Stephen Tong, Music Director
Indah Lestari Hertanto, Piano
Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra


RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 2
i. Moderato
ii. Adagio sostenuto
iii. Allegro scherzando

INTERMISSION

BRAHMS Hungarian Dance No. 5 & 6
TCHAIKOVSKY Waltz from Sleeping Beauty
ROSSINI La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder) overture
DELIBES Waltz from Coppelia
WALDTEUFEL Skaters' Waltz
ROSSINI La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) overture

STEPHEN TONG, Music Director

Stephen Tong is a man of many gifts. Fatherless at the age of 3, he was born with extraordinary sensitivity to all forms of art including music, painting, architecture, and sculpture. When Stephen was only 17 years old, he started to conduct works of oratorios and sacred music.

In 1985, Stephen led a 7-city concert rallies for the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of J. S. Bach and G. F. Handel, well attended by 27,000 people. He then founded Jakarta Oratorio Society in 1986, which regularly performs concerts in Jakarta. Occasionally Stephen would lead the choir in their tour to Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

In December 2008, Stephen took Jakarta by storm when 9,000 people attended the 2-performances of Handel's Messiah choruses. Over 200 performers of Jakarta Oratorio Society and orchestra performed under his baton. This marked the largest audience in the history of classical music performance in Indonesia.

Aula Simfonia Jakarta is another exhibit of Stephen's architectural achievement, with Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra as the newly formed and appointed orchestra-in-residence and Jakarta Oratorio Society as the choir-in-residence, Stephen inaugurated all these in October 2009 with a series of concerts to celebrate. Alongside with Jahja Ling, world-renowned Indonesian born conductor, Stephen conducted the works of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Haydn. Entering its 10th season, Aula Simfonia Jakarta has hosted over 200 performances of classical concerts.


Stephen has frequently conduct symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (all 9 symphonies), Brahms, and Dvorak; concertos for piano, cello, violin; overtures, incidental music, and sacred oratorios such as Haydn Creation, Mendelssohn Lobgesang, Mendelssohn Elijah, and Handel Messiah.

Stephen wanted to introduce and educate classical music to the people of Indonesia by bringing both Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra and Jakarta Oratorio Society in 2017. This Grand Concert Tour continued its journey in 2018, reaching Singapore with well received and sold out concert in Esplanade. Then in July 2019, the touring groups expanded its musical journey to Wei Wu Ying (Kaohsiung), National Concert Hall (Taipei), and Hong Kong. Jakarta as the capital of Indonesia was not left out, for its people witnessed one of the biggest crowds for classical music event in Konser Akbar Monas, attracting 23,000 people in attendance of different backgrounds, race, religion, and age.

Stephen is the Artistic Director of Aula Simfonia Jakarta, Music Director of Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra, and Jakarta Oratorio Society.

INDAH LESTARI HERTANTO, Piano

Indah started learning the piano privately at the age of 6. After about 2 years, she started a more serious music study at Yayasan Pendidikan Musik (YPM) in 1991. During her years in YPM she studied under renowned Indonesian pianists such as Aisha Ariadna Pletscher and Levi Gunardi. In the year 1999, she was chosen to participate in the Chopin and Poulenc Festival held in Jakarta. She also earned many wards such as Award of Musical Performance and Award of High Musicianship in Performance.

After graduating high school in 2000, Indah continued her study of Piano Performance at Towson University (TU) at Maryland, USA, under the direction of Prof. Reynaldo Reyes. Recognized as a student with high achievements, TU invited her to stay and pursue her Master of Music. She was given a full scholarship in the form of graduate assistantship for the vocal department as an accompanist. In the spring 2005, TU did a production of the Mozart opera, Die Zauberflöte, in which Indah acted as the Assistant Music Director. During her years of study at TU, Indah won many awards and competitions. Among them are: Henry Sanborn Scholarship Competition, Peggy Friedmann-Gordon Music Competition (First Prize Winner), Talent Awards Competition, International Young Artists Piano Competition (Honorable Mention), and many others. Indah received two degrees from TU: Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance (2004) and Master of Music in Piano Performance (2006).

As an accompanist, Indah started accompanying church services and choirs since the age of 12. In 1998, Indah accompanied her high school choir in a music tour to Brisbane, Australia, where she also had the opportunity to perform as a solo pianist in front of International audience. In 2000, Indah once again accompanied her high school choir in another music tour to Seattle, USA and Vancouver, Canada. During her years at TU, she gained a tremendous amount of experience as an accompanist. Indah has accompanied numerous competitions and recitals from voice to instruments.


In 2007, Indah decided to pursue post-graduate study in Vocal Accompanying at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) in New York, USA, under the direction of Kenneth Merrill, a renowned vocal coach and collaborator in the world. She received her Professional Studies Certificate in the year 2008 and for the next year after continued her experience as a highly sought-after vocal coach and collaborator at MSM and in the New York City area.

