Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

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The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO; Malay: Orkestra Filharmonik Malaysia) is a Malaysian orchestra, resident at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (Petronas Philharmonic Hall) in Kuala Lumpur. The orchestra gives concerts throughout Malaysia and also in Singapore.

Founded in 1997 under the direction of its first music director, Kees Bakels, the MPO gave its first concert on 17 August 1998 under the direction of Bakels. Bakels served as the MPO's music director until 2005, and currently holds the title of conductor laureate. Bakels initially had intended to step down from the post earlier, after James Judd had been named the MPO's next music director in September 2003.[1] However, in April 2004, the MPO terminated the agreement with Judd without public explanation, and Judd never took up the post of the MPO's music director.[2] Subsequently, Matthias Bamert was named the MPO's music director in November 2004,[3] and served in the post from 2005 to 2008.

Claus Peter Flor became the MPO's music director with the 2008-2009 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.[4] During his tenure, in February 2012, nine musicians were served with notice of dismissal, without apparent cause,[5] which led to a call from the International Federation of Musicians to boycott auditions for the orchestra.[6] Flor served in the post until the end of the 2013-2014 season. In May 2014, the orchestra was fined US$147,000 for the dismissal in 2006 of its former General Manager, Kim Sargeant.[7] In August 2014, Fabio Mechetti became the new principal conductor of the orchestra.

The MPO has recorded for the BIS label, including music of Édouard Lalo.[8]

Music Directors/Principal Conductors[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Markowitz (25 September 2003). "James Judd Named Malaysian Philharmonic's Music Director". (overall site now defunct). Archived from the original on 17 May 2004. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  2. ^ Matthew Westphal (2 August 2004). "James Judd's Contract with Malaysian Philharmonic Terminated". (overall site now defunct). Archived from the original on 20 October 2006. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Ben Mattison (29 November 2004). "Malaysian Philharmonic Names Matthias Bamert as Principal Conductor". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Announces the Appointment of Claus Peter Flor as its New Music Director" (PDF) (Press release). Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2009. 
  5. ^ Hamzah Naziri (21 January 2014). "Philharmonic Orchestra to enter defence on dismissal of musicians". The Rakyat Post. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Melinda Johnson (10 April 2014). "Former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Andrew Zaplatynsky defends one-time boss". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "147 000$ d’amende pour le Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra". ResMusica (in French). 11 May 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  8. ^ Tim Ashley (14 April 2006). "Lalo, Cello Concerto; Symphony in G Minor; Namouna (excerpts)". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 February 2009. 

External links[edit]