DR. STEPHEN TONG
Dr. Stephen Tong is a man of many gifts. Fatherless at the age of 3, he was born with extraordinary sensitivity to all forms of including music, painting, architecture, and sculpture. Since childhood, he quietly observed, meditated, and learned these arts thoroughly. With endless interests and unceasing struggles, he challenges his limit to master his aspirations. Since his young age of 16, Dr. Tong has shown his talent in composing music, conducting works of Oratorios and Sacred Music at the age of 17 and performing in South East Asia Bible Seminary and the churches he served.
In 1985, Dr. Stephen Tong led a 7-city concert rally in commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel, attended by over 27,000 people. He then founded Jakarta Oratorio Society in 1986, which regularly performs concerts in Jakarta. Occasionally Dr. Tong would lead the choir in their tour to Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malang, Surabaya, and Bandung. These concerts are always well received and attended by thousands of patrons.
In December 2008, Dr. Tong once again took Jakarta in storm when 9000 people attended the two performances of Handel's complete Messiah Choruses in Messiah Cathedral. Over 200 performers of Jakarta Oratorio Society and orchestra performed under his baton, witnessed by the largest audience in the history of classical music performance in Indonesia.
Aula Simfonia Jakarta is another exhibit of Dr. Tong's architectural achievement, dedicated in October 2009 with four concerts to celebrate the inauguration. Alongside with Dr. Jahja Ling - world-renowned Indonesian born conductor of San Diego Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Tong conducted the works of Bach, Beethoven, Handel, and Haydn. Since then, concerts are held in Aula Simfonia Jakarta every month. Dr. Tong had also conducted all 9 Beethoven Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Cello Concerto, Violin Concertos, and many other great symphonies. In July 2017, he then once again shook classical music world with a 7-cities in 7-days tour, leading 100 voices and 45 orchestra members to 7 cities. Never has it been done in the history of Indonesia to travel with both choir and the orchestra. Over 20,000 people were in attendance.
JAKARTA SIMFONIA ORCHESTRA
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Stephen Tong as the Music Diretor, Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra (JSO) has proven to be the only professional orchestra in Indonesia with 12 concerts per year to serve the greater Metropolitan City of Jakarta. With performances each month varies from classical music and broadway/pops music. Four distinguished characteristics stretched out from Masterworks series, Chamber Music series, Choral series, and Educational Series.
Since the beginning, Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra has collaborated with world-class musicians such as Jahja Ling (the Conductor Laureate of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra & the International Consultant of the JSO), the Great Wall String Quartet, the Formosa String Quartet, Steven Isserlis, Jessie Chang, Wei Lu (concertmaster of Deutsches Symphonie Orchester-Berlin), Jimmy Cho-Liang Lin, Sam Haywood, Johan Dalene (First Prize Winner of the 2017 Cooper International Violin Competition) and many more.
Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra collaborated with its home choir, Jakarta Oratorio Society, and together established and performed some of the most important works such as Bach Magnificat, Beethoven Christ on the Mount of Olives, Brahms Requiem, Faure Requiem, Mendelssohn Elijah & The Seasons, Mozart Requiem and many more.
The Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra has performed and promote classical music in Indonesia and brings the education of classical music to audience of all ages. Part of the Educational Series are the Family Series and the Children Concert Series.
Since founded, Jakarta Simfonia Orchestra has made their home base in the world-class acoustic concert hall - Aula Simfonia Jakarta located in North Jakarta.
JAKARTA ORATORIO SOCIETY
A choir that performs oratorio pieces were unheard of in 1980s. Dr. Stephen Tong who had always love classical music – oratorio especially – started the choir with a vision to educate Christian churches in Indonesia of the beautiful works of great composers.
Started in 1986, Dr. Tong gathered amateur singers and personally trained them in weekly rehearsals. The light and upbeat melody of Handel Messiah, great works by Mendelssohn and careful approach of Bach Matthew Passion became alive under his direction. Both technique and phrasing were learned through careful examination, on top of these, the spirit of the age – Zeitgeist - were always taught.
Within 30 years of performances, Jakarta Oratorio Society has traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and many cities in Indonesia. Since 2009, Jakarta Oratorio Society has been the Choir-in-residence for Aula Simfonia Jakarta. Under the baton of Dr. Stephen Tong, Dr. Jahja Ling, Dr. Billy Kristanto, and Eunice Tong Holden, the choir has performed Handel Messiah, Haydn The Creation, Haydn The Seasons, Mendelssohn Symphony no. 2 – Hymn of Praise, Bach Mass in B Minor, and Mendelssohn Elijah.
Since 2009, Jakarta Oratorio Society has been the Choir-in-residence for Aula Simfonia Jakarta.