133 concerts in DFP’s new season


By GOH EE KOON

With 133 concerts lined up and a new principal conductor and artistic adviser, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) is all set to embark on its 05/06 season. This is the seventh year for the concert hall, and familiar names and new faces promise to share the spotlight for many performances. 

Launched on June 27 by CEO Abdul Hamid Abu Bakar and principal conductor and artistic adviser Matthias Bamert, the DFP season also coincided with the launch of the Encounter (the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra’s education and outreach programme) season. 

This new season kicks off with a gala concert on Aug 27. The MPO will be led by Bamert, and will present Rossini’s Overture to Semiramide, followed by Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G. Soprano Yvonne Kenny guests on that night. 

Abdul Hamid (left) sharing an anecdote with Bamert at the launch of DFP and Encounter's 05/06 season.

In the MPO series, a number of artistes will be returning to play in Kuala Lumpur. Back by popular demand, these include conductors Eiji Oue, Justin Brown, Claus Peter Flor and Carl Davis, as well as violinists Cho-Liang Lin and Marie-Elisabeth Lott, soprano Susan Platts, cellist Jian Wang and pianists Barry Douglas and Malaysian-born Bobby Chen. . 

There will be new faces, too. Violinist Akikop Suwanai, pianists Pekinel Duo, cellist Robert Cohen and tenor Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts make their DFP debut this coming season, as do conductors Hannu Lintu and Bundit Ungrangsee. 

For audiences of all ages, the popular Family Fun Day concerts continue to be as varied as they are exciting. The younger music lover will be enjoying musical themes like “Animal Music”, “The Fireman and Other Fiery Tales” and “Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage”, to name a few. 

As for visiting ensembles, four orchestras and a quintet are set to play. Conductor Vassily Sinaisky with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra (with director Richard Tognetti), the Moscow Soloists with violist Yuri Bashmet and The English Concert with director Andrew Manze are set to perform. The Empire Brass Quintet will also return. 

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment comes to Malaysian shores, as well, together with conductor Ivan Fischer (who conducted the Budapest Festival Orchestra in a previous season). Meanwhile, ever-popular soloist Sarah Chang will be performing with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Under the International Series of concerts, pianist Ivo Pogorelich and Grammy-winning saxophonist Bran-ford Marsalis will perform. The Jazz and World Music series will feature flamenco guitarist Paco Pena, the jazz duo of Jeremy Monteiro and Michael Veerapen and sarod musician Amjad Ali Khan. 

For those with traditional Malaysian tastes, the Petronas Performing Arts Group (PPAG) will present Simfoni Tradisional. 

The frequent contemporary chamber concerts, organ concerts, lunchtime recitals and pre-concert events will continue. 

For the musical content this season, expect a continuous exploration of musical styles and repertoire, as well as genres. Focal points in the season include major symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler and Bruckner. In addition to these, the MPO will play 20th century works, contemporary music, light classics (like film music) and music from the Age of Elegance. 

Workshops and masterclasses conducted by Bashmet, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the Empire Brass Quintet and Marsalis are scheduled. 

The Encounter programme for 05/06 continues in its previous vein, offering activities to people from all walks of life, regardless of age and musical background.  

Activities planned include three Illustrated Chamber Performances, The Great Composers I and II and a session on The Healing Harp.  

The MPO Forum for Malaysian Composers 2 is another feature. This provides emerging and established local composers an opportunity to work with the MPO and a panel of international composers in producing new works. Selected works will be performed by the MPO in a special concert on March 4. 

On June 18, Season Packages were released for sale to current subscribers. Altogether, there are 24 packages offered in the new season.  

Upcoming on-sale dates are from July 11 onwards (for Fixed Packages), July 26 (For “Compose Your Own” Packages) and Aug 1 for single tickets.

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