Bridges Of Hope: Bridging The World Through Music

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By Luan Do
Epoch Times Staff 

Club Street, Singapore – Thirty VIPs from various industries, including Guest-of-Honour, His Excellency Mr Ralph Steinegger, Consul of the Swiss Embassy in Singapore, gathered together for a charitable cause in November.

Held at Senso on November 14, ‘Bridges of Hope’ was an exclusive collaboration between the Epoch Times Singapore, luxury Swiss watchmaker Corum, and its retail partner, Cortina Watch.

While featuring the elegant Golden Bridge collection, the event aimed to raise support for John Foundation Nepal, a NGO that not only empowers Nepali children and orphans, but also promotes the interconnectivity of humanity through music and musical interactions among musicians.

The Golden Bridge Collection has been Corum’s iconic timepiece since 1980, with the first-and-only in-line baguette movement on the market.

The dinner warmly commenced with melodies from Nepalese folk songs performed by a Nepalese violinist cum composer, Mr Sabin Munikar, and his Singaporean co-violinist, Mr Yong Kai Lin, together with Dr John Sharpley, founder of John Foundation Nepal, who introduced the Foundation shortly afterwards.

Mr Sabin Munikar made his first overseas trip to Singapore for the event.

“It turned out that I was performing on one of the only grand pianos in the country,” recalled Dr Sharpley, speaking about his piano recital in Kathmandu, Nepal. “If (Nepalese) musicians want to go further and reach out to international musicians, there is virtually no connectivity.”

In addition, the John Foundation Nepal aims to promote peace and interconnectivity of humanity through music. “[The power of music] can defy borders and divisions, that have us misconceive each other,” said Dr Sharpley, acknowledging that we are living in a world that is often troubled and divided.

Bridging The World Through Music
Mr & Mrs Ralph Steinegger

Besides Dr Sharpley, there were three other speakers for the night. Directors of the Epoch Times Singapore and Corum, Mr Koh Kim Hong and Mr Boon Soon Chong, shared about their respective organisations, and Corum’s brand manager spoke about the unique features and value of the Golden Bridge series.

Inspired by the elegance in design and intricacy in the making of the Golden Bridge series, the Epoch Times Singapore spoke with Mr Boon Soon Chong, Brand Director Asia of Corum, to further explore the value of the Golden Bridge Collection:

Epoch Times (ET): If you were to describe the Golden Bridge Series in one sentence, what would it be?

Mr Boon: The art of watchmaking at its purest form

ET: What makes the Golden Bridge Series so unique and stand out, as compared to the other collections?

Mr Boon: The Golden Bridge is the capstone of Corum’s collections, an illustration of Swiss horology at its best. After it was first presented in 1980, the Golden Bridge gripped the watchmaking world by an aesthetic shift where every last component becomes a determining part of the piece’s overall style. The Golden Bridge model and its exceptional baguette movement made an indelible imprint on watchmaking history. Based on a principle of linearity and requiring extraordinary horological expertise, the Golden Bridge movement – an exclusive Corum feature – has since revealed the full strength of its potential by giving rise to some of the brand’s most fabulous timepieces united within the Bridges collection.

ET: In your opinion, is the Golden Bridge Series a good investment? Does it hold its value as time goes by?

Mr Boon: For more than thirty years since the introduction of the Golden Bridge movement, the Bridges collection now featuring various evolved versions of the original calibre is still without equal in the watchmaking world. Its innovative aesthetic and unique movement construction are timeless.

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The Golden Bridge Collection – Corum’s iconic timepiece since 1980

Before the main course, the trio – Dr Sharpley, Mr Yong Kai Lin and Mr Sabin Munikar – surprised the guests again with a medley of Malay folk songs, namely Burung Kakak Tua, Dayung Sampan, and Rasa Sayang.

Indeed, the concept of borders and division were diminished as musicians with different backgrounds came together in their performance.

“The idea of bringing together the two worlds is very interesting,” said Mr Steinegger. “It is an important way for [youth] to develop themselves in music, which is universal.”

“I love the music,” expressed Mr Patrick Tan, Founder and CEO of Fortis Law Corporation. “Given the setting of Nepal, this opportunity should be cherished.”

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From left: Mr Sabin Munikar, Mr Boon Soon Chong, Dr John Sharpley, Mr Luke Ng, Mr Koh Kim Hong, Mr Yong Kai Lin, and Mr Francis Leong.

“It is a new way to be able to support the Nepalese,” said Mr Frederic Dumoulin, Director of Sales and Distribution of AccorHotels. “It is not only [about] raising funds, but also to build bridges between the musicians, and between different cultures.”

“[The event] is a wonderful convergence of so many different people and so many different cultures,” said Dr Sharpley. “Our differences can be beautiful and our similarities can be spectacular. We can celebrate and show all of that in music,” he added.

The night concluded with another impressive musical improvisation between violins with the singing bowls of Nepal, which elicited a long round of applause from the audience.

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