Pianomania: VLADIMIR MARTYNOV’S UTOPIA SYMPHONY / Review
Russian composer Vladimir Martynov’s Utopia Symphony began as a commission in 2004 by Michael Tay, then-ambassador of Singapore to the Russian Federation. Its original title was Singapore: A Geopolitical Utopia, premised upon a week-long visit by the composer and his wife violinist Tatiana Grindenko to the island republic where they experienced the sights, sounds and tastes of the modern Southeast Asian city-state. First performances of Singapore took place in Moscow and Singapore in 2005, the latter involving the Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lim Yau at Espanade Concert Hall.
The 2020 iteration of the work has less to do with geography or politics but rather the pursuit of a universal and ideal state of mind. Its new title Utopia does away with the somewhat cumbersome Singapore tagline, focusing instead on what nation states and governments dream about, which is to create the ideal environment for their citizens and residents to inhabit.
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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.
Titled ‘UTOPIA’ and composed by prolific Russian composer, Vladimir Martynov, it was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.