November 26, 2014

Interview with Lau Yun Xi, SNYO Cellist

Interview with Lau Yun Xi, SNYO Cellist

Young cellist Lau Yun Xi is one to look out for. At 15, she is one of the best cellists in the SNYO, and she was one of three cellists selected to fly to London for a week to be mentored under British award-winning cellist Natalie Clein. In the second part of three interviews, she tells Plink, Plonk, Plunk more about herself.

Hello! How old are you this year, and how long have you been playing cello?

I’m 15, and have been playing cello for 9-10 years

Did you choose to learn the cello?

Nope, it’s dad’s favourite instrument and he bought one for me.

Do you play any other musical instruments?


Which did you pick up first?

I guess I picked up both at around the same time.

Who inspires you?

Jacqueline Du Pre, I like her recording of Elgar (cello concerto), and Rostropovich’s Bach.
And Ms Clein as well, she has such an amazing big sound…

You went on a study trip last year to London, can you tell me more about it?

It was a week long, and not entirely musical as well – we got to walk around and see London too. Ms Clein gave a performance of Britten, and we attended and played in classes at the RCM. We also watched the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican; it was a gala concert, in celebration of Valery Gergiev’s 60th birthday. We also got to perform at the end of it.

How was Ms Clein as a teacher? And what was one most important lesson you learnt from her?

She’s very nice, very patient, and such a good teacher. I’ve learnt so much from her, all so important.. Guess it would be intonation

What was most memorable about that trip?

The masterclasses – I learnt a lot from Ms Clein, and we learnt from each other as well..

Do you have a favourite piece that you would like to learn some day?

Dvorak and Elgar cello concertos

What’s your favourite work or composer?
Brahms. I’ve been learning and will be playing the e minor sonata for the studio class later, and it is quite an emotional work, much more difficult to get the music than the notes

Any hobbies besides playing cello (if you even count that as a hobby)?

Reading, listening to music, especially on rainy days

Yunxi then went on to perform the first movement of a Brahms cello sonata, and the tone she drew out from the cello was simply gorgeous. She plays with the Singapore National Youth Orchestra  this Thursday evening, with soloist Natalie Clein under the baton of Jason Lai at the Esplanade Concert Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets going at $10 each, available from Sistic.

Photo credits: ©Jeff Low from

November 25, 2014

LANXESS-SNYO Classic ‘Musical Virtuosos’: Exclusive Interview with Jason Lai!

LANXESS-SNYO Classic ‘Musical Virtuosos’: Exclusive Interview with Jason Lai!

Apologies for the long hiatus, there have been a few log-in and password issues, but everything’s back and running – and just in time too, for the upcoming LANXESS-SNYO concert happening at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Thursday evening.

As a lead-up to the concert, Plink, Plonk, Plunk gets in contact with three of the people involved. Here’s the first of three interviews, and it is none other than the conductor, Jason Lai. The British orchestral conductor has been hailed by the BBC as one of the leading lights in a new generation of young conductors after winning the BBC Young Conductors Workshop. He is also a broadcaster, cellist, and composer, and is at present the Associate Conductor with the SSO, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, and Principal Conductor of the YST Conservatory Orchestra. As he keeps an extremely busy schedule, he gives his answers in an e-mail interview below.

Jason Lai conducts the SNYO-YST orchestra with Natalie Clein playing solo

You’ve studied composition and cello and then conducting, which is your favourite thing to do?

I miss playing the cello, particularly chamber music, and composing new pieces but conducting is my favourite thing. Every time I conduct I get an incredible buzz. Especially since I get to conduct great music, great works of art that have been left to us by great composers!

Do you still have time to play cello and compose when you’re conducting so much?

Unfortunately not, however, I still love to listen to the cello and explore new music from the new generation of composers. 

And if you still have extra time, what do you like to do in your spare time?

My passion is photography. I always take my camera with me when I head out to explore. My camera is always on, and I never leave my lens cap on. This way I can capture interesting moments at all times without missing a beat. I’d love to hold a photography exhibition soon and am working to create a collection of work that I would very much like to share.

You’ve won a conducting competition and that resulted in a chance to conduct the BBC orchestras and choirs. What was that like? What did you learn from it?

It was tough! On the hindsight winning the competition was the easy part. When you are standing on the podium for the first time as a winner, you then encounter the difficult part – proving to yourself and to everyone why you deserved the win. I always advise my students that you are only nervous when you are not fully prepared and engaged with the music.

