A 10-year undertaking to make significant contributions to Singapore contemporary music, with the commissioning of major works by Singapore composers and systemically building up a canon of major Singapore music for the first time.  


One of The Foundation’s key thrusts is the export of Singapore arts which depends greatly on the creation of original works by Singapore artists.

The idea of the Music Commissioning Series is to build up a canon of original and major music works in Singapore. There have been commissions before, but The Foundation believes in a broader approach to commissioning music across genres. This series captures what we are trying to do with the musical eco-system. We are doing it thematically to cover different genres over a span of 10 years that can appeal to various audiences.

The Advisory Council

Composers for The Series will be selected and commissioned in consultation with an Advisory Council comprising experts with the necessary breadth of experience.

Bernard Tan, composer and Emeritus Professor of Physics at the National University of Singapore

Chan Tze Law, Associate Professor at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of music, and Musical Director/Conductor of the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra

Ho Chee Kong, composer and Associate Professor at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music

Valarie Koh, choral conductor

Jennifer Tham, Cultural Medallion Recipient and Board member of the International Federation for Choral Music

Serene Lim, Director, Sector Development (Performing Arts), National Arts Council

First composer in this inaugural series

The first composer for the Music Commissioning Series is Dr Kelly Tang, a Singaporean composer known for wind band, chamber, and orchestral works. Dr Tang was conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2011 for his contributions to the local music scene.

Dr Tang plans to write a 30-40-minute work for a full orchestra of approximately 70 musicians. In a nod to Singapore’s heritage, this new suite will take inspiration from a curated selection of art works in the National Gallery Singapore’s collection.

Further plans include a premiere by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra at the Esplanade Concert Hall by early 2023.

“I’m honoured to be selected as the first composer for this Commissioning Series that is the first of its kind to showcase the best of Singapore composers, and promises to bring them onto the global stage, where their work will be performed to a global audience. This is a large-scale effort to promote Singapore work and art in a field that promises to realise the full potential of the creative talent that we possess.”

Dr Kelly Tang, Composer and Cultural Medallion Recipient

Tang’s compositions have been performed by world-renowned ensembles such as the Russian National Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Minguett Quartet in Germany, and the Ensemble Contemporain of Montreal. In Singapore, his music is regularly performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra.  His commissioned works for the Singapore Youth Festival are performed annually by all bands and choirs in schools.

Be a Patron

The Foundation seeks to raise the first $2 million in donations from major funding Patrons to support the commissioned works in this iconic undertaking.

The programme funds will cover the commissioning, staging of the concert premiere, as well as promoting the commissioned works overseas. The promotion includes the lobbying of international orchestras to perform the works, as well as identifying opportunities through our overseas Singapore agencies and foreign partners to restage the works in key cultural capitals.

Send us a message if you would like to become a Music Commissioning Series Patron.

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arts charity Singapore

“We are pleased to be a partner in the debut of the Music Commissioning Series with The Foundation, as the National Gallery Singapore is always keen to find creative ways to showcase Singapore’s national collection. As a key custodian of Singapore art, we also passionately support efforts to promote Singapore art overseas and working with The Foundation will allow us to do that. Artists building upon one another’s art across disciplines will also broaden and deepen the growth and appreciation of the eco-system of Singapore arts in the long run.”

– Chong Siak Ching, Chief Executive Officer
    National Gallery Singapore

Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore
Arts Charity Foundation Singapore