kuala lumpur

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra to Celebrate 25 Years

– With resident conductors – Gerard Salonga and Naohisa Furusawa – at the helm of the 2023 season performances, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra has already seen regional artists like Ramli Sarip, Kugiran Masdo perform alongside Disney and international classical programs by Rachmaninov and Brahms. – Tengku Irfan makes an appearance playing Liszt with conductor Roberto Abbado.

Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra celebrate 25 in 2023. Music Press Asia

Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP) is Malaysia’s first concert hall dedicated to classical music. Designed by Cesar Pelli, the hall takes its inspiration from the traditional shoe-box shape of the great 19th century European concert halls with the magnificent Klais Pipe Organ providing a spectacular backdrop to the stage.

Tonight, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is celebrating twenty five years of music making. Featuring two of the country’s young musicians of this generation, it will open with a new work Panaon (Journey) composed by Eugene Tong. Tong describes it as ‘a call to treasure the voyage of existence and to celebrate the profound symphony that is life itself.

Raising Malaysia’s Stature in the Classical Music Genre

Malaysian composer Eugene Tong comes from Sabah where he studied music at the Sabah Institute of Art. Currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in composition and arranging at the Academi Seni Budaya, this ASEAN Theme Song Competition finalist is a shining representative of Malaysia’s growing stature within the classical orchestral genre.

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Tong’s composition will feature the sundatang, a traditional, plucked, two-stringed instrument from Sabah’s ethnic group, the Rungus.

At 25 Tengku Irfan is already a prominent pianist, conductor and composer. After his conducting debut with the Musica Nova Orchestra in 2015, Irfan made his first appearance with the MPO at its 20th Anniversary Gala Concert in 2018.

Irfan holds a double major in piano and composition at the Juilliard School. And was recently chosen to become the Assistant Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA that toured in July 2023. He will be at center stage tonight performing Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto – perhaps the most popular symphonic poem of all time.

Tengku Irfan w Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Music Press Asia
[After his debut at MPO, Tengku Irfan performed Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in 2019.]

Tengku Irfan will also be conducting Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra this Sept 2, 2023. MPO’s very own Piano Chamber Music Masterclass with Tengku Irfan will be happening on the Aug 27, 2023. To book a spot, click here.

MPO Silver Gala Night program (Aug 19):

TONG Panaon (Journey), 10 mins
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 2, 22 mins
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition, 30 mins

Internationally acclaimed artists including Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Yehudi Menuhin, Joshua Bell, Jose Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Vladimir Ashkenazy, among many other talents.

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Along international names, MPO’s commitment to showcasing the best talents of Malaysia saw artists including SM Salim, Sheila Majid, M. Nasir, Siti Nurhaliza and Jamal Abdillah perform.

Ziana Zain performs w Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Music Press Asia
[The MPO’s 25th Anniversary Season 2023 saw Ziana Zain perform at with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra May’s ‘Raya Sepanjang Zaman show conducted by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose. Image courtesy of Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Facebook page.]

For more information about the concert performance mentioned, future shows and ticketing, visit MPO’s official website here.

Located at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, Dewas Filharmonik PETRONAS was officially opened on 17 August 1998 by the Patron of the MPO, YABhg. Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Haji Mohd Ali and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The hall seats 920 people at one time which includes box seats, corporate suites and a royal suite. Acoustics experts Kirkegaard & Associates have incorporated unique acoustical devices into its design to maximize the hall’s natural qualities.

Petronas Twin Tower hosts the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra KL. Music Press Asia
[Located within the magnificent structure of the Petronas Twin Tower is the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS where the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra resides.]

Click here for more information about the Petronas Twin Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The article is updated on August 21, 2023.

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