Published on 28 March 2020
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On Saturday evening, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra live streamed its first concert without a live audience from Victoria Concert Hall. Due to COVID-19, the hall is temporarily closed to the public and the orchestra is operating in split teams.
Titled “The Spirit of Serenity”, the concert was originally adjusted to meet the restricted audience capacity of 133 persons with seats spaced one meter apart. When all concerts and events were suspended on 26 March, SSO refunded all ticketholders and scheduled this free live video stream on its YouTube and Facebook channels.
Watch other free online concerts from the SSOPlayOn! series at sso.org.sg/playon
The hour-long performance led by Associate Concertmaster Kong Zhao Hui and conducted by Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang featured 32 SSO musicians who were spaced out safely on the stage in an empty VCH.
Said Darrell Ang, “This was my first livestream concert, and I’m glad to say I enjoyed every minute of it. I’d like to thank the SSO for this wonderful gift of music to the Singapore community and to the world in these difficult times. Many thanks especially to our healthcare workers for their courage and selflessness: please accept our heartfelt gratitude from all of us onstage tonight! A big ‘thank you’ too to all those who came online to join us in this special hour, without whose support and love the music would be meaningless! And to my friends and colleagues in the SSO: Bravissimo!”
The orchestra performed a repertoire for strings: Britten’s Simple Symphony, Op. 4; Pärt’s Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten; and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings.
There was no live applause, but there was plenty of love and warm messages from local residents and those watching abroad throughout the performance:
“Love this movement [the Allegro con spirito of the Tchaikovsky Serenade]. So well played, struck a chord. Loving it!” — Penny Whitworth, Eastbourne, UK
“Don't worry about the empty seats, we are clapping!” — Jinyong Ho, Singapore
“Thank you so much for continuing with the concert, your dedication and love of music is an inspiration for us all.” — Janice Sng, Singapore
By the end of the concert, the video streams had garnered 15k views on Facebook and 800 views on YouTube. Watch the whole concert here.
The SSO will announce future online concerts at a later date.
“The Spirit of Serenity”
BRITTEN Simple Symphony, Op. 4
PÄRT Cantus in memory of Benjamin Britten
TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings
Concert video on Facebook
Concert video on YouTube (higher quality)
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