You have conducted orchestras from Asia and Europe, are there any distinct differences between Asian and European orchestras?

Not really, orchestras tend to have a mix of players of different nationalities; hence they often have cultural differences. I remember once conducting an orchestra in Sweden. The orchestra sat and listened intently to everything I said. I was surprised and asked if there was anything wrong and they said no, they were listening to the rehearsal!

Some people think classical music is boring and only for the elite. What do you have to say to that?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but what I would say is give classical music a go and you might like it! I was recently reading an article which suggests that classical music is for snobs and elites but you know what? You get rock n roll snobs, pop snobs, jazz snobs, RnB snobs….the world has room to accommodate all this music and more so just let’s live side by side shall we?!

I’m sure you’ve worked with many people before. Can you tell of the most interesting or inspiring personality that you’ve worked with?

I was lucky enough to work with Colin Davis who sadly, passed away last year. He was a great conductor who shared with me many things including advice about how to be the best conductor. It was well known that as a young man he was quite direct and abrupt with orchestra, in a manner some would say rude. He had told me once that he regretted behaving in such a manner and that I should treat musicians with respect and patience. Those words have always stayed with me.

Finally, say in 50 words or less, what your favourite piece of music is, and why? 

Too many pieces to say which my favourite is. There is simply so much music out there and I’m listening to new things all the time. But If I had to listen to the Bach’s everyday for the rest of my life I would count myself lucky.

Catch Jason Lai in action conducting the Singapore National Youth Orchestra this Thursday evening at the Esplanade Concert Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets going at $10 each, available from Sistic. Stay tuned over the next few days for interviews with two other special people!

Photo credits: ©Jeff Low from

October 25, 2014

The Merry Widow – A Review

The Merry Widow – A Review
An edited version of this review will be published in The Straits Times on 27 Oct 2014. 

The Merry Widow
Singapore Lyric Opera
Esplanade Theatre
Friday, 24th October
Since gender stereotyping has come under intense media scrutiny of late, the Singapore Lyric Opera’s production of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow over the weekend couldn’t have come at a better time. Staged more as a musical than an opera with spoken dialogue, this well-loved operetta with its tuneful melodies was rife with gender stereotyping, mostly to do with women being enigmatic. It tells of a young, beautiful and stupendously wealthy widow’s quest to find a new husband, and her country men’s attempts to find her a local suitor for fear of losing her (and her money) to Paris, leaving their homeland of Pontevedro in bankruptcy.

Tiffany Speight shows she can dance the can-can and sing, in tune and in sync! 

The three-act operetta remained faithful to its quintessential Edwardian form with costumes, a chandelier, and can-can dancing Parisian girls, but was sung and spoken in English rather than the original German. Simple but versatile set design by Aaron Christopher Yap was made highly effective by innovative lighting from designer Adrian Tan, most memorably when the scene depicting a garden party was transformed into a magic forest for the song “Vilja” in an instant through subtle lighting changes in the backdrop.  

Camille and Valencienne in their tender love duet 

Ashley Catling as attaché Camille de Rosilion sounded weaker and a little forced in the first act, but warmed up to deliver a passionate love song ‘Red as the rose of May time’ in the second act. Tiffany Speight embraced the role of Camille’s love interest Valencienne with gusto. She was naturally suave and charming, even managing to stay perfectly in tune and in step while singing and dancing the can-can! Her naive and cuckolded husband, Baron Zeta was aptly played by the grandfatherly John Bolton Wood.
Grandfatherly John Bolton Wood plays the cuckolded Baron, and Steven Ang as Njegus, his attendant

the Merry Widow tells the tale of Vilja

The jewel of the production was most definitely lyric soprano Kishani Jayasinghe. She outshone the rest of the cast, and not only literally by the amount of bling she wore in the first act, but with her sumptuous vocals as well. As wealthy widow Hanna, Jayasinghe exuded a dazzling Parisian glamour and authority, and enthralled the audience. She showed herself to be a complete master of her voice, with a clear projection, impeccable dynamic control, and a stunning range of colour. She was well-matched with Nicholas Ransley who played her old flame, Count Danilo Danilovich. He had a charming and cultivated air about him, and their duet scenes, whether arguing, dancing or singing, were always a delight to watch.

