Season: Celebrating Community and the Arts

Above: Keppel Nights@SSO, a new initiative between SSO and Keppel Corporation, where complimentary tickets are provided for underserved communities to attend SSO concerts. Keppel volunteers and their guests from Montfort Care were pleasantly surprised by an appearance by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, seen here with guest of honour and NAC Chairman Professor Chan Heng Chee.

The SSO launched its new concert season at Victoria Concert Hall – Home of the SSO. The opener came in the form of a two-night special (25 & 26 July) SSO performance led by Austrian guest conductor Carlos Kalmar, and featuring award-winning British pianist Steven Osborne.


In addition, on 26 July, Keppel Corporation and the national orchestra launched “Keppel Nights@SSO”, a new partnership to reach out to charities and provide disadvantaged communities with access to SSO performances. About 70 beneficiaries from charities Montfort Care and Daughters of Tomorrow, accompanied by volunteers from Keppel, attended the concerts, with many catching the SSO for the first time.

We are pleased to partner SSO in this programme to provide opportunities for the less privileged to experience world-class orchestra performances. Through such efforts, we hope to build a more inclusive society and have a positive impact on the community.

Mr Loh Chin Hua
CEO of Keppel Corporation

With a vibrant programme that comprised works linked to London — part of a series of SSO concerts marking the bicentennial with the theme of “British Journeys” — the SSO performed one of Haydn’s London symphonies, the No. 98, while Osborne performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 (written by Mozart in tribute to his mentor in London, Johann Christian Bach.)


Coinciding with the 5th anniversary of VCH’s reopening, former and current SSO Ladies’ League members — volunteers who fundraise for and promote the orchestra — were invited to the 26 July concert to witness the re-introduction of a pair of sculptures by Brother Joseph McNally.

Commissioned in 1987 by then SSO Ladies’ League chair, the late Mdm Lee Seok Tin, the sculptures were made with pipes from the disused St. Clair organ at VCH, each resembling a musician playing a pipe instrument — one a Chinese sheng, and the other a flute.

The sculptures used to front the VCH foyer and were taken down during the refurbishment of the concert hall in 2010.

With support of Mdm Lee’s daughter, Dr Geh Min, herself a former SSO Ladies’ League member, the two sculptures were restored by Singaporean artist Sim Lian Huat at Telok Kurau Studios and reinstalled at VCH, this time at the new Hospitality Suite on level 2.

We are very honoured to partner Keppel in our outreach efforts, and fortunate to enjoy the support of the SSO Ladies’ League since the 1980s. This convergence of community and the arts is part of our mission to spread the love of music to enrich our diverse communities.

Mr Chng Hak-Peng, CEO of Singapore Symphony Group
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