Travel Guide


Singapore Chinese Orchestra

As the only professional Chinese orchestra in Singapore, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO) takes pride in its distinctive sound. Although the modern large Chinese orchestra is arranged very much like a Western symphony orchestra, from the way its players are positioned, to the way that it is conducted, the Chinese musical instruments create a mood that's distinctly different from that of Western classical music.

In the past, traditional Chinese musical instruments were classified into eight sections, depending on their materials, such as gourd, earthenware, hide, wood, stone, bronze, silk and bamboo. Today, they are divided into four major sections - the plucked string, bowed string, woodwind and percussion sections. Although there were many more musical instruments in the past, the Chinese musical instruments used today represent an amalgamation of different instruments from more than five major dynasties.

Since its inauguration in 1997, the 75-strong SCO has established its performing home in the Singapore Conference Hall. As befitting its status as an orchestra in multi-ethnic Singapore, the orchestra plays a variety of Hokkien classics, along with a repertoire of Western pieces and a selection of Indian and Malay music.

Recognised for its high-performing standards, the SCO has been invited to perform at various major occasions such as the World Economic Forum and the International Summit of Arts Council in 2003, as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meeting in 2006. The orchestra has also performed in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Budapest, London and Gateshead.

Determined to reach out to the masses, the SCO regularly performs outdoor concerts at national parks, schools and Singapore heartland. Check its official website to see if it performs during your visit here!

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