Up to now, music celebrating Singapore is generally known to be National Day anthems, but Michael Tay, the founder of arts charity Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprise, has grander plans for the aural homage to the city-state’s achievements. The piece will be a full scale symphony, performed and distributed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra on its LPO label. Tay had commissioned Utopia from Russian composer Vladimir Martynov in 2005, when he was in Russia as Singapore’s ambassador. The recording will give the symphony new lease of life, at a time when Singapore’s standing in the world is undisputed.

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This is just one of the projects that Foundation is raising money for in its second annual gala at Atlas Bar on Oct 7. Continuing its efforts to support local musicians – who includes singer-songwriter and National Day 2018 star Charlie Lim, soul-funk band The Steve McQueens, jazz singer Joanna Dong, and singer-songwriter Linyin – the organisation will also embark on a 10-year project to commission first-rate musical works from Singaporean composers. Visual artists, too, are supported. The foundation has launched a Presidential Coin Project which has commissioned eights portraits of Singapore’s presidents from emerging Singapore artists. These will be minted into coins.

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Addressing the 100-strong crowd consisting of VIP guests ranging from industry captains, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, to ambassadors and arts practitioners, Tay says of the progress of the organisation: “Over the past few years, the Foundation has been a very underground project. Now we are moving to projects that are multi-year and massive in scale; which means we will have a far more public profile and engage the media more.” Stay tuned, then, for Foundation’s headlining news.

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