Musical friendship defies barriers

Published on 23 July 2021

Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Melbourne and Singapore Symphony Orchestras reunite for a second virtual concert performance

Singapore, 23 July 2021 — Despite the 6000km geographic barrier, Melbourne and Singapore Symphony Orchestras will unite for a second concert performance in their ongoing cross-cultural partnership.

The virtual concert Musical Friendship will premiere on Friday 6 August 2021, heralding the National Day of Singapore (9 August), which commemorates Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. The virtual performance demonstrates the two orchestras’ musical friendship. This will feature a performance of the Allegro Spiritoso from J.C. Bach’s joyous Symphony for Double Orchestra in E-flat Major, Op. 18, No.1, one of only three symphonies that J.C. Bach scored for two orchestras.

The twenty-piece orchestras, conducted by Brett Kelly in Melbourne and Joshua Tan in Singapore, will also perform Lumen Prime Aurore, a recently commissioned partner piece from celebrated Australian composer Mary Finsterer.

Sophie Galaise, Managing Director of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra welcomed the second concert collaboration, as part of its first four-year (2019-2022) cultural partnership with the Singapore Symphony Group.

“Regardless of distance or the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, it is essential that we maintain connections with our colleagues from around the world. Together, the Melbourne and Singapore symphony orchestras celebrate our friendship, share in the unifying power of music, and provide uplifting moments of joy that defy boundaries,” said Ms Galaise.

Chng Hak-Peng, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Symphony Group said: “We are excited to produce another cross-border digital production between the two orchestras. Even if the pandemic prevents any live interactions, this digital collaboration is the two orchestras’ way of staying connected with each other and with our audiences.”

In the lead up to the release of Musical Friendship, MSO’s talks and ideas program, Ears Wide Open, will host Symphonic Diplomacy, a far-reaching discussion that will explore who is leading the soft power agenda and where the future for international creative diplomacy initiatives is headed. Chng Hak-Peng and Sophie Galaise will join the discussion alongside other distinguished panellists.

Musical Friendship will be available on Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s YouTube channel from 9.00pm AEST / 7.00pm SGT on Friday 6 August.

MSO’s Ears Wide Open will host Symphonic Diplomacy on Wednesday 4 August at 6pm as a free event on the MSO YouTube channel.

Musical Friendship and Symphonic Diplomacy are proudly supported by the Australian Government through the Office of the Arts. In 2020, the SSO and MSO collaborated on their first virtual concert, Songs from Home.


Founded in 1979, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is Singapore’s flagship orchestra, touching lives through classical music and providing the heartbeat of the cultural scene. In addition to its subscription series concerts, the SSO is also known for its outdoor and community appearances. The orchestra also presents intimate chamber performances in the VCHpresents series, the annual Singapore International Piano Festival (SIPF) and the biennial National Piano and Violin Competition (NPVC) at the Victoria Concert Hall, Home of the SSO. The SSO is part of the Singapore Symphony Group, which also manages the Singapore Symphony Choruses, and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra. The mission of the Group is to create memorable shared experiences with music. Through the SSO and its affiliated performing groups, we spread the love for music, nurture talent and enrich our diverse communities.

Visit Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s website and find out more.
Follow Singapore Symphony Orchestra's Facebook page and Instagram.


Australia’s premier orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is one of Australia’s most significant and widely respected cultural institutions. The nation’s first professional orchestra, the MSO has been the sound of the city of Melbourne since 1906.

Each year the MSO engages with more than 5 million people at live concerts and via a diverse range of traditional and online media including its own, recently launched on demand streaming service, MSO.LIVE.

As a national ambassador for the arts and a champion of music education, the MSO supports the right of all people to access and learn about music. The Orchestra’s carefully curated learning programs, regional touring schedule, accessible concerts and free community events, ensures the MSO delivers opportunities for music lovers to be involved with the Orchestra - no matter their age or location.

The MSO recently announced the appointment of its new Chief Conductor, Jaime Martin who will lead the Orchestra from the 2022 Season onward.

Visit Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s website and find out more.
Follow Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook Page and Instagram.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Joel Tan
Account Manager
Red Havas
M: +65 9177 2510

Shannon Teo
Senior Account Executive
Red Havas
M: +65 9049 2428