Michael Tay, Arts Entrepreneur by The Business Times
He was a kampung boy who grew up to become a wine-drinking, music-loving plenipotentiary and polymath, but you wouldn’t know it on first meeting him.
Mr Tay, 59, describes himself as a big-picture, long-term kind of guy, and there’s sufficient evidence to back that up. As a foreign ministry official and diplomat – he’s a former Ambassador to Russia – Tay is well-versed in the art of state-craft, but he’s also a champion of the arts scene, on a mission to provide a global platform for local artists and musicians and change lives in the process. While serving as ambassador, he commissioned Russian composer Vladimir Martynov to create a full-blown symphony for Singapore. It debuted in Moscow in October 2005 and was performed in Singapore in 2007. While in Moscow, he also created the Singapore-Russia Business Forum, an annual meeting to promote bilateral ties, persuade Russian oligarchs to visit Singapore and provide business opportunities for all parties involved.
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Home-grown charity The Foundation For The Arts And Social Enterprise has also launched a 10-year Music Commissioning Series to support Singapore composers and build up a canon of local contemporary music – from Chinese orchestra and cross-cultural works to jazz and musicals.
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.
Singapore jazz singer Joanna Dong’s new single titled “Chapter One” will be released on 24 September on major digital platforms, the first in the UTOPIA Reimagined Series – an initiative by the Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise.
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).
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.