The Singapore Symphony in 2020-2021


The Singapore Symphony’s new season

Hans Graf © Singapore Symphony/Bryan van der Beek

The Singapore Symphony recently announced its upcoming season, the first under the baton of Hans Graf, the new Chief Conductor. Appointed to the post in July 2019, the Austrian conductor will open the season on 2 July 2020 at the Victoria Concert Hall with the world premiere of 承 Flow, a SSO commission by Singaporean composer Zechariah Goh; Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor with violinist Karen Gomyo; and Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 in E-flat major ‘Eroica’. This concert also launches the SSO’s year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Graf will return for three concerts in October. The first features Mozart’s Symphony No.19 in E-flat major, Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto in D major with Singaporean violinist Kam Ning and Haydn’s Symphony No.101 in D major ‘The Clock’. In the second, Vladimir Gluzman will be the soloist in Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No.2 in C-sharp minor, together with two works by Beethoven, Leonore Overture No.3 and Symphony No.7 in A major.

In the third October concert, Ng Pei-Sian, the SSO’s Principal Cello, will appear as soloist in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No.1 in E-flat major; the program also includes Strauss’s Macbeth and a reprise of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. Graf and the SSO will go on to perform the Beethoven symphony in venues throughout Singapore.

In April 2021, Graf conducts an all-Mahler program of Blumine, selections from Das Knaben Wunderhorn and the Fourth Symphony with soprano Sumi Hwang.

Other highlights of the Beethoven commemoration are Neeme Järvi conducting the Fifth Symphony, Masaaki Suzuki leading the Ninth Symphony, Krystian Zimerman conducting and playing all five Beethoven piano concertos and Ye-Eun Choi as the soloist for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.

The orchestra will also explore the legacy of Sibelius. Daniel Blendulf will lead the Finnish composer’s First Symphony, Vasily Petrenko will conduct his Second Symphony and Klaus Mäkelä will be on the podium for Symphonies Nos.3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 in a series of two concerts over three nights in July.

Other soloists appearing with the SSO are sopranos Diana Damrau and Evelina Dobračeva, violinists Bomsori Kim and Janine Jansen, pianists Louis Schwizgebel and Dénes Várjon and trumpeter Sergei Nakariakov. Guest conductors include Gábor Káli, Jun Märkl, Leo McFall, Xian Zhang, the SSO’s Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Litton and its Associate Conductor Josua Tan.

During the 2020-2021 season, the Singapore Symphony Chorus will celebrate its fortieth anniversary with performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the baton of Masaaki Suzuki; and the Asian premiere of Russian-Polish composer Osip Kozlovsky’s Requiem in E-flat minor. The latter has an all-Russian roster of soloists led by Alexander Vedernikov. the Musical Director and Principal Conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre and Chief Conductor of the Royal Danish Opera. Eudenice Palaruan is the SSC’s musical director.

The orchestra will also present its popular Concerts for Children series. The line-up features Symphonic Sorcery: The Music of Harry Potter, A Musical Tumble Through Time, Family Film Favourites and a new addition, the SSO Christmas Matinee for Children. The SSO continues its series of free community and outdoor concerts with Symphony in the Gardens at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay.

The SSO made this announcement against the backdrop of uncertainty around the world because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Pursuant to the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 safety measures, it has cancelled all remaining 2019-2020 concerts, including the twenty-seventh edition of the Singapore International Piano Festival. Tickets for the coming season will be released in accordance with the government’s COVID-19 safety measures. For the ease of mind of its patrons, tickets for concerts to be held in July will go on sale in May, and tickets for all others will go on sale from June onwards.

Under the banner SSOPlayOn!, the orchestra is offering video and audio concerts across its online platforms that will showcase newly recorded concerts, performances of works by Singapore’s home-grown composers and never-before-released recordings. For more information, click here.

For the digital edition of the SSO 2020-2021 brochure, click here.

Rick Perdian


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