The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) gave its inaugural performance at DEWAN FILHARMONIK PETRONAS (DFP), Kuala Lumpur, on 17 August 1998. The initial search for outstanding musicians involved a worldwide audition tour. The result was a 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 the late Lorin Maazel, Sir Neville Marriner, Yehudi Menuhin, Joshua Bell, Harry Connick Jr and Andrea Bocelli, many of whom have praised the MPO for its fine musical qualities and vitality.
With each new season, the MPO continues to present a varied programme of orchestral music drawn from over three centuries, as well as the crowd-pleasing Specials, Pops, Family Fun Day, Chamber and Happy Hour series. It regularly presents specially commissioned new music and successfully collaborates with local and international artists.
The MPO regularly visits the major cities of Malaysia. Internationally, it has been to Singapore, Japan and Korea (2001), Australia (2004), China (2006), Taiwan (2007), Japan (2009) and Vietnam (2013). The MPO’s Education and Outreach Programme, ENCOUNTER, reaches beyond the concert platform to develop musical awareness, appreciation and skills through dedicated activities that include instrumental lessons, workshops and school concerts. ENCOUNTER also arranges memorable events in such diverse venues as orphanages, hospitals, rehabilitation centres and community centres.
MPO’s commitment to furthering musical interest in the nation has been the creation of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO). The MPYO gave its inaugural concert at DFP on 25 August 2007 and followed this with a highly-successful tour of several cities in Peninsular Malaysia. In December 2008, the MPYO toured Sabah and Sarawak, and visited Singapore in 2009, and Brisbane, Australia in December 2012.
As it celebrates its 17th Anniversary this 17 August 2015, the Orchestra remains steadfast in its mission to share the depth, power and beauty of great music. The MPO’s main benefactor is PETRONAS and its patron is Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Haji Mohd Ali.