Singapore Magazine: A Stage for Singapore
I first heard the work of avant-garde composer Vladimir Martynov in 2004, when I was the Singapore ambassador to Russia. Listening to a performance of one of his scores at the City Hall in Moscow, I found his music very moving, and felt he deserved a wider audience. He hadn’t wanted to leave Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union, and that decision cost him.
I plucked up the courage and asked if he would compose a string-quartet piece for Singapore (that would be affordable and relatively easy for me to stage). He said yes. I invited him to Singapore to meet our ethnic musicians and music lecturers, and to experience Singapore for himself.
After two weeks he came back and said: “It needs to be an orchestral piece. Singapore represents something the Soviet Union could not achieve. The Soviet Union was trying to create utopia on earth, but it failed. Singapore thinks of utopia as the journey, and this is what makes Singapore big. Don’t think of yourself as a small country.”
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.