Monday, 4 March 2013


Esplanade Concert Hall / Sunday (3 March 2013)

Its been a long while since I attended my last Singapore Symphony Orchestra Casual Concert. The Casual Concert has been an institution, started by Music Director Lan Shui in 1997 to introduce classical music to younger audiences and new audiences with short movements and bite-sized concert works. It has largely replaced the popular Familiar Favourites Concerts. Most Casual Concerts are held on Sunday afternoons at the Esplanade, and attract a different demographic from the regular Subscription Concerts. Families with young children are among the target group, and there is a question and answer segment that is quite popular. Audience participation is encouraged here, while the performers attempt to answer their sometimes intriguing queries. Ticket prices are kept low, under $20 which still represents excellent value for money.

The soloist was Austrian cellist Franz Bartolomey, former Principal of the Vienna Philharmonic, who performed Bruch's Kol Nidrei and Fauré's Pavane and coaxed a beautifully long-breathed sound on a 1720 Tecchler cello from a Singaporean collector.

In the Q and A, Bartolomey was asked, "Is your cello really 300 years old?" and  "Are you 300 years old?" To the latter, his reply was "Not yet!".

The Singapore Symphony Orchestra conducted by Associate Conductor Darrell Ang performed Mendelssohn's Ruy Blas Overture and Mozart's Symphony No.35 "Haffner".

Applause for the SSO and Darrell Ang.

A final photo together with the three Maestri: Darrell (Podium), Bartolomey (Cello) and Marcus (Rubato Restaurant)

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