Saturday, 26 March 2022
UCC Hall, 2pm & 7.30pm

Tickets: $25 (General), $15 (Students), $25 for two (Friends of CFA)
Tickets available here

Drawing inspiration from the spectrum of colours and moods in light, NUS Symphony Orchestra brings you Radiance of Hope, a two-concert series with music from Mussorgsky, Beethoven, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Brahms, that aims to inspire hope and spark joy during troubled times.

The NUS Symphony Orchestra will perform two concerts with two different sets of programmes:

Afternoon Concert Programme:
Modest Mussorgsky Prelude to Khovanshchina
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7
Foo Say Ming, conductor
Lim Soon Lee, conductor

Also known as Dawn on the Moscow River, Mussorgsky’s Prelude to Khovanshchina paints a delicate and beautiful picture heralding the day’s dawn. As it grows and the curtain rises, we see the Moscow River and the Red Square, church domes lit by the rising sun, atmospheric beauty in its gentle nature. The bells sound for early mass, eventually dying away with the dissolution of the music like the mist from the river.

Beethoven wrote his seventh symphony while living in one of the most painful periods of his life, with the worsening of his deafness, failed romantic pursuits, poverty, and the ongoing Napoleonic Wars. Despite all these, Symphony No. 7 is widely known as one of Beethoven’s most optimistic works that showed the more ebullient side of Beethoven’s compositional personality.

Almost dance-like, this energetic piece has no slow movement. After a long, expanded introduction, Beethoven propels us forward with fiery energy that is followed by the immensely popular Allegretto movement, setting up for the Scherzo and its trio based on an Austrian pilgrims’ hymn. Lastly, the finale brings the sense of pace to an extreme point, a truly wild and swirling motion adumbrated in the first movement, both inspired and mad.

Evening Concert Programme:
Gioachino Rossini Barber of Seville Overture
Camille Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 1
Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2
Lim Soon Lee, conductor
Foo Say Ming, violin

Overture to one of Rossini’s most famous comic operas, Barber of Seville, this lively piece opens slowly and quickly picks up pace to fill the ambience with the famous “Rossini crescendo”, a comical frenzy caused by a build-up of orchestral forces, increases in pitch and articulation, and rapid rhythmic patterns.

Foo Say Ming, First Violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, performs the Singapore premiere of Saint-Saëns’  Violin Concerto No. 1. First of a series of works composed for the great Spanish violinist Pablo de Sarasate, Saint-Saëns brings listeners through changing musical hues from dynamic to soulful and elegant, ending in a dazzling finish.

The most cheerful work of Brahms, Symphony No. 2, was written in the summer of 1877 at the beautiful mountain village of Pörtschach am Wörthersee. This sunny and pastoral-like piece with its bright soaring phrases is not without moments of darkness and doubt. The rapid mood change, alteration of light and dark is also a hallmark of this Symphony. Yet, in the finale, the jubilant and electrifying music reminds us that the radiance of hope shines brightest after a dark night.

NUS Symphony Orchestra

The NUS Symphony Orchestra (NUSSO) is a youth orchestra comprising over 100 musicians from across the university’s different faculties, united in their love of music and will to share it with audiences.

Started in the 1920s as a chamber ensemble, NUSS was formally established in 1979 as the NUS Concert Orchestra under the directorship of Paul Abisheganaden, before being inaugurated as the NUS Symphony Orchestra under current Music Director and Resident Conductor Maestro Lim Soon Lee.

NUSSO is a three-time Tan Ean Kiam (TEK) Group of the Year Award winner and through its diverse repertoire, has forged a reputation both locally and internationally. It has performed concerts in several previous NUS Arts Festivals and has also performed extensively overseas, embarking on tours and festivals around the globe.