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Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise

Michael Tay of Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise on ‘Utopia’ by Robb Report

January 21, 2021 | Highlights, In The News, UTOPIA Symphony

Utopia is the first symphony inspired by a country that the London Philharmonic Orchestra has recorded. Meet the man who made it possible

For many, utopia is understood as a place of ideal perfection, especially in laws and social conditions. But for Michael Tay, founder of arts charity Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise, utopia holds a different meaning altogether – rather than an endpoint, Tay sees utopia as a state of becoming. It’s important to realise that the journey, after all, is more important than the destination, Tay says. To musically illustrate this principle, some 17 years back, Tay commissioned the recording of a symphony to the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), when he was Singapore’s ambassador to Moscow.


Joanna Dong and Chok Kerong kick start “The Series” with ‘‘第一章’ (The First Chapter)’ by Bandwagon

Singaporean Jazz-vocalist Joanna Dong teamed up with composer Chok Kerong to release ‘第一章’ (The First Chapter) on the 24th of September, marking the first in the UTOPIA Reimagined series “The Series” – which will see four artists reimagining a symphony written by Russian composer Vladimir Martynov and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jazz Vocalist Joanna Dong Releases Single Inspired by Symphony about Singapore

Press Release: Singaporean jazz singer Joanna Dong’s new single titled 《第一章》will be released on 24 September on major digital platforms, the first in the UTOPIA Reimagined Series (“the Series”) – an initiative by the Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise (“The Foundation”) that will see four artists reimagine a symphony inspired by Singapore, written by a Russian composer and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO).

Robb Report Singapore’s Thought Leaders of 2021

Michael Tay’s early interest in philosophy has profoundly shaped the way he thinks about issues and trends – simultaneously teaching him how to seek underlying motivations and causes in the area of problem-solving. This, together with his passion for the arts and its place in society, led to the genesis of Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise, which aims to pin Singapore’s art scene onto the world map.