Singapore, 8 Oct 2023 (Sunday) – The Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) held its Fundraising Gala Dinner and Concert, titled Strings Serenade, on 8 October 2023, at the Grand Ballroom, The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Hotel Singapore.

SCO’s Patron Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour, with the company of Mrs Lee. Through this event, SCO raised a total of $1,112,000 . All proceeds will go into the development and operating cost of SCO, of which, $1,112,000 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Cultural Matching Fund (CMF) from the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY). We have received donations from a total of 75 donors for this fundraising event, amongst whom 18 of them are new donors.

SCO’s annual fundraising gala dinner and concert is the most significant fundraising event for the national orchestra. As a non-profit organisation and an Institute of Public Character (IPC), SCO relies heavily on grants and donations from individuals and organisations for development and operations.

SCO’s Patron, Prime Minister Lee thanked donors and sponsors for their continuous support, that has enabled SCO to scale artistic heights and fly the Singapore flag high overseas. “SCO has performed to acclaim in Europe, and has been invited to perform at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival this November, and also at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park in March next year. Besides Suzhou, SCO will also tour Beijing and Tianjin. Such invitations are a testament to SCO’s success and affirms its place among the top orchestras globally.”

Each year, the concert programme and gala event features a Chinese instrument as a central theme. This year, the limelight is shed on one of the main instruments of the orchestra – the huqin. Distinguished donors received an exquisite jinghu(京胡)specially produced and sponsored by Shanghai No. 1 National Musical Instrument Co., Ltd (上海民族乐器一厂). The jinghu is a member of the huqin family, that is most commonly used in music accompaniment in Peking opera. It has a distinctive timbre – crisp, bright and rich, an excellent vehicle to convey extreme emotions of exhilarating excitement to profound sorrow, with a well resonating voice. This adds a unique and distinct flavour in music works.

Chairperson of the fundraising committee, Mrs Goh Chok Tong, thanked the donors for their generous support, “SCO entered into a time of leadership renewal and succession planning with the appointment of Mr Quek Ling Kiong as the Principal Conductor of SCO from January this year, and tonight’s fundraising gala concert programme is specially curated by him.  I am excited as SCO embarks on this next stage of its development and I look forward to the new concert season just launched in September.” 

After the starters were served and enjoyed, the concert commenced with Celebration Overture《庆典序曲》, a timeless overture classic composed by Zhao Jiping. This jovial and energetic opening depicts a celebrative mood, befitting of SCO’s recent launch of the new concert season “Affinity”.  The next highlight of the evening would be Concertmaster Li Baoshun’s rendition of the Peking opera classic Night Thoughts《夜深沉》with the orchestra. Through his performance on the jinghu, Li presents the two different sections of fast and slow passages that effectively convey the emotions of different characters that are brought alive in the music work Night Thoughts

To express appreciation to all donors and sponsors, Fundraising chairperson Mrs Goh Chok Tong serenaded the crowd with the romantic The Blue Love Sea《蓝色爱情海》, and followed by Shephard’s Flute《牧笛》 and the encore song Give me a Rose《送我一支玫瑰花》, vivacious Xinjiang folk tune. The finale of the evening was Horse Racing《赛马》, a classic and familiar work that is most associated with the huqin instrument, a tune that almost every erhu learner is accustomed to play by heart.

The SCO is very grateful to donors and sponsors who have attended and made donations to make the fundraising gala concert & dinner a success. All funds raised would help the SCO fulfil our vision of being a world-renowned Chinese Orchestra with a uniquely Singaporean character, and to inspire both Singapore and the world with its music.

You may download more photos from SCO Fundraising Gala Concert 8 October 2023

SCO GALA Family Photo

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (Centre), Mrs Goh Gok Tong (Fourth from right) in a group picture with the SCO Board of Directors and management.

SCO GALA Family Photo 2

Fundraising committee chairperson, Mrs Goh Chok Tong, addressing the guests with her speech

SCO GALA Family Photo 3

SCO Board Chairman, Mr Ng Siew Quan, addressing the guests with his speech

SCO GALA Family Photo 4

SCO Board Chairman presented Patron, Prime Minister Lee with a special Jinghu as token of appreciation

SCO GALA Family Photo 5

Concertmaster performing “Night Thoughts”

SCO GALA Family Photo 7

SCO with Principal Conductor Quek Ling Kiong

SCO GALA Family Photo 6

Mrs Goh Chok Tong serenaded the guests with her singing


For more information, please contact the media officers below:

Media Contacts

June Teo
Head (Marketing Communications)
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      
Tel:       6557 4047 / 96167750

Lim Ka Min 

Deputy Head (Marketing Communications)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 6557 4048 / 9222 1658



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