With the launch of the first-ever Chinese Orchestral Digital Archives, researchers, scholars, musicians and the general public can now access over 20 years of Singapore Chinese Orchestra’s (SCO) concerts, music compositions and information on the development of Chinese music scenes and commissions. When completed in 2023, the Archives will have more than 2,000 Chinese orchestral resources.

Also announced on this World Music Day is a series of SCO performances and educational outreach to make Chinese orchestral music more accessible, nurture an appreciation of the beauty of ageless classics as well as Singapore-influenced or southeast Asian music elements works, and bring communities together through performances. These 2022 initiatives are supported by Temasek Foundation, who has been partnering SCO since 2011 in its mission to forge greater orchestra music excellence and connect with more people in Singapore and beyond through music.

 

Digital Archives for all, including researchers, budding Chinese orchestral musicians

The five-year digital archives was first kickstarted in 2019 to collect, organise and preserve SCO’s archival records. It electronically documents SCO concert materials, compositions and commissions as part of archiving and preserving SCO’s legacy, and provides open access for researchers, scholars, musicians, and the public to know more about SCO and the development of Chinese orchestral music in Singapore. The collection now being made available online will continue to expand in phases:

  • More than 600 materials have already been uploaded for the public to have a deeper understanding of Chinese music or Nanyang pieces. These include SCO programme booklets from around 1997 till early 2021, published music scores, and selected concert videos.
  • More materials including season booklets, annual reports, selected audio and CD recordings, seminars and posters, photos of SCO concerts, selected publication/articles, remaining concert videos, as well as education and outreach programmes brochures, will be uploaded in the later phases by 2023.

Mr Lim Hock Chuan, Head, Programmes at Temasek Foundation, said: “Music has the power to unite us. Through our partnership with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, Temasek Foundation hopes that more can come to learn more about Singapore’s rich local musical heritage, celebrate our traditional roots and culture, and strengthen our local community bonds. Temasek Foundation will continue to work closely with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra to keep Singapore’s music scene vibrant.”

Mr Terence Ho, SCO Executive Director, said: ““SCO firmly believes in putting the people at the heart of everything we do. We strive to let our music echo throughout Singapore and let people from all walks of life experience the vibrancy of Chinese orchestral music, through initiatives like the Caring Series, Community Concerts, Music Oasis Concerts and Lunchtime Concerts. We thank Temasek Foundation for their continuous support and trust, in bringing Chinese music to the community.”

 

Public Outreach and Educational Resources

Since 2011, Temasek Foundation has supported more than 290 outreach concerts by SCO. This year, this suite of community and outreach concerts includes about 30 activities and concerts. These are the highlight activities for 2022:

  • On 20 August 2022, SCO will embark on a collaboration with home-grown conductor Kahchun Wong [1] . Complete with peripheral outreach activities, the collaboration features the world premiere of concerto grosso for Chinese ensemble and Chinese orchestra titled Pictures at an Exhibition, composed by Modest Mussorgsky and orchestrated by Kahchun Wong. Also, the concert programme includes a community outreach component where volunteers will work with children aged 7 to 11 years old, to appreciate the musical pieces and create artwork which draws inspiration from the composer’s music. The process of learning for the children will be documented and showcased in the concert.
  • From now till 25 July 2022, registration is open for the biennial Singapore Chinese Music Competition (SCMC) 2022. Through SCMC, SCO aims to provide a platform to develop the performing skills of young musicians, discover talent, and to support Chinese Orchestra enthusiasts and budding musicians in their interest in Chinese music. The SCMC is supported by Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, National Arts Council, Tote Board, Temasek Foundation, and in partnership with Ministry of Education, People’s Association, Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre, Singapore Chinese Music Federation and SPH Media Ltd, Chinese Media Group, Lianhe Zaobao. For more information on SCMC, please refer to https://sco.com.sg/scmc/.
  • Eight virtuosic musicians performing classic music pieces in SCO’s “Virtuoso Series” concerts are also now featured in webisodes entitled Virtuosos and Classics on YouTube and Facebook, as well as in three music appreciation talks, for the public to have a better appreciation of classic Chinese pieces. This is in addition to two series of eight webisodes each produced by SCO, which are entitled “An Instrumental DiSCOvery of Chinese Orchestra” and “A Twist on Classics”.
  • To outreach to children, general digital outreach programmes such as the Tunes of SCO were produced and seven videos have been shared on the Ministry of Education’s platforms and free-to-air platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. These were well received by primary and secondary school students and their teachers, and have registered more than 32,000 views in total as at 21 June 2022.
 

[1] Kahchun Wong made headlines by winning the first prize at the 5 th Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in 2016, followed by his stint as Chief Conductor at Nuremberg Symphony Conductor from 2018 to August 2022. He assumed the position of Principal Guest Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic from the 2021/2022 season, and will begin his appointment as the Chief Conductor in 2023.

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