SINGAPORE – Over 7,000 people gathered at the Botanic Gardens on Saturday (Oct 5) to revel in a performance of Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony, a tribute to nature that evoked images of rippling creeks, flitting birds and the rumbling of an impending thunderstorm.
This year's Beethoven im Garten follows the resounding success of last year's inaugural performance, drawing an even bigger crowd of families and classical music enthusiasts, many of whom took the opportunity to lay out their picnic mats and enjoy a meal amidst the verdant surroundings of Botanic Gardens' Palm Valley.
An audience member, Nur Fatin Azizah, 22, a chef at a Japanese restaurant, told The Straits Times: "I think it's important to listen to all kinds of music, and I especially enjoy classical symphonies. I'm excited to attend my first outdoor symphony concert."
Shalini Schermutzhi, 44, who took the opportunity to arrange for a picnic with her daughter, said she was both a fan of Beethoven and the outdoor concerts hosted in the Botanic Gardens, having last attended the Singapore Symphony Orchestra's Mothers' Day Concert which was also held at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage. Ms Schermutzhi is a librarian at the German European School Singapore, and has been residing on the island for the past three years.
Once again, maestro Wong Kah Chun led the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory orchestra and an expanded team of 16 principal musicians from the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in a flawless rendition of the symphony, to the delight of the audience at the end.
Many also joined in clapping along to the beat of the orchestra's lively encore piece, Berliner Luft.
Beethoven im Garten is an initiative of the German Embassy in partnership with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and the Nuremberg Symphony. It has been organised to celebrate German-Singaporean ties.