Vladimir Martynov’s UTOPIA Symphony Review by Pianomania
Russian composer Vladimir Martynov’s Utopia Symphony began as a commission in 2004 by Michael Tay, then-ambassador of Singapore to the Russian Federation. Its original title was Singapore: A Geopolitical Utopia, premised upon a week-long visit by the composer and his wife violinist Tatiana Grindenko to the island republic where they experienced the sights, sounds and tastes of the modern Southeast Asian city-state. First performances of Singapore took place in Moscow and Singapore in 2005, the latter involving the Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lim Yau at Espanade Concert Hall.
The 2020 iteration of the work has less to do with geography or politics but rather the pursuit of a universal and ideal state of mind. Its new title Utopia does away with the somewhat cumbersome Singapore tagline, focusing instead on what nation states and governments dream about, which is to create the ideal environment for their citizens and residents to inhabit.
OTHER RECENT ARTICLES
The first collaboration between titans Charlie Lim & Ng Pei-Sian, “Into Dreams” rounds off the UTOPIA Reimagined initiative, commissioned by the Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise.
Press Release: Award winners in their respective pop and classical music fields, singer-songwriter Charlie Lim and Ng Pei-Sian, Principal Cellist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, teamed up for the first time to release a single, “Into Dreams”, which released on 4 February 2022 on all major digital platforms.
We hope to resume the highly successful Beethoven im Garten series, led by maestro Wong, in the near future. The series held at the Botanic Gardens is an initiative of the German Embassy in partnership with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and the Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise.
On New Year’s Eve, Singaporean conductor Wong Kah Chun will take the stage with the Bamberg Symphony in Germany to lead it in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. This year’s concert is an initiative by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, in partnership with the Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise in Singapore and the Bamberg Symphony, with The Straits Times as media partner.
Singaporean rapper ShiGGa Shay teamed up Aisyah Aziz and Charlie Lim to release ‘uTopia reimagined: chasing’, marking the third installment of The Foundation’s UTOPIA Reimagined series.