It is my pleasure to introduce our musical programme for the first half of the 2018/19 academic year. In the pages that follow, we lay out an array of diverse and exciting events which we look forward to sharing with you.
This season, we explore the central theme Music & Motion, with a particular focus on music with a dimension of dance. As examples, our final concert in November features Ravel’s La Valse (alongside Head of Keyboard Studies Prof Thomas Hecht performing Liszt’s 2nd Concerto), while our concert Beethoven im Garten in September, held in collaboration with the German Embassy and featuring alumni conductor Kahchun Wong, presents Beethoven’s 7th Symphony, described by Wagner as the “apotheosis of the dance”.
As a possible antithesis to our theme are the moments of reflective depth and emotional intensity, alongside the dances. This intriguing comparison illuminates another facet to our central theme, which is the concept of being “moved by music”. We find examples of these in some of Brahms’s intermezzi, which will be performed by renowned international pianists András Schiff and Paul Lewis.
The action of the semester begins with an important celebration acknowledging 15 years of active collaboration with the Peabody Institute, our founding partner. The evolution in our identity over this period is arguably best embodied in the achievements of our alumni, and it is fitting therefore that the Peabody-YST Gala is the opening event for Voyage, our first-ever alumni festival. I want to give special acknowledgement to the many alumni who have contributed their energy and enthusiasm to the event, and in particular to Tan Shi Yu and the core team for their passionate leadership in curating the festival.
Other highlights include our collaboration with the wind band community in workshops that culminate in Bandscendence on 9 September. This latest interaction with the Singapore music scene builds out from the Singapore International Violin Festival and the Singapore Performers’ Festival over the summer vacation, and continues with the Singapore International String Conference taking place in December.
Equally, we look forward to our students having opportunities to play alongside some of the world’s most distinguished artists and ensembles. These include the Juilliard Quartet, Ensemble Phoenix, as well as celebrated duo Igudesman & Joo (with kind sponsorship by Mr Tan Kah Tee).
And as always, at the core of our programme are the concerts, presentations and events offered throughout the year by our students and faculty. Continuing the theme of movement, we shine the spotlight on song and dance as vital modes of human expression in Let’s Dance (presented by the studio of Assoc Prof Albert Tiu), and Voice Discovery (presented by the studio of Prof Alan Bennett) in late October. Other highlights for the semester include a collaboration between the T’ang Quartet and Assoc Prof Tiu, our Concerto Competition Finals Concert, and the 3rd Year Junior Recitals which take place in November. Outside of YST, we are also pleased to continue our concert series with the Asian Civilisations Museum and the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS), alongside student events with partners in Singapore and Southeast Asia.
As the season begins, we hope you will come and join us in the many different dances taking place at YST, and look forward to welcoming you to the floor at our events both within and beyond the Conservatory.
Prof Bernard Lanskey
Dean, YST Conservatory