Described as a key founding member of the orchestra, Jiri Heger served as principal viola for 26 years


Violist Jiri Heger |

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Former long-standing principal violist of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Jiri Heger has died at the age of 76. The Czech-born musician was a member of the orchestra for 32 years, serving as principal for 26.

’Jiri Heger’s contribution to the growth of our orchestra and to Singapore’s music scene is immeasurable,’ said the SSO in a statement. ’We have much to thank Jiri for. Rest in peace, dear Jiri. We will miss your smile.’

Born in 1947, Heger joined the SSO in 1980 having previously served as principal viola of the Tehran Symphony. During his tenure with the SSO, he played in almost 1800 performances and travelled with the orchestra on all its concert tours up until his retirement in December 2011.

He was considered a mentor to many musicians in Singapore, including the T’ang Quartet, helping shape the careers of its founding members and together as an ensemble.

’Jiri’s life was a testament to passion, dedication, and a relentless pursuit of excellence,’ said the T’ang Quartet on social media. ’As a friend, he possessed a rare warmth and kindness that endeared him to all fortunate enough to know him. Jiri wasn’t just a collaborator but a visionary force. His contributions were marked by ingenuity, and a tireless commitment to pushing boundaries. His teachings were not confined to textbooks; they were life lessons that transcended disciplines.’

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