Nicholas Ransley as Count Danilovich made a good match with Jayasinghe
The constant competition and banter between Cascada and St Brioche kept the production light-hearted. With such a rich tone, one wishes that tenor Melvin Tan had more lines to sing. The non-singing, spoken role of Njegus played by Steven Ang kept the audience amused, and multiple local references such as the Baron’s complaints of the Indonesian haze and Njegus’s exclamation of “Siao liao ah!” also added to the comic relief.

Melvin Tan as Cascada. If only he had more lines to sing! 
The ensemble-work, especially by the male cast in ‘Women, women, women!’ and by the quintet towards the end was tight and well-balanced. The entire production was supported wonderfully by the orchestra, especially at the ‘Vilja’ reprise where the silvery line of the solo violin mingled with the mellow tone of the oboe to beautifully evoke the feeling of nostalgia.
Gender-stereotyping does work after all, but probably only when employed in a comical operatic fashion.

photo credits: Singapore Lyric Opera – Bernie Ng
October 20, 2014

Answer and results for Ticket Giveaway Contest: Synergy in Music 2014 presented by Gazprom

Answer and results for Ticket Giveaway Contest: Synergy in Music 2014 presented by Gazprom

So… when did Vadim Repin first perform in Singapore?

He first performed in Singapore at the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1996 at Victoria Concert Hall, as shown by a search on NewspaperSG.

He has subsequently returned multiple times in the next few years, including the year 2000, and the most recent appearance was in 2012 with Neeme Jarvi at the Esplanade Concert Hall.

Repin returns to perform at the place he first performed 18 years ago, the Victoria Concert Hall, and this time with 5 other acclaimed Russian musicians in an evening of chamber music. The concert takes place on the 28th of October, 7pm.

Since all answers submitted were wrong, two winners were picked at random:

So congratulations to Tay Kang Xun and Rachael Chan!! You both win a pair of tickets (worth $89) each to Synergy in Music 2014 presented by Gazprom. An email will be sent to you regarding ticket collection later.

Don’t miss this one-night-only chance to watch Vadim Repin and other Russian musical talents. Get your tickets from Sistic now!

This concert is sponsored by Gazprom as part of their initiative to forge deeper intercultural bonds between the arts in Singapore and Russia.

October 16, 2014

TPO Presents… Debusssy Tonight! – an advertisement

TPO Presents… Debusssy Tonight! – an advertisement

If paintings were songs, what would they sound like? Would their colours be harmonies; would their subjects be tempo markings?

Join The Philharmonic Orchestra in exploring the picturesque music of Debussy in their next concert
‘Debussy Tonight’ on October 26th! This concert is a continuation of their popular educational concert series and the orchestra will be joined by actor-presenter William Ledbetter as he tells the stories in Debussy’s music. Enter the sound world of Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun which ‘brought new breath to the art of music’ (Pierre Boulez), and be swept away in the luxurious waters of the Mediterranean by the composer’s iridescent symphonic sketches, La Mer.

TPO will also be joined by The Philharmonic Chamber Choir with Trois Chansons which connects the styles of the past with the harmonic techniques of the time.

This concert takes place at the Victoria Concert Hall on the 26th of October at 5pm. Tickets are priced at $25, with discounts and concessions available.

October 7, 2014

Synergy in Music 2014 presented by Gazprom: Gazprom – Plink, Plonk, Plunk Ticket Giveaway Contest!!


Award-winning violinist Vadim Repin will be in Singapore to perform at an exclusive one-night only gala concert, Synergy in Music, this 28 October 2014 at the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

Repin will be performing at Synergy in Music together with six other Russian musical talents, where they will be bringing timeless classical pieces to life through an intricately crafted recital with five diverse string compositions, and with a highlight performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence”.

Don’t miss this one-night-only chance to watch Vadim Repin and other Russian musical talents. Get your tickets from Sistic now!

ALTERNATIVELY, Gazprom has kindly sponsored TWO PAIRS of tickets to be given away to two lucky winners who can answer the following question:

Which year did Vadim Repin first perform in Singapore?

Submit your answers here by 18th Oct 2014. Winners will be notified by email.

This concert is sponsored by Gazprom as part of their initiative to forge deeper intercultural bonds between the arts in Singapore and Russia.

