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Concert review: Young saxophonist star shines bright

Published on Jul 25, 2014 1:40 PM

The annual President's Young Performers Concert returned to the recently re-opened Victoria Concert Hall this year, having been held at the Esplanade Concert Hall since 2004.

Now in its 14th year running, the concert fulfils the ambition of every young musician in Singapore - to share the stage with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Led by associate conductor Jason Lai, the orchestra opened proceedings confidently in the world premiere of Bernard Tan's Aspirations Overture, written to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Singapore Institute of Management.

Full of oriental influences, the overture was typical Tan - genuinely accessible and unpretentious. Themes were simply presented and there was to be no complex atonal metamorphosis.

It was immediately apparent though, that the biggest obstacle the musicians faced this evening was to achieve a balance of timbre in their refurbished old home. While the woodwinds and brass were pristinely clear, especially in the passages where the four flautists tackled frenetic running notes in unison, the upper strings were too bright, and the basses sounded diffused.

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