SSO to perform in free concert on July 11 at Botanic Gardens for ST's 170th birthday

The entrance of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from Cluny Road.
The entrance of the Singapore Botanic Gardens from Cluny Road.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is set to serenade Straits Times readers ahead of the paper's 170th anniversary in a free concert at the Botanic Gardens on July 11, Saturday.

Led by associate conductor Joshua Tan, it will perform music by The Beatles as well as tunes from the movie Ben Hur and musical Swan Lake.

The concert, which starts at 6pm, will take place at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage just four days before ST's anniversary.

Sponsored by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), it is part of SPH Gift of Music, a free community concert series which marks its 10th anniversary this year.

National Parks Board is the official venue sponsor for the series.

Mr Chng Kai Jin, general manager of the Singapore Symphonia Company, which runs the SSO, said: "We have selected some of the best and most exciting works from our repertoire to share with the audience and we hope they will enjoy the performance."

The Gardens could become Singapore's first Unesco World Heritage Site this weekend, with the decision due in Germany today.


Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said: "With Singapore marking our 50th anniversary and ST turning 170, that's reason enough to celebrate. But we are all hoping that there will be good news from Germany, to make the event even more special for everyone."

Music fans are advised to get there early as previous SSO concerts at the Gardens have pulled in big crowds. More than 6,000 attended one to mark SPH's 30th anniversary last year.

ST170 commemorative picnic mats will be given out to those attending the concert.

There are also other treats in store for ST readers this year. History buffs can visit ST's free exhibition - Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow - from July 17 to Oct 4 at the ArtScience Museum.

There is also the ST Run at the Hub, to be held on Sept 27. Besides the 5km and 10km routes, there will be a special 18.45km route to mark the year the paper was founded - in 1845. To register, visit

Readers can also enjoy ST170 Treats, a year-long series of giveaways. Prizes that have been given out include a trip to London to see pop singer Taylor Swift in concert, a trip for two to the Maldives, and Samsung Galaxy phones. Readers can enter a lucky draw for each prize by answering a multiple-choice question correctly at

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'Music treat at Botanic Gardens for ST's 170th birthday'. Print Edition | Subscribe