October 3, 2014

VCH Chamber Series: Stephen Hough in Recital – a review

VCH Chamber Series: Stephen Hough in Recital – a review

It was on the 5th of January last year that I went to watch Stephen Hough play a programme of Chopin, Brahms, Schumann, and a work of his own at a church in Harrogate. Christmas and the New Year had come and gone, but our university had remained shut, leaving me bored and not able to practice in Leeds. When C from my Italian class asked if I wanted to watch Hough play at a neighbouring town where he lived, I jumped at the chance and went along.

We arrived slightly before the concert started and by then, the lower floor of Wesley Chapel was filled and we were directed to the upper level, where we found seats which had our views blocked: so we heard the concert rather than watched it, only getting a view of Hough when he stood up to bow.

Although C didn’t particularly fancy Brahms’ and preferred Schumann’s Carnaval, I was blown away by his playing, especially in the slow movements. In fact, I thought his playing was perfect, almost too perfect.

I also thought it was amusing that he played almost the entire programme from memory, except for (ironically) his own piece, in which he required not only the score, but also a page turner!

At the end of the concert, Hough explained that he was quite ill and initially intended to cancel the concert – I’m glad he didn’t!

A year and a half later, back in my home on the other side of the world, I relished the opportunity to watch him play.

An edited version of review below will be published in The Straits Times on 4 October 2014.

photo credits: SIM CANETTY-CLARKE 

VCH Chamber Series: Stephen Hough in Recital
Stephen Hough, piano
Victoria Concert Hall
Thursday, 2 Oct 2014

“It’s like a sandwich, French rye bread at the ends and some a Polish sausage in the middle,” says British pianist Stephen Hough of his recital programme, before playing Chopin’s Op. 15 no. 2 Nocturne in F-sharp Major as his first encore.

Hough has made regular concert appearances in Singapore since the 1990s, and has gained a large fan base here. His programme comprised of four Debussy works which bookended the four Chopin ballades, and this performance was his first since the Victoria Concert Hall was refurbished, having performed there numerous times before.

Adhering to Debussy’s performance directions of playing with delicacy and tempo fluctuations, Hough delivered a clearly coherent and witty performance of La Plus Que Lent, emphasising the dissonant harmonies cheekily and intentionally keeping the tempo unstable. These quirky characteristics were also evident in the penultimate work, Debussy’s Children’s Corner Suite, especially in the third (Serenade of the Doll) and last movement (Golliwog’s cakewalk).

In Estampes, the acoustics of the hall suited Pagodes well, the tones of the piano resonating nicely before fading. In the Habanera, the opening high C-sharps rang clear like a tinkling bell. Hough flitted between the contrasting sections with a natural ease and seemed to revel in the ‘wrong notes’, the peculiar and unique harmonies which gave the work its character. Unfortunately, the acoustics worked against the toccata-like Jardins sous la Pluie, leaving behind an array of blurred notes echoing away all throughout the work.

Debussy’s L’isle Joyeuse which closed the concert was inspired by artist Watteau’s colourful painting, L’Embarquement de Cythère, depicting a happy group of revellers departing for/from a mythical island that is the birthplace of goddess Venus. Hough’s version, however, was monochrome. He played only loud and louder, the expressive palette of colours he used for the earlier works seem to have been exhausted, and the subtleties of tonal shading also used before were non-existent here. The quiet sparkling and shimmering of the water at the beginning sounded more like a rushing stream.

In between Estampes and the Children’s Corner suite were the four Chopin ballades, daringly fast and played with refreshing candour. The calm introduction of the Second Ballade gave way to wild, careless abandon, and the tentativeness in the beginning of the First Ballade broke into an overly sentimental and lyrical middle section. Throughout the Ballades the louder moments were fiery and brilliant – Hough was undoubtedly a virtuoso – but it was in the softer and stiller moments where he made an impact. His use of rubato was strikingly unconventional. He lingered over certain phrases, taking time at all sorts of places, and sometimes even intentionally playing both hands asynchronously such that the melody is given prominence. The ending of the Fourth Ballade was taken at breakneck speed, again resulting in a blur.

Hough subsequently tossed off two more encores: a Pas de Deux from Austrian composer Léon Minkus’ ballet music for Don Quixote, and the nocturne from Grieg’s Lyric Pieces Suite, Op. 54 no. 4.