During her years in New York, Indah has had the opportunity to work with many renowned singers and educators in the States such as Neil Rosenshein, Gran Wilson, Ashley Putnam, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Mark Oswald and many others. She also acted as the Music Director for the La Piccola Opera of New York City. In all her years in the States, Indah has participated in masterclasses for Mark Markham, Ubaldo Frabbi, Joan Patenaude-Yarnell, Stephanie Blythe, Thomas Hampson and Marilyn Horne.

As a soprano, Indah started singing in choirs at a very young age all the way to her post-graduate years. Beginning at the age of 12, in many of the choirs she’s a member of, she also acted as the assistant conductor and accompanist. Indah has also sung as soprano soloist in choirs and ensembles, singing under numerous batons, in many different venues, performing wide repertoire from early music to modern to pop and commercials. She recorded 2 CDs with one of Jakarta’s children choir, Vox Angelicus, as their accompanist and soloist, both in piano and vocal.

Indah returned to Jakarta, Indonesia in July 2009. She’s currently among the resident artists at the Aula Simfonia Jakarta. She is a music faculty at the STTRII and was the rehearsal pianist for the Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra (JSO) from 2009-2016. She is also the conductor of Jakarta Oratorio Society Youth Choir (JOSYC), Jakarta Oratorio Society Children Choir (JOSCC), and GRII Choir.

PIANO CONCERTO NO. 2

Sergei Rachmaninoff
1873 | April 1 – 1943 | March 28
Duration approximately 35 minutes

Rachmaninoff is well known for his piano compositions. Born as Russian composers and influenced by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korasakov, all of his compositions required maturity in technique and character; this is especially true in all of his three piano concertos. Tonight’s piano concerto no. 2 has a deep root of Russian heritage in Rachmaninoff’s ink writings. Though it is dark yet this concerto is full of rich harmonies and emotional attachment throughout the movements – which made it one of the most beloved and most performed piano concertos of the Romantic period. Its premiere was performed by the composer itself and with his brother, Alexander Siloti conducting.

The first movement is dark and full of power, right from the beginning, the music drawn us only to the soloist with series of chords as introduction. The second movement starts slow and full of beautiful melodies, when the piano took over with triplets, the conjunction between the piano and orchestra is remarkable. The last movement is very vivacious and full of energy. The movement ends with power and glory.

Written by Rebecca Tong


HUNGARIAN DANCE NO. 5 & 6

Johannes Brahms
1833 | May 7 – 1897 | April 3
Duration approximately 6 minutes (3 minutes each)

When Brahms was 17, he met a famous Hungarian violinist, Eduard Reményi. Three years later, Brahms accompanied him on a concert tour. It was then, he encountered the spirited and virtuosic Hungarian “Gypsy” themes which inspired him to compose the notable Hungarian Dances. However, Brahms mistakenly thought that these tunes were authentically Hungarian folk music while it was the work of another Hungarian composer, played by the gypsy band in a café or restaurant. Nevertheless, Brahms was fascinated by this fiery music that he produced 21 Hungarian Dances for four-hands piano. Later, he and his few other friends, including Antonin Dvorak, arranged it for the orchestra. Hungarian Dance No. 5 is one of the better-known Hungarian Dances. It was based on Csárdás “Bártfai emlék” (Reminiscences of Bartfai Czárdás), composed by Hungarian composer Béla Kéler. It has a strong csárdás characteristic, where the melody started slow, then it builds up, getting faster and more dramatic. The melody of Hungarian Dance No. 6 was adapted from Rózsa Bokor song (Rosebush), by Adolph Nittinger. Similar to Hungarian Dance No. 5, it is heavily influenced by csárdás style. It contains great contrast between the passages, the slow-lyrical and the fast-bouncy. Overall, it was dramatic and amusing for everyone to enjoy.

Written by Gloria Teo


WALTZ FROM "THE SLEEPING BEAUTY SUITE", OP. 66A

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
1840 | May 7 – 1893 | November 6
Duration approximately 5 minutes

As Johann Strauss II introduces the art of waltz Music to the world, many composers of the Romantic Era started to explore this genre, including Tchaikovsky himself. Unlike the traditional Viennese waltzes that are fast in tempo, containing melodious tunes with simple triple time harmonic progression and strong downbeat designed for the ballroom social dance, Tchaikovsky’s waltzes contain countermelodies, syncopation, moving melodic lines in the bass to create a theatrical but elegant effect to accompany the dances and actions in his ballets and operas.

