An Intriguing East-Meets-West Music Experience When Celtic And Gypsy Violins Join The Erhu In A Night Of Fiddle

Singapore, 4 June 2012 (Monday) – The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) collaborates with the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay to present an unusual concert this July where the western Celtic and Gypsy violins join the chinese erhu in this one-night only concert. This concert titled Fiddle Faddle International, on 14 July at the Esplanade Concert Hall, features well-known Celtic violinist Christopher Stout, Gypsy violinist Alexander Souptel, “Beauty of Erhu” Wang Xiao Nan, and will be conducted by SCO Music Director Tsung Yeh.

The concert commences with Leroy Anderson’s Fiddle Faddle – a piece incorporating playful elements such as humour and sound effects. Alexander Souptel, known as concertmaster for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, will debut a specially commissioned piece by established local composer Phoon Yew Tien – Gypsy Rhapsody. This composition was inspired and comprises of well-known pieces Czardas, Ciocarlia, Whistling Hora and Black Eyes. Erhu master Wang Xiao Nan will dazzle in Chen Gang’s composition – The Sun Shines on Tashkurghan and a erhu concerto medley arranged by Chinese composer Chang Ping.

The second half of the concert welcomes Christopher Stout to play with the SCO pieces for the fiddle and orchestra; of which, two were his compositions – Michaelswood and Da Trows Jig – and Fiddlers Free composed by Eric Watson. Two concerto grosso by Eric Watson, winner of the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestra Composition 2006, stars as the finale of this concert. The first composition titled A Confluence of Voices will debut in this concert by the three soloists and the SCO. Eric Watson will also arrange Chinese composer Huang Hai Huai’s famous erhu piece – Horse Racing – into a concerto grosso version for the violins and erhu. This arranged composition titled Mongolian Horse Racing will also enjoy its world premiere in this concert.

Alexander Souptel began violin and piano lessons at the age of five. He graduated with the highest award at the Gnesins Institute for his ability as a violin soloist, teacher and orchestra player in 1972. He began his music career with the Grand Symphony Orchestra in 1973. Later that year, he joined the Moscow Symphony Orchestra as the Associate Concertmaster. In 1980, he became the Concertmaster of the State Symphony Orchestra of the USSR Ministry of Culture. Alexander Souptel was awarded the “Honored Artist of Russia” medal in 1986. He has been the Concertmaster of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra since 1993.

Christopher Stout was born and brought up in the Shetland Islands. Over the years, he has been recognised internationally as one of the most exciting and dynamic fiddle players on the traditional music scene. His restless ambition to collaborate and discover music from around the world has taken him to countries such as Brazil, Japan, Jordan, Algeria, Norway, Australia, United State and Singapore. He has also composed for and performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and most recently worked with the Kronos Quartet on an arrangement of Scottish fiddle music for them to perform in Glasgow. The 2010 release “White Nights” with harpist Catriona McKay received stunning reviews in the media and was described as “a stunning album – moving, spiky, joyous, quietly beautiful and truly inspired”.

Wang Xiao Nan graduated from the China Central Conservatory of Music. Active local and internationally, she has held the “Wang Xiao Nan Huqin Solo Concert” on numerous occasions, and repeatedly performed as solo artist with the National Philharmonic Orchestra and top symphony orchestras. Wang has recorded numerous solo huqin albums. In the words from the media, “Wang’s groundbreaking performing concept has become the trend for erhu performances; it successfully navigates the traditional techniques and delivers the erhu to a broader musical space.”

Concert details:
Fiddle Faddle International
Date: 14 July 2012 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Ticket Prices: $68, $48, $38/$19*, $28/14*/$10**
Tickets from SISTIC
*Concession prices
**Group booking for students (min. 10 tickets)

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