September 17, 2014

On the Flipside: An antipodal concert – an advertisement

On the Flipside: An antipodal concert – an advertisement

Antipodes: Having the feet opposite.
Anti: against, opposite+opus; pod: foot.

As a child living on the other side of the world, flautist Roberto Álvarez often wondered, ‘if you dig a hole straight down through the Earth, will you end up in New Zealand?’

And since New Zealand is on the other side of the world, do people walk with their feet in the air? Do they speak backwards? Do trees grow upside down too, starting from the leaves and ending with their roots in the air?

How then, do people play music and write for the flute? In this recital, Roberto Álvarez and pianist Shane Thio explore the repertoire by Spanish composers Elisenda Fábregas and Salvador Brotons, and Kiwis Gareth Farr and Anthony Ritchie.

Come find out, and compare how different or how similar flute music is on the flipside! Happening next tuesday, 23rd September 2014, at the Esplanade Recital Studio. Get your tickets from Sistic now! Tickets are priced at $30 each.

September 11, 2014

PLAY! by More than Music – a review


An edited version of this article was published in The Straits Times with the title ‘Classical music reaching out’.

PLAY! by More than Music
Loh Jun Hong and Gabriel Ng, violin, Abigail Sin, piano
Esplanade Recital Studio

More than Music’s approach of making classical music more accessible to public seems to be working like a charm: tickets was sold out yet again days before the concert; and violinists Loh Jun Hong and Gabriel Ng played to a full house in a performance at Orchard Central’s Ya Kun outlet over the weekend for a Symphony 92.4’s inaugural Cafe Concert.

In PLAY!, which welcomed award-winning violinist Gabriel Ng into their society of musicians, the interesting and varied programme comprised mostly of showpieces. Opening and closing the evening were two works for solo violin, but presented by two.

Bach’s Partita no. 1 in B Minor as most know it exists in 8 parts, four dance movements and their doubles which were written twice as fast in notation but played with the same number of impulses in a bar. In what is probably the first of its kind, Loh and Ng overlaid the dance movements with their doubles to create a complex yet coherent web of Bachian counterpoint.

Their playing was wonderfully free, each sensitive to the other’s nuances. The faster Courante and Bourrée were delivered with breathtaking speed and accuracy. Likewise, this was also evident in the closing work, Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen in an excellent arrangement for two violins by Jonathan Shin, where the improvisatory interplay gave way to a fiery finale.

The piano was not quite its usual self, and this was more evident when Sin played Debussy’s L’isle Joyeuse. Sin’s variety of touch and spectrum of tone colour enchanted the audience, but the ravishing radiance of the final bars was mellowed by the muffled tones of the piano. However, the dampened piano worked to Sin’s advantage in the first three pieces of Brahms’ Op. 118 – late Brahms always sounds better on pianos with darker tones – as she created the tempestuous, brooding, tender and poetic moments in his music.

Three delectable miniatures by Kreisler and a Chopin Nocturne revealed another facet of Loh and Ng. Ng combined the sweet, supple tone of his violin with wit and humour in a performance of Kreisler’s Liebeslied and Liebesfreud. Loh, ever the charmer, playfully teased his way through Syncopation, adding rubato wherever he pleased while Sin miraculously kept up with his antics. Later, Loh played Chopin’s Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, arranged by Milstein for violin and piano, with an exquisitely singing tone and delicate phrasing.

Two encores, the Sarabande from Bach’s Partita no. 2 by Sin, and Vittorio Monti’s ever popular Czardas arranged and performed by Loh and Ng, were gleefully lapped by the audience. The growing number of fans only proves one thing: that classical music is cool, and very much alive.

September 8, 2014

Listen to the 20th Century: days 2-4 – A Review


An edited version of this review will be published in The Straits Times on 9 September 2014.

Listen to the 20th Century
Southbank Centre, London Sinfonietta, YST Orchestra
SOTA Concert Hall
5-7 September 2014

Day two of mini-festival Listen to the 20th Century presented by the London Sinfonietta and Southbank Centre London featured two Russian works from 1936-7, when Russia was under the Soviet Union, the Stalinist regime which was also nicknamed “the reign of terror”.

