One To Catch: MPO 20th Anniversary Special

Sep 24 • FEATURES • 607 Views • No Comments on One To Catch: MPO 20th Anniversary Special

The MPO 20th Anniversary Special marks a significant milestone for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP). Celebrating its two-decade long existence of delivering great music and entertainment to KL-ites, this 2018 season is not only special but also filled with an impressive line-up of timeless masterpieces and various music genres performed by top-notch artists.

Personally I’ve been going to the MPO for almost ten years, and throughout that time, I have to admit being royally entertained with their eclectic mix of shows. Mind you, I am not a fan of the classical music stuff, but the beauty of the MPO is that they deliver something for everyone, for all ages too, each season.

Throughout its 20-year existence, the MPO has stayed true to its commitment to provide the best in classical music in Malaysia’s first concert hall dedicated to that music genre. Nonetheless, it has also musically evolved and presented other genres such as pop, jazz, film music, traditional and contemporary that appeal to a wider audience.

mpo_20_2This season, which runs from August to December 2018, will see the MPO and DFP continue to elevate the art scene in Kuala Lumpur to a higher level, further enhancing the cultural landscape of Malaysia.

The opening season Gala Concert in August was proof of that as the MPO tuned up to provide a little taster of what this season will bring. Eminent conductor Jac van Steen weaved his magic on the MPO via an exhilarating programme of Rimsky-Korsakov and Smetana.

For Malaysian fans, seeing gifted local pianist Tengku Irfan, who incidentally was born in the same year as the MPO started, dazzled audiences with Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, a wonderful treat to commemorate this special season.

With a packed crowd cheering them on, the Gala performance for the MPO 20th Anniversary Special was undoubtedly a success and it certainly left audiences craving for more. And the MPO is only too happy to satisfy the hunger for great music and entertainment from its fans.

This season is dominated by a packed and musically-filled schedule, which consist of the début of violinist Soyoung Yoon, cellist Istvan Vardi, tenor Mathias Rexroth and conductor Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas. Meanwhile, harpist Leonard Jacome, pianist Stephen Hough and violin virtuosos Ray Chen and James Ehnes will return to the DFP stage to spellbind classical music fans with their inimitable musicianship.

mpo_20_3Personally for me, the MPO’s special-themed concerts are what I have my eye on. This month, the works of Hollywood legendary film composer, Hans Zimmer looks set to bowl audiences over and just a week later in early October, the MPO will present National Geographic: Symphony For Our World, conducted by Jessica Gethin, which features a fusion of science, artistry and musical splendour.

Malaysia’s favourite twins Upin & Ipin will also make their appearance with the MPO in family-themed concerts scheduled in October. The same month, popular American band, Pink Martini, returns to DFP after its debut in 2010. Known as the ‘little orchestra’, the group’s music crosses such genres as classical, pop, jazz and latin music.

In November, the music of the piano man comes alive with the Music of Billy Joel presenting the evergreen hits by renowned American artist via the vocals of Joel’s protégé, Michael Cavanaugh. Local young artists will also get to shine on the DFP stage with Tomok and Black, ‘duelling’ in a one-night concert in November.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) will present a special concert in December, apart from collaborations with the MPO this season, further affirming its status as a young orchestra to be reckoned with.

For further details and for the full MPO 20th Anniversary Special season of concerts. Head over to

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