One of his signature waltz featured tonight is the Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s ballet in 3 acts, Sleeping Beauty Op. 66. Based on the fairytale “La belle au bois dormant” by Charles Perrault, Sleeping Beauty tells a story of an enchanted princess that was cursed by an evil witch that she will fall into a deep sleep once she gets poked by a needle or thorn. While unfortunately the princess did succumb to the curse years later, a young prince came to the rescue to break the spell. Sleeping Beauty was composed in the months between December 1888 and September 1889, commissioned by the Director of the Imperial Theaters at St. Petersburg, and had its premiere in St. Petersburg’s famous Mariinsky Theatre on January 15, 1890. The well-known waltz sets the scene for a festive gathering announcing the birth of the princess in the king’s palace in Act I.

Written by Michelle Sugiarto


LA SCALA DI SETA OVERTURE

Gioacchino Rossini
1792 | February 29 – 1868 | November 13
Duration approximately 2 minutes

La scala di seta (The Silken Ladder) was composed when Rossini was 20 years old. It is a short opera about the protagonist, Dorvil, who climbed to Giulia’s room using a silk ladder every night. Giulia is Dorvil’s secretly married wife. One morning, Dorvil’s attempt to escape was hindered by the appearance of Giulia’s cousin and servant. Giulia’s guardian, Dormont, insisted that she must marry Blansac, without knowing that Giulia was already married to Blansac’s friend, Dorvil. Giulia tried to divert Blansac’s amorous love toward her cousin, while Dorvil tried to convince Blansac that Giulia was not looking for a husband at the moment. The overture is light and lively, with some lyrical moments. It begins with a descending scale by the strings, then followed by the lyrical oboe. It paints of the morning operatic scenery. Then, the strings entered with a hurrying motif, followed by the woodwinds, expressing some comical element. Romantic and humorous, the entire overture represents the opera itself.

Written by Gloria Teo

WALTZ FROM COPPÉLIA

Léo Delibes
1836 | February 21 – 1891 | January 16
Duration approximately 2 minutes

Delibes was an influential French composer, best known for his opera and ballet music compositions. His works, such as Coppélia, played an important role in the development of modern ballet. His symphonic work for ballet inspired many composers afterwards one among them includes Tchaikovsky. His music is graceful and elegant, with strong impressionistic style. He mastered the ability to utilize orchestral musical colors in order to create a particular ambience or mood. Coppélia is a ballet based on E.T.A Hoffmann’s story, “The Sandman”, a dark psychological story. However, Delibes managed to wrap it up in a milder, delicate way. Coppélia is about a man called Franz, who was infatuated with a life-like mechanical doll, Coppélia. However, Franz’s real-life fiancé, Swanilda was unhappy with the situation and tried to intervene. The Waltz originates from the First Act as Swanilda attempt to attract the attention of Coppélia, which was sitting still and reading by the window of Dr. Coppélius’ house, its inventor. The music is graceful and light. The beautiful main melody was played by the strings. It ends swiftly with a series of chromatic and arpeggios passage.

Written by Gloria Teo


LES PATINEURS VALSE (THE SKATERS' WALTZ), OP. 183

Émile Waldteufel
1837 | December 9 – 1915 | February 12
Duration approximately 8 minutes

Written in 1882, the Skaters' Waltz paints images of the events of a very cold day in 1879, the year Europe had one of the coldest winter on record. Sleighs were used through the streets of Paris, and Parisians skated on the frozen French Seine River.

There is a slow introduction with a motif played by the horn, followed by rapid flute trills and violin glissando, suggesting the exciting idea to skate on the river. The entrance towards the main theme sounds tentative, portraying people timidly trying the ice. As the opening section of the Waltz with the main melody begins in the dance tempo, it symbolizes that people begin to feel secure to enjoy skating since the ice is firm. The second section with shorter and lighter phrases paints the falling snow. The longer phrases paint the skaters enjoying the smoothness of the ice. The staccato phrases with the brass paints the skaters doing some turns and jumps. During the transition, it sounds like one of the skaters fell down, but resume skating as the opening section returns. At the end, there is a hint of sleigh bells before the timpani bring closes the Waltz.

Written by Michelle Sugiarto


LA GAZZA LADRA OVERTURE

Gioacchino Rossini
1792 | February 29 – 1868 | November 13
Duration approximately 10 minutes

La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) was composed in 1817 when the young Rossini was at his peak career. It is a semi-serious opera (otherwise known as semiseria opera), a combination of serious opera and comical opera. Based on a true event in France, this opera recites a story of a young female servant being accused of stealing a silver spoon and was eventually sentenced to death. Right before she was executed, it was revealed that a magpie (type of bird which fond of shiny things) is the real silverware thief. Just like most of Rossini’s opera, it has a happy ending. The overture is splendor yet amusing. It begins with a snare drum roll, followed by the main melody in a marching military style. The music creates a majestic entrance. A series of snare drum rolls ends the first section with grandeur. The following minor section depicts the lamenting young servant in the jail. The ending section is in typical Rossini style, where the main theme played softly on repeat, gradually getting larger and bolder. Then, a rapid brilliant passage finishes the overture splendidly.

Written by Gloria Teo