SCO presents Choo Hoey, Hu Bing Xu and Tsung Yeh in a concert of Maestros Extravaganza

Singapore, 1 June 2016 (Wednesday) Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) collaborates with three maestros this July in the Maestros Extravaganza concert. Held on 1 & 2 July 2016 (Friday & Saturday), 8pm at SCO concert hall, the three conductors whose contributions were instrumental to the development of Chinese and Western orchestral music in Singapore – Choo Hoey, Hu Bing Xu and SCO Music Director Tsung Yeh will share the stage to conduct for the first time.

SCO Music Director Tsung Yeh will kickstart the concert with Yang Qing’s Tao Jin Ling, a joyous and exhilarating piece that is usually performed during celebrations. Hong Kong composer Gordon Fung Dic-Lun’s composition, which won the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition 2015 (SICCOC), will feature SCO pipa principal Yu Jia. The traditional Cantonese lion dance is well-known for its sophisticated and technical demanding stunts. This composition draws inspiration from this gorgeous tradition, using musical materials to depict various elements in the lion dance. Derived from the Cantonese tunes Xingshi (Awakening of the Lion Dance), there are twelve sections in this piece that depicts the different stages of the lion dance.

Hu Bing Xu is an outstanding conductor who has been appointed the conductor and artistic director of 7 national level performing groups in China, which includes Central Symphony, Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe, Beijing Peking Opera Troupe, China National Song & Dance Ensemble, Central Opera, the National Ballet of China and the Chinese National Orchestra. He is currently the conductor for the Guangdong Chinese Orchestra.

In 1997, he led the Central Symphony to perform in eighteen cities in the United States and collaborated with celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma to present “Spring Dream” concert at the Carnegie Hall in New York. That performance was the first of its kind which created the record of being the first Chinese orchestra and Chinese conductor to perform in that prestigious hall. From April 1997 to April 2000, he became the first conductor and music director of the newly established SCO and led the orchestra on successful tours to Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Taiwan.

In this concert, Hu Bing Xu will conduct SCO to perform Heroine Mu Gui Ying, composed by Yang Mu Yu, Deng Zong An, Zhang Kong Fan and Liu Yu Bao and arranged by Yeo Puay Hian. This majestic piece is based on the story of the traditional opera of the same title and inspired by Peking opera music. The piece is divided into 4 movements – First Movement: Introduction – Recollection of the Past at Mansion Tianbo, Second Movement: Invaded by Liao Military, Third Movement: In Command and Fourth Movement: In Battle. The piece depicts the courageous Mu Gui Ying fighting with her enemy to protect her country.

Choo Hoey pursued his studies at the Royal Academy of Music and furthered his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He conducted in Europe and South America and became the conductor of the Greek National Opera in 1968. He has performed with many successful orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, L’orchestrede La Suisse Romande and Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich.

In 1979, he joined the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. For his contribution to music in Singapore, Choo Hoey was awarded the Republic’s inaugural Cultural Medallion in 1979. He was also conferred the Public Service Star in 1982 and knighted with the status of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France in 1997. In 1997, Choo Hoey was one of SCO’s board of directors.

Choo Hoey will conduct SCO to perform the third and fourth movements of Liu Wen Jin’s renowned erhu concerto The Great Wall Capriccio – titled Memorial Ceremony for Fallen Defenders and Looking into the Distance respectively. The piece portrays the imposing aura of the great wall and reflects the pride and love of the nation that the Chinese citizens felt. Erhu I principle Zhao Jian Hua will perform the rendition of this piece which won the first prize in 1983’s Chinese Music Competition for Traditional Instruments. Audience can also enjoy local composer Law Wai Lun’s Zheng He: Admiral of the Seven Seas – Sea Route and Sea Oath. This symphonic poem portrays their experience at sea and the start of the globalization. This piece was premiered in the Singapore Arts Festival 2005, in conjunction with the 600th anniversary celebrations of Zheng He’s expedition to the West.

1 July
Conductor: Tsung Yeh          Conductor: Hu Bing Xu          Conductor: Choo Hoey

1 July (2)
Pipa: Yu Jia                      Erhu: Zhao Jian Hua

Concert details:
Maestro Extravaganza
Date: 1 & 2 July 2016 (Friday & Saturday)
Time: 8pm
Venue: SCO Concert Hall
Ticket prices, (before SISTIC fees): $70, $60, $45/$30*, $30/$20*
Tickets from SISTIC
*Concession prices

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