Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - The Philharmonic Winds



Singapore Arts Festival 2006

~ One Season. Many Faces ~

1 – 25 June 06




The Philharmonic Winds



 Date  :  3 June 2006
 Time  :  7.30pm
 Venue  : Esplanade Concert Hall
 Tickets  : $50, $40, $30, $20, $15
 Duration  : 120 minutes (with intermission)


Sponsored by HSBC


Accommodation by Fraser Serviced Residences


“Casteels clearly knew his musicians deeply, coaxing clean articulations 
of pure song out of them…”
- The Straits Times, Singapore


"Van Rijen is a real musician. He creates from his trombone an unbelievable rich 
variety of colors and surprising dynamics..."
- NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands


Singapore’s premier wind orchestra, The Philharmonic Winds, is set to showcase its versatility and musical brilliance as it performs, among other prime music selections, the world premiere of the Second Symphony.


Written by its artistic director and resident conductor Dr Robert Casteels, the Second Symphony is a Festival commission and was inspired by mathematician Pierre De Fermat and his contribution towards the development of modern calculus. This is the first time that Dr Casteels has written a work specifically for The Philharmonic Winds, and the Second Symphony was meticulously composed with the wind orchestra’s strengths in mind. For this unique piece, Dr Casteels summons a choir of voices from the Anglo Chinese Junior College Choir and employs a myriad of instruments such as an organ and an enlarged tuba section of seven.


In addition to Dr Casteels’ Second Symphony, The Philharmonic Winds also marks its Festival debut with an eclectic wind repertoire that offers breathtaking gems from composers including Frank Ticheli and the infectious Prelude, Fugue and Riffs by Leonard Bernstein. Its diverse programme also calls for the use of a wide range of instruments, including some not usually used by wind orchestras such as the yangqin, pipa, water gongs and crystal glasses.


Jörgen van Rijen, principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will dazzle with the Singapore premiere of Downtown Diversions by award-winning composer Adam Gorb. The Dutch performer teaches trombone at the Rotterdam Conservatory and was the 2004 recipient of the prestigious Netherlands Music Prize, the highest distinction in music from the Dutch Ministry of Culture. Singapore Symphony Orchestra clarinetist Tang Xiao Ping also promises to evoke memories of Benny Goodman with Artie Shaw’s jazzy Concerto for Clarinet while chamber music pianist, vocal accompanist and 1992 Young Artist Award recipient Shane Thio will serenade the audience with Joseph Schwantner’s …and the mountains rising nowhere…


With an impressive showing of 155 musicians, The Philharmonic Winds holds the record for having the largest number of performers in a single production within the Singapore Arts Festival 2006. The Philharmonic Winds also has the privilege of being the first local wind orchestra to perform in the Festival’s core programme. This year marks the 20th edition of the Festival.


A Trombone Masterclass organised by The Philharmonic Winds and conducted by Jörgen van Rijen is open to individuals and groups. For more information, email


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Concert Programme 
  • Profile of The Philharmonic Winds  
  • Profile of Robert Casteels 
  • Profile of Soloists Musicians’ List