NomadPlay Competition: Singapore musicians stand chance to travel to Paris to perform with an orchestra

Wong Kah Chun conducting the Orchestre Nationale d'ile de France in Paris last month.
Wong Kah Chun conducting the Orchestre Nationale d'ile de France in Paris last month.PHOTO: ORCHESTRE NATIONALE D'ILE DE FRANCE

SINGAPORE - A competition by a French startup gives musicians in Asia the chance to win a trip to Paris and perform with a professional orchestra.

The NomadPlay Competition - part of the vOilah! France Singapore Festival, and first mooted by Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun - comes with a digital twist.

First, contestants must sign in to NomadPlay, an app that gives them access to recordings of professional ensembles. The remote musician can isolate the sound of any instrument, and play together with the ensemble as thought they were part of it.

Then, they need to film themselves while playing one of the pieces with NomadPlay.

Advanced musicians should take part in the competition's "Revelation" category and record themselves playing with Cesar Franck's Symphony in D, 1st movement (recorded with conductor Wong and the Orchestre national d'Ile-de-France). Pianists should opt for Maurice Ravel's Violin Sonata No. 2, 2nd movement (recorded with Raphaelle Moreau and Celia Oneto Bensaid).

The other category, "Young Talent", is open to musicians aged below 18 years old. They can choose any piece from the 1,500 titles in NomadPlay's catalogue.

The contest is organised by French startup Digital Music Solutions, which developed the NomadPlay app. It is open to people from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Winners will be selected by Wong and representatives from NomadPlay, the Embassy of France in Singapore, instrument retailer Swee Lee and the Orchestre national d'Ile-de-France. The person who wins first prize in the Revelation category will get to go on a four-day trip to Paris to perform with the Orchestre national d'Ile-de-France. There are other prizes to be bagged, such as vouchers from Swee Lee.

The winners will be announced on Nov 22 at the closing event of the vOilah! festival, during which a video of the live performance of Wong and the Orchestre national d'Île-de-France will also be played.

Wong, 34, is the chief conductor of Germany's Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra. He had been invited to take part in the festival and wanted to offer something that would “really create an impact”.

"This makes me feel that my contribution to the festival, to Singapore, adds an additional element. It's not simply me performing with an orchestra."

- The NomadPlay Competition closes on Nov 15. Go to the website.