With its unique ability to cross languages, ethnicities, cultures and social statuses, music is a unifying force for building community, promoting inclusivity and enhancing social cohesion. As such, Temasek Foundation has been supporting Singapore’s national orchestras in their community outreach, educational programmes and initiatives to encourage appreciation of orchestral music. These include the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO) and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO).
As Singapore’s only professional Chinese orchestra, the SCO plays a critical role in preserving traditional Chinese arts and culture, and promoting cross-cultural social integration. These roles are advanced via the SCO’s Chinese Orchestral Digital Archives as well as its other ongoing community and outreach activities.
SCO first kicked off the Chinese Orchestral Digital Archives in 2019. This is a project to electronically document SCO concert materials, compositions and commissions and allow researchers, scholars, musicians and the public to have open access to more information about SCO and the development of Chinese orchestral music in Singapore. Today more than 600 materials have been uploaded and made available to the public. These include SCO programme booklets, published music scores and selected concert videos. When completed in 2023, the Archives will have more than 2,000 Chinese orchestral resources.
The Foundation supports the outreach efforts of SCO in various ways. For example, since 2011 the Foundation has sponsored over 290 SCO outreach concerts to nurture an appreciation of Chinese orchestra music.
In 2022, the Foundation is funding 30 educational outreach activities including a series of SCO performances.
On 20 August 2022, for instance, SCO is collaborating with homegrown conductor Kahchun Wong to present the world premiere of Pictures at an Exhibition, which is composed by Modest Mussorgsky and orchestrated by Kahchun Wong. The concert programme will also feature artworks by children who draw inspiration from the composer’s music.
A calendar event this year is the return of the biennial Singapore Chinese Music Competition, a platform for the discovery of young talents. This event is backed by the Foundation.
In the year the Foundation also continued its sponsorship of SCO’s “Virtuoso Series” and its outreach programme titled ‘Tunes of SCO’.