Two Moving Tributes
SSO dedicates concerts to late Dr Goh Keng Swee and First Violin Sui Jing Jing
Concert to mark Dr Goh Keng Swee’s 100th birthday
SSO’s concert on 6 October was a celebration of the Europe–Asia friendship in Singapore as well as a tribute to SSO’s Founding Patron – the late and former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Dr Goh Keng Swee.
In attendance were Guest of Honour Sam Tan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Singapore, and Her Excellency Barbara Plinkert, the Ambassador of the European Union to Singapore.
“I believe this concert is a fitting way to celebrate Europe and Asia’s rich cultural heritages, and an excellent way to honour the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s founding patron and our former Deputy Prime Minister, the late Dr Goh Keng Swee …. As Singapore also enters the start of our three-year coordinatorship of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations, we hope to work with the EU in areas that exemplify the spirit of innovation and connectivity that has held strong till today.”
Message by Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan
The evening was part of a three-day SSO Baroque Festival and saw a full house at the Victoria Concert Hall that included members of the diplomatic community and other guests of the European Union. SSO guests included family and friends of Dr Goh.
The concert was conducted by Swedish-French maestro Sofi Jeannin, who is Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers, and Music Director of la Maîtrise de Radio France. The performance notably featured members of the Singapore Symphony Chorus, from Europe including Austria, France, Germany and Poland; and from Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.
“It is fitting that by bringing together performers from both Europe and South-East Asia in this concert, we honour a pioneer, Singapore Symphony Orchestra's founding patron and former deputy Prime Minister, the late Dr Goh Keng Swee. On the 100th anniversary of his birth, we celebrate not just SSO's remarkable story but also its spirit of inclusivity and diversity in music.”
Welcome message by Ambassador Barbara Plinkert
Farewell to our First Violin, Jing Jing
On 2 November, we dedicated the SSO concert, “Debussy 100: La Mer”, to our cherished friend and colleague, First Violin Sui Jing Jing.
Jing Jing joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as a First Violinist and was a member of the orchestra for close to 32 years. He began violin lessons at the age of six and in 1974 joined the Zhongzheng Opera and Dance Orchestra, Beijing, holding the position of second Concert Master. In 1981 he joined the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra as First Violin, before coming to Singapore to join our national orchestra in 1987.
While playing for the SSO, in the 1990s to 2000s, Jing Jing was also a member of the Jade Quartet, together with SSO co-concertmaster Lynnette Seah.
“Jing Jing was a well-loved teacher to his students, and we will remember him for his role in nurturing the next generation of musicians, as well as his contributions to the growth of the SSO. We will miss his kind and warm presence dearly.”
SSO concert dedication to First Violin Sui Jin Jing (1958–2018)
At the start of the SSO concert, Music Director Lan Shui described Jing Jing’s genial personality – as a fun-loving member of the orchestra who was always ready to help fellow musicians. Jing Jing was also a respected violin tutor and a public condolence book was filled with dedications from appreciative students saddened by the news of his passing.
Jing Jing, who was 60, passed away from illness in Shanghai in October and is survived by his wife Gu Wenli, also a First Violin in the SSO. We thank everyone for their kind condolences.