SSO Concerts with a Twist
Inside the Esplanade concert hall, audiences were treated to an unusual-looking orchestra when they showed up for SSO Pops Concert: Jazz It Up With Gershwin in August! Instead of the usual violins and violas in the front row, a full drum-set and a double bass were set up in front forming a trio with the piano.
In the two Suites by Shostakovich, the SSO showcased the range of saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor), a banjo, a Hawaiian guitar and even an accordion. Unlike in the usual orchestral repertoire, the brassy sounds of the trumpets and trombones were front and centre in this concert tribute to jazz. The SSO also performed a wonderful collection of popular Gershwin tunes under the baton of Principal Guest Conductor Andrew Litton who led from the piano.
It’s so different from ‘business as usual’. Shostakovich has waltzes and polkas and foxtrots. And there may be some songs that Singaporean audiences may not know so well, like “Do, do, do” [by Gershwin] which goes: “Oh, do, do, do. What you've done, done, done before, baby!” Like they’re sitting in Broadway in New York!
A big thank you to the 10,000 people who came out to watch the SSO in their neighbourhoods — where schools such as Victoria Junior College and Paya Lebar MGS opened their doors to nearby residents — while others caught the Botanic Gardens concert that was streamed live on Facebook. (See this link for the full Facebook video.)
I had a wonderful time playing for such a varied audience. I believe in classical music’s ability to inspire each and every one, so this was a perfect opportunity to perform for new audiences.
We want to share our love and passion for music, and we are aware that there would be a higher concentration of listeners who were new to this…. Hopefully the performances have moved them to seek out more music events.
And shout-outs from our online audience:
“Thank you! Perfect to combat a rainy morning in the UK.”
— Yvonne McIlwaine
“It has been marvellous, magic – watching it live from Switzerland online. Bravo SSO!”
— Anne-Marie Schmid
“Love the National Day atmosphere by playing this song ‘Home’ ”
— Alvin Tan
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