Published on 14 November 2019
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) received a generous gift from The HEAD Foundation this month.
In recognition of the donation, the orchestra is naming its Principal Cello “The HEAD Foundation Chair”. The position of Principal Cello is held by Ng Pei-Sian, who joined the SSO in 2010.
This is the second named chair in the history of the SSO. The first, the GK Goh Concertmaster Chair is named after Mr Goh Geok Khim and was established in July 2017 with a major gift from friends and family to mark Mr Goh’s 85th birthday that year.
Foundation Gift Will Help Sustain the Orchestra
Set up in 2013, The HEAD Foundation is a thought-leadership centre that focuses on equipping change-makers in the region with the necessary resources to enable positive and lasting change in their communities and beyond.
Said Mr Ho Swee Huat, the Foundation’s Chairman, “The HEAD Foundation is delighted to support the Singapore Symphony Orchestra in its mission to bring good music to audiences in Singapore and abroad. The Principal Cello Chair is a key position in the orchestra, and with our support, we hope that more people will appreciate the eloquent sound of the cello and the important role it plays in the orchestra.”
The donation will be directed to the SSO’s Endowment Fund to help build long-term financial security for the orchestra. In common with symphony orchestras around the world, the SSO relies on a combination of public grants, private donations and investment income to supplement ticket sales in meeting its operating costs.
“This is a wonderful 40th birthday gift for the SSO,” said Chairman of the Singapore Symphony Group, Mr Goh Yew Lin. “The SSO has grown steadily into one of the finest orchestras in Asia, but it needs the generous support of philanthropists like The HEAD Foundation to ensure that it can continue to excel and to thrill Singapore audiences for decades to come.”
National Orchestra’s 40th Year
The SSO gave its first concert in 1979 and is celebrating its fourth decade this year. From a 41-member fledgling group led by founding Music Director Choo Hoey, it has grown to twice its size during a 22-year tenure by Choo’s successor, Lan Shui, and built a sterling reputation for its concerts, tours and recordings. Its new Chief Conductor, Hans Graf, will take the helm in mid-2020.
The SSO performs regularly in the community, and is well loved for its free concerts in parks, schools and community spaces — such as its annual free Mother’s Day Concert at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Other performing groups affiliated to the orchestra are the Singapore Symphony Choruses, and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, collectively comprising over 300 members from the age of nine and up.
Together, the groups give over 100 performances a year, including the SSO’s subscription series and the VCHpresents series at the Victoria Concert Hall.