Published on 15 May 2017
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra today announced their 2017/2018 season which boasts a spectacular lineup of programmes and exciting guest artists who will share their stage. The SSO also unveiled its new logo design, as well as a brand new website at www.sso.org.sg which is designed to give all customers a pleasant concert selection experience.
Appointment of SSO's new Principal Guest Conductor, Andrew Litton
The orchestra also announced the appointment of American conductor Andrew Litton as their new Principal Guest Conductor effective from the upcoming season. Litton takes over after long-standing Principal Guest Conductor Okko Kamu steps down after the current season. Music Director Lan Shui said, "We warmly welcome Andrew into the SSO Family. He combines his excellent musicianship and extensive international experience to bring a new dimension of musical exposure to our orchestra. It is all the more wonderful that he has in such a short time built great rapport with the musicians."
Andrew Litton is currently Music Director of the New York City Ballet and Artistic Director of Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest. Litton led the Dallas Symphony as Music Director from 1994 to 2006. He is also Conductor Laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony and Music Director Laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, where he recently concluded a 12-year tenure as music director. Litton led Bergen Philharmonic to international recognition and concluded his Music Director tenure in Bergen in grand style earlier last year, leading a Gala Concert that celebrated the Orchestra’s 250th Anniversary.
Litton's debut with the SSO was on 12 September 2013 in a programme of Edward Elgar's Cockaigne Overture, Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, and Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 in D minor, a concert for which he received rave reviews. The Straits Times described him as "directing with conviction and subtlety", and noted that "it was a pleasure to see smiles from conductor and musicians in response to the warm applause". He most recently performed two programmes with the SSO in late-October 2016 to resounding reception by audiences here. In the coming season, Litton will conduct two concerts, one of which features Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Litton himself directing from the piano, alongside SSO Concertmaster Igor Yuzefovich and Principal Cello Ng Pei-Sian.
Appointment of SSO's new Choral Director Eudenice Palaruan
The SSO also announced the appointment of Eudenice Palaruan as its new Choral Director also in the new season. Long-time Choral Director Lim Yau, who is also Dean of the School of Music at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, steps down at the end of this season. Says Singapore Symphony Group Chief Executive Officer Chng Hak-Peng, “We are very grateful to Mr Lim Yau for his dedication and commitment to building a wonderful symphony chorus over the years. We look forward to his concert with the SSO in the coming season where he will lead the SSO and well-known clarinettist Kari Kriikku. We also welcome Eudenice whom we uncovered through an international search in 2015, and has built a strong connection with the chorus over the past year.”
Palaruan was appointed Choral Director-designate for the 2016/2017 season, and is concurrently an Associate Professor at the School of Church Music in the Singapore Bible College. For the past seven years, he was the Resident Conductor of the International Bamboo Organ Festival where he directed many of the Philippines’ leading choirs in the performance of early European choral music and the revival of Latin American baroque choral music. Palaruan was a member and baritone soloist of some of the major choral organisations including the World Youth Choir and the Berlin Spandauer Kantorei. He was also involved in early music performance practice as a countertenor with the Berlin Monteverdi Choir in Germany.
To mark the 120th anniversary of the death of Johannes Brahms, SSO Music Director Lan Shui will conduct all four Brahms symphonies from July to November 2017. The German composer, who was composing in the decades after Beethoven's era, worried frequently if he could surmount the legacy of his predecessor. Brahms' symphonies are now staples in the repertoire of every orchestra in the world.
We also mark the 50th anniversary of the formation of ASEAN (ASEAN50) with a showcase of works by ASEAN composers. The SSO's commitment to the music of Singapore composers takes on a different angle this season. We reflected back on some of the Singaporean works that the SSO had commissioned in the past and will re-introduce our audience to the music of Singapore composers Tan Chan Boon, Er Yenn Chwen, Kelly Tang and Diana Soh. We are also thrilled to premiere the works of ASEAN composers: leading Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen’s Phenomenon (3 Feb 2018) and young Malaysian prodigy Tengku Irfan's Meditation (17 Nov 2017).
2017 marks Leonard Bernstein at 100, a worldwide celebration that the SSO will also contribute to – our Pops Concert celebrating the great American composer-conductor’s centenary will feature his signature West Side Story.
In December 2017, on the occasion of Finland's 100th anniversary of Independence, the SSO will perform a celebratory concert featuring Sibelius, whose music is closely tied to Finnish nationhood, under Finnish conductor and former SSO Principal Guest Conductor Okko Kamu.
Singaporean Musicians Featured in 2017/2018
Equally important to us is the opportunity to feature Singaporean musicians, including pianist Melvyn Tan as well as conductors Lim Yau and Grammy-nominated Darrell Ang. We are also excited to invite Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition winner Wong Kah Chun for his full-concert debut with the SSO. Associate Conductor Joshua Tan will conduct this season's President's Young Performers Concert (29 Sep 2017), which will feature NAFA graduate and rising brass soloist Kang Chun Meng.
From solo recitals to large-scale choral-orchestral galas, the 2017/2018 season will have something for every taste. Opera fans are in for a treat in one of the prime highlights of our season, the concert version of Puccini's beloved La Bohème (27-28 Apr 2018), an operatic masterpiece filled with beguiling tunes. Leading coloratura soprano Diana Damrau will grace the stage with bass-baritone Nicolas Testé in a gala night of opera arias (1 Nov 2017). There will also be an hour-long "orchestral adventure" featuring the music of Wagner's Ring Cycle (27 Oct 2017).
The Singapore Symphony Orchestra warmly invites you to our 2017-18 Season.