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Melbourne Symphony and Singapore Symphony Orchestras to perform side-by-side at opening of Paya Lebar Quarter, Singapore

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MSO Managing Director Sophie Galaise is proud to announce the first side-by-side musical collaboration between the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Singapore Symphony Orchestra, will take place at the opening of the Paya Lebar Quarter in Singapore.

Two musicians from each orchestra will form a string quartet, performing selections of Australian and Singaporean music at the opening of the S$3.7 billion mixed-use development by Lendlease, on October 24.

Ms Galaise said the performance was a landmark event in the cultural partnership between two great organisations.

“This is the first major step in allowing each organisation to deepen its understanding of the other’s cultural and social practices,” Ms Galaise said.

“Over the next three years we look forward to welcoming more SSO musicians to our part of the world and working with them on the biggest project the MSO has ever mounted, Mahler 8: Symphony of a Thousand in October 2020.”

A four-year cultural partnership between the MSO and SSO was signed in 2018 and was born out of the Australian Singapore Cultural Leaders Forum (2017) convened by the Australia-Singapore Arts Group (ASAG). The partnership promotes the exchange of musicians, administrative staff, conductors, and the development of co-commissions and touring.

The MSO-SSO string quartet will perform Singaporean composer Kelly Tang’s Three Folk Dances, a musical homage to Singapore’s multicultural community, and a second piece by an internationally-acclaimed Australian vocalist.

Singapore Symphony Orchestra CEO Mr Chng Hak Peng said the performance represents the greater cultural connection between the two countries.

“The opening of this Lendlease property reflects growing friendship between Australian and Singaporean businesses, just like that between the MSO and SSO,” Mr Chng said.

“We look forward to more opportunities for creative collaboration with MSO such as with their ambitious Mahler 8 production next year.”

A supporter of the MSO’s sold-out China tour in 2018, Lendlease has also generously supported the MSO’s 2019 US Tour and this ongoing partnership with Singapore. Lendlease is now a Major Sponsor of the MSO.

The three Grade-A office towers at Paya Lebar Quarter have close to one million sq ft of space, linked to a standalone 340,000 sq ft shopping mall and three residential towers with 429 units. Approximately 100,000 sq ft of the site is dedicated to lush green space. The development offers a cycling path for the community which runs through the precinct and is directly integrated into the Park Connector Network.

An instrumental figure in the creation of the MSO-SSO cultural partnership, High Commissioner of the Republic of Singapore Mr KWOK Fook-Seng said the performance was an excellent example of two great arts organisations coming together.

“The Melbourne Symphony and Singapore Symphony Orchestra are the pre-eminent orchestras of both nations,” Mr KWOK Fook-Seng said.

“Having both orchestras collaborating so closely in the one performance is symbolic of the deep ties between our two nations. I look forward to seeing their relationship flourish over the coming years.”

National Museum of Australia Director and Australian-Singapore Arts Group (ASAG) co-chair Dr Mat Trinca said the Paya Lebar Quarter event supports the commitment on behalf of both countries to identify the prospects for cultural exchange and relationship-building.

“These performance opportunities are positive for all parties,” Dr Trinca said.

“Strengthening the bond between our two countries’ arts and culture sectors, through the MSO and SSO is vital to our commitment to growth and mutual cultural understanding.
The MSO’s performance is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia now ASEAN 2019 celebration.

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