A Blogger’s Guide: Busting Classical Music Myths, a preview of A Musical Chemistry
A Blogger’s Guide: Busting Classical Music Myths, a preview of A Musical Chemistry

A shop house in a colourful district, bare light bulbs and basement den furniture — it was not your typical Western Classical music setting. Then again, it was not a typical Western Classical music event. There were bloggers, musicians and …… (orchestral drum roll) a Chemistry company!

The folks from Lanxess Pte. Ltd. very generously sponsored the Lanxess SNYO Classic program for the young musicians of Singapore National Youth Orchestra (SNYO). Who would have thought a company specialising in chemistry would be interested in music?

Mrs Olive Kan, the SNYO Manager, described to us about the most recent part of the program in Italy, where 3 lucky young flautists Jasper, Rachel and Sijing were mentored by a violin master, amongst other cultural immersion activities. From their skilled performance that day, which included a work with some jazz influence, you would not have guessed they look like typical youths in Singapore.

Music veteran and educator Mr John Sharpley shared with us that one of the composers which they performed, included Indonesian traditional gamelan influences in his other works, long before world music became popular. John himself arranged some music for the R.E.M. rock band!

And how can we miss SNYO yummilicious heart throb, Music Director Darrell Ang at the event. He told us that he too like other youths, was in a school orchestra which nurtured his talent to be a successful conductor. A dream he had about becoming an orchestra conductor led him to decide to study music in Russia. He disclosed publicly for the first time in public that his parents had to sell their home, he had to work odd jobs and he had to sell whatever he could of his possessions for that to happen.

At the event, we were coaxed to play a musical game with John. Surprisingly, the bloggers were able to correctly guess the answers to questions thrown at us even though they had little exposure to Western Classical music! Well, thanks to the help of technology where one clever participant was smart to do an Internet search with his mobile phone for the composer who had 20 children. Can you can who is this famous composer? Answer this question and you stand to win a pair of free tickets to the concert on the 21st April. (See details below)

Young flautists Jasper, Rachel and Sijing
Young flautists Jasper, Rachel and Sijing

Two young bloggers whom I spoke to were becoming fast friends even though it was the first time they met that day. Between plotting to appear together some day, dressed like their favourite pop idol Lady Gaga, they earnestly agreed to attend the upcoming Lanxess – SNYO concert, aptly named A Musical Chemistry. So who says Classical Music is for the old fuddy duddy?

Book your calendar for the concert 7:30pm, this Thu 21 Apr 11. The 3 young flautists and an international seasoned violinist, who has recorded CDs on her own label and featured on ChannelNewsAsia PrimeTime Morning, will be performing with the SNYO, to be conducted by Darrell’s internationally famous teacher, Alexander Polishchuk. It is unfortunate that Darrell will not be conducting this time, but you will get a rare opportunity to listen to his original work publicly for the first time, commissioned by Lanxess to encourage people to care for the environment.

Not to let our Artitute readers go off empty handed, we are giving away 10 pairs of free tickets to catch this musical chemistry on Thursday (21st April)! Email Artitute with your Full Name (as shown in your IC or Passport) and your IC or Passport Number, with the subject header “I love Musical Chemistry’s free tickets, please” and your answer to who is the composer who had 20 children! 10 lucky folks will receive an email from Artitute by the 20th April on details on how to collect your tickets.

Co-written with Suzzana.