• Date29/07/2022

SCO & Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO)


Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) is the only professional national Chinese orchestra in Singapore. First established in 1997, SCO is home to more than 80 musicians who have converged from various countries and are exceptionally skilled in their expertise. Honouring Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as its patron, SCO undertakes the mission to inspire Singapore and the world with its music, which is one that integrates elements from Southeast Asian culture. SCO established its unique identity with its distinctive Southeast Asian Chinese music, while contributing to valuable efforts of preserving traditional arts and cultures. Through rehearsals at the Singapore Conference Hall— a national monument— as its permanent building, SCO has excelled with its esteemed Chinese orchestra public performances that have received overwhelming praise from an ever-growing audience. The orchestra prides itself in flagship concerts in Singapore and in its expanding influence internationally. Its presentations have also gained traction overseas, catalysing SCO’s presence and popularity around the world.


SCO has toured numerous countries and transversed from the East to the West, having performed in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Macau, Budapest, Londond, Edinburg, Berlin, Prague and Ioannina. Recently in September 2019, SCO embarked on the Europe Concert Tour and performed at the historic Berlin Konzerthaus as part of its east-meets-west cross-cultural programme designed specially for the European audience. The concert repertoire showcased the best of SCO’s unique Southeast Asian infused music and set a milestone that depicted stronger ties between Singapore and Europe. In May 2014, SCO was invited to stage a performance at the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, where SCO shared its music with the world. SCO also performed and celebrated the 20th anniversary since the opening of the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park, a landmark signifying close Sino-Singapore ties.


SCO had many opportunities to showcase its talents and music on multiple international platforms such as at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall and Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Hong Kong. SCO made its debut in Kuala Lumpur with a concert at the iconic Petronas Twin Tower on its commission by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, as part of the Titian Budaya Singapore cultural season. These performances gave impetus to SCO’s rise to international prominence as it set its presence in the forefront of the international music arena. 


Locally, SCO strives to spread the love of Chinese Orchestra music within the community. Apart from conventional performances at Singapore Conference Hall, SCO performs regularly at various parks, heartlands, communities and schools to reach out to the masses. With a versatile repertoire that ranges from classical Chinese music to modern pop arrangements, SCO draws the public’s attention and encourages appreciation of both traditional and modern music at different events. To establish unique and signature repertoire, SCO commissions its own compositions and award musical works from the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition (SICCOC), organised by SCO in 2006, 2011 and 2015 respectively.



Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra (SNYCO) consists of more than 90 highly talented young musicians between the ages of 10 to 26, who are selected through auditions that proves their finest musical skills. Under the National Project of Excellence (NPOE) supported by the Ministry of Education, SNYCO’s members come from a great diversity of more than 40 institutions in Singapore and share similar fervent passions in Chinese orchestral music. Members have access to exclusive resources and receive professional tutelage from SCO musicians, within the purview of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and the National Arts Council. SNYCO is set to inspire, nurture and develop our youth to serve the community, with hopes that they will grow to spearhead the development of the local Chinese orchestral scene. 


Led by Music Director Quek Ling Kiong and Associate Conductor Moses Gay, SNYCO has exemplified high musical standards and is branded as an outstanding youth orchestra, both locally and regionally. SNYCO members participate in various concerts all year round, such as the annual ‘Exuberance of Youth’ and ‘Dauntless Spirit’ series. Since 2017, SNYCO has also widened its outreach through performances at neighbourhood schools, the heartlands and communities in Singapore as Chinese music ensembles. Through the various opportunities, SNYCO members gain meaningful stage experience while advocating Chinese orchestral music to a greater audience.


Apart from local performances, SNYCO also held overseas concert tours that were well-received and critically-acclaimed. In 2017 and 2019, SNYCO toured China, performing in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Guangzhou. SNYCO also had the opportunity to collaborate and exchange with Chinese music institutions from these cities, such as the Xinghai Music Conservatory and the China Conservatory of Music. In 2013, the SNYCO was invited to perform at the Taiwan Hsinchu Chinese Music Festival and showcased local works on the international stage. Since 2005, selected SNYCO members have been offered the chance to participate in the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp, in which they gain insights to enhance their musical and performing skills. SNYCO members also received opportunities to attend workshops and masterclasses conducted by renowned artists such as George Gao, Yang Wei and Mark O’Connor.

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