Arts Picks: Literary festivals, classical music, and NTU CCA's online benefit auction

Arts Picks: Literary festivals, classical music, and NTU CCA's online benefit auction

SINGAPORE – Not sure what to do this week? Why not check out these arts events.


Fans of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra can look forward to a varied programme under the baton of Wong Kah Chun: Debussy’s Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, which evokes the langour of a faun in the forest; Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, a celebration of love; and Shostakovich’s anguished Chamber Symphony.

Singaporean-born Wong, 34 (or Kahchun Wong, as he is also known), is chief conductor of Germany’s Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and one of the most sought-after young conductors in the world.

This concert was recently filmed, sans audience, at the Esplanade.

Where: Sistic Live, with a pre-concert talk on Facebook and YouTube.

When: Concert starts Saturday (Sept 26) at 8pm, with a countdown lobby opening at 7.30pm. It will be available for watching till Oct 10, 8pm.

Admission: Pay-as-you-wish, from $10, at this website

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Join baritone Martin Ng and pianist Beatrice Lin for an evening of well-known arias. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF MARTIN NG, COURTESY OF BEATRICE LIN

Join baritone Martin Ng and pianist Beatrice Lin for an evening of well-known arias such as Rossini’s The Barber Of Seville and Mozart’s The Marriage Of Figaro. The performance will be live-streamed from the Victoria Concert Hall.

Where: On YouTube and Facebook.

When: Wednesday (Sept 30), 7.30 pm

Admission: Free

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The 2020 Singapore Literature Festival features (clockwise from top left) Leah-Lakshmi-Piepzna-Samarasinha, Nuraliah Norasid, Amanda Lee Koe and Paula Mendoza. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE LITERATURE FESTIVAL

Listen to Singapore and United States writers in conversation at this festival organised by Singapore Unbound, a New York-based non-profit. The biennial event, which is going digital for the first time, features talks as well as discussions between authors such as Tania De Rozario (And the Walls Come Crumbling Down) and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha (Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home); and Amanda Lee Koe (Delayed Rays of a Star) and Paula Mendoza (Play for Time: Poems).

Where: Zoom. Register at this website for the link

When: Oct 1 to Oct 3, various times. Early birds might be able to catch the two preview events Friday (Sept 25) at 8am and 9.30am Singapore time.

Admission: Free, with registration

More information (events are listed in Eastern Time)


Poet Mariko Nagai and Hay Festival Peter Florence are among those joining the Asian Festival of Children’s Content from overseas. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF SINGAPORE BOOK COUNCIL, PAUL MUSSO

Interested in children’s literature, or keen to find out how the industry is responding to the pandemic? Head down – virtually – to this festival by the Singapore Book Council for panel discussions, masterclasses, book launches and a book illustrators gallery.

More than 40 people from Singapore and around the world will speak at a digital symposium. Joining the festival from overseas are Dr Junko Yokota, head juror of the Hans Christian Andersen Award; award-winning poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Mariko Nagai; graphic novelist Minh Le; Australian picture book creator Tohby Riddle; and author and illustrator Trevor Lai, founder of UP Studios. Dexter Ong, head of Asia for Wattpad Studios, and Peter Florence, founder of the Hay Festival, will also take part.

Where: Zoom and Facebook

When: Saturday (Sept 26) and Sunday (Sept 27) (book launches); Oct 2 (masterclasses); Oct 3 to 4 (symposium); Oct 4 (Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award ceremony)

Admission: Symposium tickets start at $30 for a one-day digital pass. Masterclasses are $40 each. Book launches are free with registration. The book award ceremony will be livestreamed on Facebook

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Artwork donated by Fyerool Darma for NTU CCA’s Online Benefit Art Auction. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NTU CCA SINGAPORE

Artworks donated by more than 25 artists will go under the hammer in this online auction by the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (NTU CCA) Singapore.

The centre is raising funds for two of its projects – a digital archive documenting the centre’s work from its inception to the present, and a major publication titled Climates. Habitats. Environments.

NTU CCA will close its Gillman Barracks exhibition hall and residency studio spaces in March (2021) due to funding issues. But the institution, which is helmed by renowned curator Ute Meta Bauer, will remain at the arts enclave as a public resource centre, and also hopes to continue its artist-in-residence programme.

The works put up for auction are by local and international artists such as Robert Zhao, Fyerool Darma and Entang Wiharso, who had previously done exhibitions or residencies with the centre. Minimum bids range from $800 to $12,500.

Alternatively, chip in with a cash donation or check out the artist-edition items such as scarves and bags.

Where: NTU CCA Singapore Benefit Online Art Auction

When: Goes live on Thursday (Oct 1) and closes on Oct 18, 10pm

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