Wonderful Malaysia

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

Malaysia prides itself in its unique variety in cultural difference housed under the same flag. Due to the many races and different ethnic groups living in Malaysia, culture has become an integral part of Malaysia’s identity with tourism focusing on its multi-cultural society. And what culture does not have music integrated into them? Music has been the epiphany of the representation of emotions. Music has its way of connecting to the very soul of the audience no matter race, culture or belief.


This appreciation of music has led to the founding of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), residing at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Petronas Philharmonic Hall). In 1997, founder and first music director, Kees Bakels opened the halls for the first concert in 17 August 1998. The hall is located in one of Malaysia’s most prestigious and monumental skyscraper, the Petronas Twin Tower (KLCC).


The Philharmonic Orchestra embraces a variety of genre ranging from traditional pieces and the classical to the more modern arrangements. One can enjoy musical arrangements from traditional ethnic music to the pioneers of classical music such as Beethoven, Vivaldi and Mozart. The Philharmonic Orchestra will let down their hair and play informal pieces from time to time as well and at other times one can enjoy more modern arrangements. The multi-cultural exposure includes as well music from Mexico, Germany and Russian and the orchestra regularly invites guest musicians and conductors from other countries to create a diversified field of talents.

Music has a universal language of expression and is widely used not only within the musical field but in visual as well. Movies and video games use music to amplify the cinematic and emotions and these pieces are highly appreciated by the Philharmonic Orchestra and are offered as well in concerts from time to time.


In addition to its efforts in encouraging and fostering an appreciation of all kinds of music, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra hosts as well the Malaysia Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) to foster the young talents of Malaysia under the ideals of late Petronas Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Azizan Zainul Abidin. The MPYO was established in 13th January 2006 with 500 talents strong. Its first public concert was held on the 25th August 2007. Its reception was overwhelming and has been since slotted for regular concerts under the direction of its principal conductor, Kevin Field.

One can definitely expect the best from the multitude of musical talents from the country with diversified genre and style of music. With its strict standards in recruiting its musicians, high quality and excellence is expected of and a guaranteed fundamental when attending any of the concert events held. As all their proceedings are formal with a small exception of informal events, all patrons are required to be dressed formally, so if you are attending an orchestral event in MPO, ensure formal attire with the inclusion of ‘Batik’ is what you will be wearing.

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Tourism Malaysia

MPO Chamber Concert

January 24, 2012 at 12:00 pm

It is that time of the month again where chamber music lovers can head on to Dewan Filharmonik Petronas and enjoy great performances by the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Players. For the month of January 2012, the orchestra will be performing four pieces from renowned musicians.

One of the pieces that will be performed is from Heitor Villa-Lobos, a brilliant Brazilian composer who was described as the most significant creative figure in 20th century Brazilian art music. His music is largely influenced by both Brazilian folk music and the European classical tradition. The MPO Chamber Players will be performing ‘Chorus No. 4‘. Another piece that will be performed that night is Hoffmeister’s Solo String Quartet No. 3 in D Major. Franz Anton Hoffmeister was a German composer and music publisher. Hoffmeister was one of the pioneers in the music publishing businesses, having established one of Vienna’s first of this kind of business in 1785.

MPO Chamber Concert is scheduled to start at 6.30 pm on 31st January 2012

Jean-Baptiste Loeillet was a Flemish baroque composer who also performed on the recorder, flute, oboe and harpsichord. He is called the London Loeillet, so as to distinguish himself from another famous composer. The MPO Chamber Players will be performing the Trio Sonata for Flute, Oboe and Basso Continuo. The last piece, Piano Trio in A Minor, is a piece composed by Joseph-Maurice Ravel, a French composer who was famous for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects.

Tickets for this performance are priced at RM 20 for all seats. Patrons who are attending the event are required to observe the dress code, which is Smart Casual. Performance is scheduled to start at 6.30 pm on 31st January 2012. For more information and ticket purchases, please log on to the website here.

