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Home > Kuala Lumpur Attraction >The Petronas Hall Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s motto “Hear and You Will See” is a reflection of its purpose: to share the depth, power and beauty of great music.

Petronas Philharmonic Hall
is Malaysia's first world-class classical concert hall and is the home for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). Since its official opening on 17 August 1998, Petronas Philharmonic Hall has played host to some of the world's leading artists and orchestras, as well as international jazz performances and traditional Malaysian music and dance.

Strategically located between the Petronas Twin Towers, the concert hall has a capacity of 885 viewers, which includes box seating at Stalls level and 20 luxurious corporate suites at Circle and Upper Circle levels. Since its inaugural performance, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, with 105 musicians from around the world, has consistently impressed audiences with its excellent performances and has successfully built a loyal and appreciative following among Malaysian community.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) gave its inaugural performance under founding Music Director Kees Bakels at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, on 17th August 1998. Over the past ten seasons it has consistently impressed and inspired audiences with its excellent performances.

The initial search in 1997 for outstanding musicians involved a worldwide audition tour. The result was a 105-member symphony orchestra made up of musicians from 25 nations - a remarkable example of harmony among different cultures and nationalities.

A host of internationally-acclaimed musicians has worked with the MPO, including Lorin Maazel, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jiri Belohávek, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Neville Marriner, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Yehudi Menuhin, Vadim Repin, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Truls Mørk and Simon Preston, many of whom have praised the MPO for its musical qualities and vitality. To launch its 10th Anniversary Season in August 2007, the MPO was joined by soprano Sumi Jo in a Gala Concert. This came at the start of a month-long festival showcasing the MPO as the country’s premier symphony orchestra.

With the 08/09 season, the MPO welcomes its new Music Director, Claus Peter Flor. Following in the steps of his illustrious predecessors, Matthias Bamert, who held the post for three seasons, and Kees Bakels, who served as Music Director for seven, Maestro Flor will be
building on the Orchestra’s enviable reputation for musical excellence as he strives to bring the very best in classical orchestral music before a Malaysian audience. The MPO’s annual schedule of more than 100 concerts draws from over three centuries of orchestral repertory as well as chamber, contemporary and specially commissioned new music.

The MPO’s mission is to nurture an interest in classical music in Malaysia, a key component of this being the encouragement of home-grown talents. the MPO’s Education and Outreach Programme, reaches beyond the concert platform to develop musical awareness, appreciation and skills through dedicated activities, which include instrumental lessons, workshops and schools’ concerts. The most recent manifestation of this commitment is the creation of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, coached by the MPO players, which gave its inaugural concert in Kuala Lumpur on 25th August 2007 and followed this with a highly-successful tour of several Malaysian cities.

A highly specialised programme – the MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers – was instituted to provide an opportunity for Malaysian composers to work creatively alongside the Orchestra. Subsequently the MPO International Composers’ Award was initiated in November 2004 with interest shown from composers in over 40 countries.

Touring has become an important ingredient in raising the MPO’s international profile. It has regularly visited the major cities of Malaysia, as well as Singapore, and international tours have included Japan and Korea (November 2001), Australia (October 2004), China (September 2006) and Taiwan (October 2007).

In its relatively brief existence the MPO has established itself as a respected recording orchestra. Twelve CDs have so far been released, including ten internationally for the Vox, BIS and Naxos labels.

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