SSO kicks off SPH Gift of Music series

SSO musicians getting ready before the start of the hour-long lunchtime concert yesterday at Victoria Concert Hall. They performed, under the baton of conductor Jason Lai, pieces such as Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.
SSO musicians getting ready before the start of the hour-long lunchtime concert yesterday at Victoria Concert Hall. They performed, under the baton of conductor Jason Lai, pieces such as Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

The annual Gift of Music series organised by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) began yesterday with an hour-long lunchtime concert performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO).

Under the baton of conductor Jason Lai, it played to a full house of more than 600 people at Victoria Concert Hall. Pieces included Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake and Yumeji's Theme from In The Mood For Love.

The Gift of Music series of free concerts began in 2005 with a performance by the SSO at the Botanic Gardens. It was intended to help local musicians showcase their talent and expand their reach. "The Gift of Music series capitalises on the strength of both companies to create a prominent platform to showcase our performances to the public," said SSO sponsorship and fund-raising manager Anthony Chng.

Concerts have played to packed audiences in malls, parks and the heartland, in line with the aim to make quality music accessible to all. Many other local music groups have come on board, including the Singapore Lyric Opera (SLO) and Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).

The SLO will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with a performance based on his work at the Botanic Gardens on June 4.

The SCO, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is organising a series of concerts around Singapore from May to October.

"As an active corporate citizen, we are proud to have brought the joy of music to the masses, and helped promote local arts groups at the same time," said Ms Chin Soo Fang, head of corporate communications at SPH.

A list of event dates is available at sph.com.sg/sph-gift-of-music

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2016, with the headline 'SSO kicks off SPH Gift of Music series'. Print Edition | Subscribe