Brought together by Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor (Raja Zarith Sofiah of Johor Foundation) and Temasek Foundation, The Purple Symphony orchestra – Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra comprising around 70 musicians with and without disabilities – will be performing overseas in Malaysia for the first time at Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House, Johor Bahru, on Sunday, 26 Nov 2023.
The journey started in July last year. The Honourable Datin Paduka Ho Ching, Chairman of Temasek Trust, hosted Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Permaisuri of Johor, at the Temasek Shophouse where two musicians from The Purple Symphony performed before the guests. Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah was moved by the performance, and extended an invitation to the orchestra to perform at Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House.
Titled The Symphony of Friendship, this concert will also mark the first collaboration between The Purple Symphony and Sekolah Seni Malaysia Johor, a prestigious arts school in Johor Bahru, on this beautiful evening of music and friendship. One of the songs they will be performing together is Kalau Rindu – a song composed by the late Sultan Idris Shah, Her Majesty’s father.
Led by Artistic Director Mr Quek Ling Kiong, the musical journey of friendship will include specially curated pieces and familiar tunes such as “Di Tanjong Katong” and “Stand by Me”. The Symphony of Friendship is a joint partnership between Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor, Temasek Foundation, The Purple Symphony, Sekolah Seni Malaysia Johor, and Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House.
Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor’s (YRZSNJ) primary focus is to promote the pursuit of knowledge for Malaysians to produce global citizens, who are able to face the various challenges of the world and make significant contributions to the betterment of mankind. Hishamuddin Bin Abd Rahim Chief Executive Officer, YRZSNJ, said “We have been actively forging partnership with Temasek Foundation since the pandemic days, and the partnership continues to bloom. We are excited to host ‘The Symphony of Friendship’ Orchestra to showcase an inclusive orchestra show of talents with and without disabilities which has successfully created an avenue for disabled musicians to spread the message of inclusion and inspire others. We are always looking forward to more collaborations between the two foundations in the coming future.”
“At Temasek Foundation, we connect communities and plant seeds of friendship to make a difference. We are delighted to partner a like-minded organisation, Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor, in this aptly named production: The Symphony of Friendship. We are very glad that The Symphony of Friendship will take stage in a world-class opera house, Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House, before distinguished guests, friends, and families. This is the essence of partnerships – to do good well, together,” said Mr Ng Boon Heong, Chief Executive Officer, Temasek Foundation.
Ms Denise Phua, Adviser to The Purple Symphony, said, “The Purple Symphony, Singapore’s largest inclusive orchestra, is honoured to mark its first overseas performance at a world-class venue, the Permaisuri Zarith Sofiah Opera House! Started almost 10 years ago, the orchestra featured differently-abled musicians to show that we can come together to achieve something meaningful. And that when we are working hard with the same goal, we are not that different after all. My deepest gratitude to Her Majesty Raja Zarith Sofiah, the Yayasan Raja Zarith Sofiah Negeri Johor and our steadfast partner the Temasek Foundation for making this collaboration possible.”