As the second half of the 2018/19 academic year begins, we welcome an exciting 2019 within and around YST.
Our central theme for this season is Evolutions and Revolutions, inspired by a number of key collaborative events in our programming. As a new initiative, we have asked our current fourth-year cohort to plan our annual concert at the Victoria Concert Hall titled Springing (April). This is significant as they are the first to have gone through our new curriculum inspired by our guiding principle ‘Listen in New Light’ and focused on ever-emerging professional and artistic identities. In turn, the concert is itself inspired by concepts of evolution and a fitting anticipation of the artistic change they will go on to create. At the same time revolution often comes with upheaval, and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (April) – written in the years immediately following the French Revolution – also epitomises evolving artistic identity late in life in quite revolutionary ways.
Two further projects influencing our choice of theme each have a British dimension and Singaporean resonance to their identity, a fitting nod to Singapore’s bicentennial commemoration. Our Conservatory Orchestra tour, Intersections (April), unpacks British composer, William Walton's Violin Concerto (performed by Head of Strings Prof Qian Zhou), subdividing the orchestra in two for the other works in the programme. The strings perform Vaughan Williams’ homage to Thomas Tallis, while the winds, brass and harp form the tutti for a newly-composed triple concerto by Composition faculty member Asst Prof Chen Zhangyi that draws on Asian musical traditions and instruments. Finally, the British-based Aurora Orchestra (visiting as part of our Shaw Foundation Ones to Watch series) will engage 40 young musicians learning a second instrument from YST students as part of our Double Time initiative, and bring our season theme full circle with their exploration of temporal evolution and celestial revolution in the end-of-semester Music of the Spheres (April). In different ways, these events each stand as metaphors for the important transformations and shifts that have characterised Singapore’s own musical and sociological journey.
Engaging the idea of historical lineage and evolution over time are also A Different Kind of “B”-Line (January), a recital by Head of Keyboard Studies Prof Thomas Hecht following pathways across piano works by Beethoven, Brahms and Barber; the Jerusalem Quartet with Assoc Prof Qin Li-Wei (February) who will trace the history of string chamber music with works by Haydn, Schubert and Korngold; and Mutsuki Watanabe (March) and our Electone Orchestra (April) who push new frontiers in classical music practice.
This season, we are also delighted to have our students performing with leading musicians including Ong Teng Cheong Visiting Professor Masaaki Suzuki (February) as well as Nobuko Imai (March), who bring rich inspiration for our students and audiences alike. And throughout the season, our wide array of events within the Conservatory and with partners such as the Victoria Concert Hall, Asian Civilisations Museum and Singapore University of Technology and Design continue to offer accessible opportunities for musical engagement.
We welcome you to walk with us as we continue to create and discover music in new light.
Prof Bernard Lanskey
Dean, YST Conservatory
View our season calendar here.