Since its founding in 1979, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has been Singapore’s flagship orchestra, touching lives through classical music and providing the heartbeat of the cultural scene in the cosmopolitan city-state. In addition to its subscription series concerts, the orchestra is well-loved for its outdoor and community appearances, and its significant role educating the young people of Singapore. The SSO has also earned an international reputation for its orchestral virtuosity, having garnered sterling reviews for its overseas tours and many successful recordings.
The SSO makes its performing home at the 1,800-seat state-of-the-art Esplanade Concert Hall. More intimate works and all outreach and community performances take place at the 673-seat Victoria Concert Hall, the home of the SSO. The orchestra performs 100 concerts a year, and its versatile repertoire spans all time favourites and orchestral masterpieces to exciting cutting-edge premieres. Bridging the musical traditions of East and West, Singaporean and Asian musicians and composers are regularly showcased in the concert season. This has been a core of the SSO's programming philosophy from the very beginning under Choo Hoey, who was Music Director from 1979 to 1996.
Since Lan Shui assumed the position of Music Director in 1997, the SSO has performed in Europe, Asia and the United States. In May 2016 the SSO was invited to perform at the Dresden Music Festival and the Prague Spring International Music Festival. This successful five-city tour of Germany and Prague also included the SSO’s return to the Berlin Philharmonie after six years. In 2014 the SSO’s debut at the 120th BBC Proms in London received critical acclaim in the major UK newspapers The Guardian and Telegraph. The SSO has also performed in China on multiple occasions.
Notable SSO releases under BIS include a Rachmaninov series, a Debussy disc, Seascapes featuring sea themed music by Debussy, Frank Bridge, Glazunov and Zhou Long, and the first-ever cycle of Tcherepnin’s piano concertos and symphonies. The SSO has also collaborated with such great artists as Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Neeme Järvi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Lang Lang, Yo-Yo Ma, Leonidas Kavakos and Gil Shaham.