Bravissimo! Sep-Oct 2018

Oh Yes, the Musicians are Professionals!

  • Are SSO musicians full-time professionals?
  • Is what I pay for my ticket enough to cover the costs of the concert?
  • Does the SSO need my donation?

The answers to those questions are yes, no, and yes.

When you come to an SSO concert, you usually see about 90 musicians tuning their instruments. A conductor walks on stage, you applaud and they launch into a lively overture. Ahh that was lovely, you’re thinking, and now I’m ready for the concerto.

As the lights go up, you take the opportunity to read the programme notes in the concert booklet. Meanwhile the stage crew are moving around, getting the stage ready for the second piece of the evening. It’s more straightforward if it’s a violin concerto. But there will be a lot more preparation if they have to move in a piano.

The solo pianist comes on, and you’re swept up by the emotional whirlwind into a Russian rapture and blown away by the sheer technical prowess. The intermission is a welcome break. While you’re taking the opportunity to collect yourself and stretch your legs, our stage crew work rapidly to re-set the stage — removing the piano and rearranging the chairs for the symphony, as they have been doing all week during the rehearsals.

And so, together, over two hours in a splendid music hall, the orchestra makes beautiful music — performing an overture, a concerto, and a symphony.

Did you know that SSO concerts are performed by highly-trained full-time professional musicians?

The musicians are all highly trained individuals who have put in years of practice and studies at some of the world’s best music conservatories before they successfully auditioned for a position with the SSO.

With 90 musicians, one conductor, and a soloist, all talented and sought after — the bills are adding up.

What about the beautiful concert hall? Yes, the SSO has to pay for the use of the hall, not just for the concert, but also for the rehearsals. During the concert, the lights go up and go down. That’s the stage director and light technician doing their demanding jobs.

Before you entered the hall, you were greeted by ushers and you picked up a free programme booklet. We had to pay for the ushers and the programme booklets too.

Ever wondered how much your concert ticket would really cost if there weren’t any sponsors and donors?

Ever wondered how much your concert ticket would really cost if there weren’t any sponsors and donors? Frankly, quite a lot more, as ticket revenues account for less than 5% of our total budget.

We keep our ticket prices affordable because we want as many people as possible to be able to enjoy our concerts. We offer specially-priced tickets for students and free tickets to charities. In addition, we perform free concerts at schools and public parks.

So if you can — please make a donation and support our mission! Join the SSO endeavour to give Singapore memorable musical experiences in a world-class setting. You may donate at or email us at Thank you!

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