Photo (c) Dalcrose

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Tourism Malaysia

Tribute to the Queen of Instruments

January 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

One of the many interesting things about some of the old churches in Malaysia, other than its remarkable architecture, is the organ that sits behind the altar. This keyboard instrument is played with its own keyboard and is operated either with the hands or with the feet. Though the instrument may look similar to those who are not musically inclined, there is actually three different types of organs – pipe organs, electronic organs and mechanical organs. Pipe organs uses the wind that is moving through the pipes to produce the sounds. An electronic organ generates electronically produced sounds through one or more loudspeakers whereas mechanical organs are controlled by mechanically by things like pinned barrels or book music.

Facade of Casavant Freres organ in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Evanston, Illinois. This 38-rank organ was installed in 1977, has a mechanical action, and is styled after north German Baroque instruments

If organ music is one of your favourites, then do not miss out on Dewan Filharmonik Petronas’ upcoming performance this 28th and 29th January 2012. Entitled ‘Tribute to the Queen of Instruments‘, this musical performance will see the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and renowned conductor Claus Peter Flor performing three famous classical pieces – Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Bach, Fantasia and Fugue by Liszt and Symphony No. 3 – “Organ Symphony” by Saint-Saëns. Performing on the organ is the talented Olivier Latry, a distinguished organist, improviser and Professor of Organ in the Conservatoire de Paris.

Tickets for this performance is priced at RM 30, RM 60, RM 90 and RM 120. The performance is scheduled to start at 8.30 pm on 28th January and at 3.00 pm on 29th January 2012. Patrons who are attending this musical performance are required to dress smart casually. For more information about the event and ticket purchases, please log on to the website here.

Photo (c) La Sequencia

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Tourism Malaysia

MPO’s Native Foray

October 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Malaysians are very lucky to be blessed with so many wonderful things. Except for the occasional riots and demonstrations, there has been no life-threatening wars or genocide after World War II. Though the country was also affected by the downturn of the economy back in the 80s, most people still had jobs and enough funds to support their family. Children grew up playing together with their friends of all races, and it has become second nature for us to visit our friends during festive occasions such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Aidilfitri or even Deepavali.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra ensemble will be performing original music inspired by Datuk Siti Nurhaliza

Dewan Filharmonik Petronas will present a brand new musical concoction that is inspired by life in Malaysia. Entitled ‘MPO’s Native Foray’, this musical will be led by Marques Young, the Co-Principal Trombone of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. The ensemble will perform original music inspired by P. Ramlee, Sheila Majid, Fela Kuti, Siti Nurhaliza, Ibrahim Ferrer and James Brown.

Performances are scheduled to start at 8.30 pm on 29th October 2011. Tickets are priced at RM 58 for all seats. Early birds will be entitled to purchase these tickets at RM 48 (limited to the first 100 tickets sold). Patrons who are attending the function are required to be in smart casual dress code. For more information, please log on to the website here.

Photo (c) Azrol Azmi

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Tourism Malaysia

A Symphonic Journey

October 23, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Jose Franch-Ballester is one of the most promising clarinetists of his generation. He received the highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2008 and was one of the handful participants to be selected for a Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Emmanuel Ax and Richard Stoltzman in 2007.He has played with outstanding artists such as Warren Jones, Ida Kavafian, the Saint Lawrence and Jupiter String Quartets and others. Franch-Ballester has also performed as a soloist in orchestras such as Orquesta de la Radiotelevisión Española and City of London Sinfonia.

Jose Franch-Ballester will be performing at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas on 22nd and 23rd October 2011

He has also worked with contemporary composers such as Kenji Bunch, Paul Schonfield, Edgar Meyer, William Bolcom and John B. Hedges. He is also a dedicated music educator, playing at numerous educational concerts and workshops for young people and community audiences. Together with Kevin Field as the Conductor and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Jose Franch-Ballester is set to dominate the stages of Dewan Filharmonik Petronas this 22nd and 23rd October 2011 in Kuala Lumpur. He will be performing four pieces, which is Debussy’s Rhapsody for Clarinet, Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, Sugata’s Peaceful Dance of Two Dragons and Adams’ Dr Atomic Symphony.

Tickets are priced at RM 30, RM 60, RM 90 and RM 120. Patrons attending the concert will have to abide by the hall’s dress code, which is smart casual. Performances are scheduled as below:

Saturday, 22nd October 2011 at 8.30 pm
Sunday, 23rd October 2011 at 3.00 pm

For more information, please log on to Dewan Filharmonik Petronas’ homepage.

Photo (c) Jose Franch-Ballester’s website

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