All posts filed under: Music

All things music!

A Tapestry of Sacred Music Arvo Pärt’s Passio: St John Passion in the Dark

It was an amazing experience to be invited by the Esplanade to perform in “A Tapestry of Sacred Music“. This annual music festival is presented by the Esplanade and sees some of the most colourful performances of spiritual-religious music by equally colourful performers. This year, I had the privilege to be part of this huge festival as chorus-master, preparing the Schola Cantorum Singapore for Arvo Pärt’s Passio. The concert was fully subscribed and the Esplanade Concert Hall was packed with an appreciative audience. The choir and I had a really good time studying in depth, Pärt’s music and delving deep into this poetic music and text that speaks of the spirit behind one man’s ultimate sacrifice. A big thank you to the Esplanade for inviting and hosting us so wonderfully, and a big shoutout and thank you to The Straits Times (ST Life 17 April 2019) and 938NOW DJ Eugene Loh’s live radio show for the wonderful coverage on this event.

神游上河 (Shen You Shang He) Handbell Music

I am really excited to be given the rare opportunity to conduct the Ministry of Bellz in the premiere of my latest composition, handbell music 神遊上河 for Solo Chinese Bass Drum, Solo Soprano, Handbell Ensemble and Mixed Choir. The premiere will be performed by Ms. Melodie Ng (Percussion), Ms. Grace Kuo (Soprano Solo), Ministry of Bellz & the Schola Cantorum Singapore Chamber Choir TODAY,  27 January 2018 at the Drama Centre Theatre Singapore (National Library). Tickets are SOLD OUT so hope you got your tickets early! 神遊上河 is a first for me, in many ways. Unusual instrumentation – solo Chinese bass drum, solo soprano, handbell ensemble and choir. “Live” projection of a really cool ancient Chinese painting (清明上河图) as the music is playing. And yes the painting is scrolling from right to left as per Chinese tradition! Compositionally, this is pretty new ground for me… taking inspiration from various places: Ancient Chinese 编钟 bian zhong (bell) music Modern Western handbell music Compositional ideas from contemporary pop and classical music THANK YOU Baba Damien LIM and the Ministry of Bellz for having faith in us and for commissioning …

Purgatory: A Review

What: Purgatory by Gordon Crosse When: October 27-November 5 Where: Theatre Practice Black Box Theatre (54 Waterloo Street) Tickets: Director: Eleanor Tan Music Director: Aloysius Foong Portrait Artist: Namiko Chan Set Design: Grace Lin Set Consultant: Chia Eucien Boy: Peter Ong Old man: Reuben Lai Female Spirits: Ava Madon, Melissa Gan, Venytha Yoshiantini, Ethel Yap, Patricia Ginting, and Inch Chua If you are looking for classy Halloween entertainment and you haven’t bought tickets, you really need to buy them RIGHT NOW. “Purgatory” is a production that further proves Singapore’s opera scene has come of age and local creatives are capable of creating an engaging, sophisticated concert experience without “dumbing it down”. “Purgatory is the tale of an Old Man and his Boy, who have arrived at the abandoned ruins of a grand house for unknown reasons (…) The story is at first glance, a fairly inscrutable one. The Old Man’s grief and resentment are palpable from the start, yet his purpose for bringing the Boy to the site of his neglected childhood and tormented youth is uncertain until its horrific culmination suddenly …

Guest Conducting the Taiwan Youth Festival Choir

English text below. 有幸被福爾摩沙合唱團的藝術總監蘇慶俊教授邀請當台灣節慶青年合唱團的客席指揮,與他和來自美國的 Matthew Oltman 同台演出。 指揮台灣最傑出的青年歌者。有多傑出?請看上面在國家音樂廳彩排的摘要! 🙂 與心思細膩的音樂家,教育家和藝術工作人員一起工作,奮鬥。 七天內學會了二十多首不同作曲家,編曲家運用不同的語言和方言的合唱曲。 四個城市,四個美麗的音樂廳。 到了不同地方授課。 當歌唱比賽評審。 遇到馬來西亞的老朋友。 吃到超級無敵讚的美食(岡山羊肉,台中燒烤)。 《八陣圖》終於獲得發表,受表演者和觀眾熱烈的反應。 感謝大師蘇慶俊和所有福爾摩沙和台青的工作人員。這位客席指揮從你們身上學習到好多東西,也因你們得到許多的啟發和感動。請繼續這個培養下一代的神聖音樂教育工作。台灣加油! “只求音韵撩心弦,合唱群艺得知音!” – 鄭維誠 I had the good fortune of being invited by Professor Julian Su, Artistic Director of the renowned Formosa Singers to guest conduct the Taiwan Youth Festival Choir and share the podium with him and Matthew Oltman (Music Director Emeritus of Chanticleer) and oh my was this a fantastic experience! A summary: Conducted some of the finest young singers of Taiwan; Don’t believe me? Listen to their rehearsal at the National Concert Hall above! Got to work with and observe the work of really meticulous musicians, educators and arts administrators; Learnt over 20 beautiful choral compositions written by various composers and arrangers (some Singaporean) in various languages and dialects in 7 days; Performed in 4 cities in fab concert halls; Attended (and gave) music workshops; Adjudicated a singing competition; Met an old friend from Malaysia; Tasted some REALLY HEAVENLY FOOD; “Eight Trigrams” is premiered to appreciative audiences and performers who responded enthusiastically to it (really can’t imagine …