Instead of the usual narration, this version of Peter and the Wolf was presented alongside a short, non-vocal film by Susie Templeton which won numerous awards, including an Oscar in 2008. Based in cold, wintry Russia, the film effectively complimented the music to bring the story to life. Like the earlier Schoenberg pieces for orchestra of day 1, this was also reduced for an ensemble of 13. The buoyant character of music and light hearted moments in the film had also made it easy for the larger number of younger audience to appreciate. In the film, the wolf had looked like a harmless, badly taxidermied creature, but the trio of horn, clarinet and bassoon gave it the menacing character.

In the second half, the combined orchestra which played Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony filled the entire stage, and at louder moments the orchestra seemed too large for the concert hall. Despite the sheer number of musicians, the best parts of the music were in the second movement when the orchestration was smaller and written for chamber-playing. There were numerous beautiful solos from the concert mistress and woodwinds. In the first and third movements, the strings, especially the violins, lacked warmth of tone, sounding shrill and almost astringent, but this characteristic proved effective in the final movement.

Day three saw a “marathon-concert” of three parts which started at 6pm and ended four and a half hours later with two short intermissions, works presented encompassed the avant-garde, the spiritual, and the minimalist. The first part opened with a recording of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gesang der Jünglinge, for boy soprano and electronic tones, digitally synthesised and broadcast through speakers placed all around the hall for a surround-sound effect. The lights were turned off as well, inviting the audience to experience the music without the visual aspect of a performance. Victoria Simmonds came back on stage to sing Berio’s eleven folk songs. Simmonds switched effortlessly between the different languages in the set, and was accompanied more than ably by John Constable on the piano. Before this, Constable turned the piano into a percussion instrument with bell-like sonorities by inserting bolts and screws into the body of the piano as instructed by John Cage, and proceeding to play five short works from his Sonatas and Interludes.

The second and third parts focused on the spiritual and meditative compositions which eventually led to minimalism. Steve Reich used motifs from the prosody of speech, transcribed them into musical motifs, and juxtaposed the two together on top of a recorded track in Different Trains. A live string quartet played the work alongside the recorded track with machine-like precision, replicating the monotonous grind of travelling trains and sirens in concentration camps. Arvo Pärt’s meditative Fratres fared less well, and was marred by numerous intonation issues. Violinists Laurent Quenelle and Joan Atherton, who played in the quartets earlier, worked tirelessly as soloists for Schnittke’s parody-laced Concerto Grosso no. 1, joined by Constable on the harpsichord and some students from the YST orchestra.

Terry Riley’s founding work of minimalism In C, written for any amount of instruments and any length of time, was given a late-night performance at 10pm by an eclectic mix of instruments: joining 13 orchestral instruments was an erhu, an accordion, and a yang qin! The instruments created an ebb and flow around a constant tolling note C from a xylophone, sometimes letting the ethnic instruments take centre stage.

The two works before the intermission on the last day were by Asian composers Unsuk Chin and Toru Takemitsu. Chin’s 2009 composition Gougalon was percussion-heavy, and required the other members of the chamber ensemble to hold and play a percussion instrument other than their own instrument. In spite of this, the two percussionists were still kept in a frenzy, moving from instrument to instrument trying to play their parts. The musicians employed extended techniques in playing their instruments, bringing across the vivid and extravagant use of colours and messy textures. In stark contrast, Takemitsu’s Rain Coming was a fluid, impressionistic soundscape, slightly reminiscent of Debussy, yet with more futuristic harmonies and shrouded in ambiguity.

A long-drawn unison C from the combined orchestra,the final note of Scottish composer James Macmillan’s The Confession of Isobel Gowdie restored order to the last concert where there were “No More Rules” and brought the festival to an end. In British composer Thomas Adès’ Chamber Symphony before, fragments of jazz and tonal motifs were sprinkled amidst the atonal, interconnected four movements.

Throughout the 4 days, every musician in the Sinfonietta had shown themselves to be top-notch performers in their field of new music, each having the dedication to learn, and the sensibility and sensitivity to listen, appreciate and interpret the music they were playing.

Although numerous significant composers such as Olivier Messiaen, George Crumb and Milton Babbitt have been left out, this mini festival has been a milestone in the introduction and performance of 20th century music in Singapore with numerous Singapore premieres. After six concerts and five talks over four days by one of the world’s leading contemporary classical music ensembles, hopefully the audience who journeyed through this sonic treasure hunt of sounds were challenged and found new aural experiences and enlightenment. If anything, unlike 101 years ago in Paris, at least a riot didn’t break out.