The T'ang Quartet is taking the 30th anniversary finale concert home on March 3 at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, where they are Quartet- In-Residence. Titled, Give and Take (Back & Forth), the gig is of much significance as it is also part of YST's 20th Anniversary 2022/2023 Season programme, thus celebrating two Singapore music icons in one show.
As the last major concert of T'ang Quartet's Anniversary Season, the ensemble is pulling all the stops to wow the audience. The programme comprises three sterling works from two outstanding composers – French composer, pianist and conductor Maurice Ravel, and Singaporean composer Chen Zhangyi. Chen (b.1984) is an assistant professor at YST where he teaches analysis and composition. He is also an accomplished conductor, violinist and violist.
The programme underscores the collaborative effort between T'ang Quartet and Chen. On March 3, Chen will debut the titular string quartet work, Give and Take (Back and Forth), specially for T'ang Quartet, as a centerpiece of the programme, alongside another work of his, Twin Cinema for String Nonet, which was previously commissioned by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
The music of Chen has been described as "music from a voice of the future" by BBC Radio 3 and "a breath of fresh air on our musical landscape" by The Straits Times.
Ng Yu-Ying, T'ang Quartet's founding member, says: "We have known Zhangyi for a long time and have always admired his talent as a musician and composer. This is a significant and meaningful collaboration for all of us."
Chen adds: "I am very honoured to be able to create a work for the T'ang Quartet on this momentous occasion, where their milestone of three decades coincides with the two decades of YST Conservatory's. Being an alumnus and a faculty member of YST, it is indeed a good time to reflect upon the past and look forward to the future, and to borrow the YST's current theme of Looking Back, Moving Forward."