Stephen Tong Music Director & Principal Conductor
Dr. Stephen Tong broke the record in 1985 by attracting 27,000 attendants in the 7-city concert rally commemorating the 300th anniversary of JS Bach and GF Handel. Taking place in Malang, Surabaya, Semarang, Yogyakarta, Solo, Bandung, and Jakarta, the concert tour won highest praises by various critiques and experts.
In December 2008, Dr. Tong once again took Jakarta by storm when 9000 people attended his two performances of Handel's complete Messiah Choruses in Cathedral Messiah. In that 2 performance, more than 200 members of Jakarta Oratorio Society choir and orchestra performed under his baton. These events accentuate his achievement-the largest audience in the history of classical music performance in Indonesia.
Dr. Tong - fatherless at the age of 3 - was born with extraordinary sensitivity to all forms of arts including music, painting, architecture, and sculpture.· Since his childhood, he quietly observed, meditated, and learned these arts thoroughly. With endless interests and unceasing struggles, he challenges his limit to master his desires. Composing music since the age of 16 and conducting oratorio at 17, he has ever since conducted oratorio and church music both in South East Asia Bible Seminary and the churches he served.
In 1986 he founded Jakarta Oratorio Society, which carried out concerts in jakarta and occasionally in other cities. Dr. Tong personally led the society in several regional concert tours in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Penang. These concerts were well attended by thousands of people, and Dr. Tong obtained remarkable recognition from his viewers.
Greatly blessed by the Lord, the autodidact old man has witnessed his dreams gradually coming true. One of the most recent fulfillment of his dreams is through the erection of Cathedral Messiah in 2008. The Cathedral's completion immediately caught the attention of journalists from Singapore, Australia, Germany, France, and Holland, and gained special coverage in Reuter and the Wall Street Journal.
In October the newly built Aula Simfonia Jakarta in Reformed Cultural Center will be dedicated to God and to the Indonesian people with the presentation of 4 inauguration concerts on the 17th, 18th, 23rd, and 24th.