Bravissimo! October 2020

SSO Back on Stage in Live Performance Pilot

On Thursday 8 October, musicians from the SSO performed in front of an audience for the first time since March, as part of a pilot scheme by the National Arts Council.

The Victoria Concert Hall, which can usually seat 673, welcomed just 50 audience members for the concert ‘VCHpresents Chamber: Haydn’s Emperor and Tchaikovsky’s Emperor’. In addition, audience members were also required to have the TraceTogether app or a TraceTogether token.

All safety measures were enhanced – including cleaning of the venue, temperature screening, a three-metre spacing between performers and audience, a one-metre spacing between audience members and mandatory Safe Entry Check-In for all individuals entering the venue.
A patron at the TraceTogether mobile booth set up to help audiences activate their token and app.

At 8pm, four musicians from the SSO – violinists Xu Jue Yi and Chikako Sasaki, violist Wang Dandan and cellist Guo Hao – were welcomed on stage by an MC, before playing Haydn’s String Quartet in C major, Op. 76, No. 3. The second piece in the short concert was Tchaikovsky’s Souvenirs de Florence for string ensemble, performed by SSO musicians violinists Chen Da Wei and Nikolai Koval, violists Janice Tsai and Marietta Ku as well as cellists Yu Jing and Wang Zihao.

From left to right: Musicians Xu Jue Yi on violin, Chikako Sasaki on violin, Wang Dandan on viola and Guo Hao on cello performing Haydn's String Quartet in C major, “Emperor”.
From left to right: Chen Da Wei on violin, Nikolai Koval on violin, Janice Tsai on viola, Marietta Ku on viola, Yu Jing on cello and Wang Zihao on cello performing Tchaikovsky’s Souvenirs de Florence.

The 50 guests included Mr Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, who posted on Facebook following the event.

It feels great to have Victoria the grand old dame come alive tonight after a 9-month slumber! Between the 50 of us in the audience tonight, none held back our applause. Guess we all wanted not only to make up for the empty seats in the Hall, but also to thank and cheer on the performers (whom we all miss, I’m sure), and indeed to encourage all of us to soldier on.

Mr Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Mr Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth with Mr Chng Hak-Peng, CEO of the Singapore Symphony Group.

Also in attendance were SSG Chairman Mr Goh Yew Lin, and from the National Arts Council (NAC), Mr Low Eng Teong, Deputy Chief Executive, Sector Development; Mr Kok Tse Wei, Director, Sector Development/Performing Arts, and Ms Carolyn Chiam, Senior Manager, Performing Arts (Music).

The SSO is now working with the NAC to review the live performance experience for musicians, audience and staff, with the hope to be able to resume regular performance with audience in the coming months.

As the national orchestra, SSO is committed to bringing memorable experiences to our audiences. We will do so with safety and public health considerations in mind.

Mr Chng Hak-Peng, CEO of the Singapore Symphony Group
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