The Business Times: Michael Tay, Arts Entrepreneur
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.
OTHER RECENT ARTICLES
An excerpt from Dr. Chang Tou Liang’s review from his classical music blog – 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.
The renowned London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and London Philharmonic Choir have recorded and released a symphony inspired by Singapore. Commissioned by former Singapore Ambassador to Russia, Michael Tay, and composed by renowned
Michael Tay, Founder of the Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise, shares his vision and the journey that paved the way for the first country-inspired symphony to be recorded and released by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on CNA’s Singapore Tonight.
Made at Abbey Road last year in the presence of the composer, this is the world premiere recording of Martynov’s Utopia Symphony, which began life in 2005 as Singapore: A Geopolitical Utopia and sets text adapted from passages of the Tao Te Ching; the orchestra have history with the Russian composer’s music, having premiered his Dante-inspired opera-oratorio Vita Nuova in 2009.
An interview with Michael Tay, Founder of the Foundation for The Arts and Social Enterprise published by The Edge Singapore. Michael speaks about the UTOPIA Symphony – The Foundation’s flagship initiative to kickstart a future where the arts and business go hand-in-hand.