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Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Relatively young among the world's major symphony orchestras, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra has evolved into Southeast Asia's leading orchestral ensemble. The group's repertory and its reputation are both international. Symphony orchestras, including one called the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, have existed in Singapore since the end of World War II but were mostly amateur groups. The current Singapore Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1979, was the creation of conductor Choo Hoey, who convinced government officials that a high-quality group could be formed using partly Singaporean musicians. Of the original 35 players, eight were from Singapore; the orchestra has since grown to 90 members, mostly Singaporean. The Singapore Symphony moved into the city's historic Victoria Concert Hall in 1980, where it has continued to perform, but in 2003, many concerts moved to the new Esplanade Concert Hall on the city's waterfront. The group has also performed outdoor concerts in Singapore's famed Botanic Gardens and at the Istana, the city-state's presidential palace. Hoey stepped down in 1996 and installed his hand-picked successor, China-born and Chinese- and American-trained Lan Shui, as music director. Under Shui, the orchestra's international touring program has greatly expanded. The group performed in eight cities in England and Germany, and in 2016, it appeared at major Eastern European events: the Dresden Music Festival and the Prague Spring International Music Festival. In 2019, after 23 years at the helm, Shui retired, and Austria's Hans Graf, after having made several guest appearances, was set to take up the baton in the coronavirus-threatened 2020-2021 season. The Singapore Symphony made a few recordings under Hoey, but Shui greatly expanded its recording program, forging an ongoing relationship with the BIS label and bringing the group substantial Western attention. The orchestra's recorded repertory has included mostly Western music but has also touched on Asian works, including, in 2011, an album of Chinese-American flute concertos featuring flutist Sharon Bezaly. In 2020, Shui and the Singapore Symphony issued an album of orchestral music by Richard Strauss that included the rarely heard tone poem Macbeth, Op. 23. The Singapore Symphony is associated under an Esplanade Theater rubric with the Singapore Symphony Choruses and the Singapore National Youth Orchestra.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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Discography

27 album(s) • Sorted by Bestseller

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