MPO has lined up some remarkable concerts to cater to every musical palette
by AZALEA AZUAR
AND just like that, the year-end is approaching. To ensure we bid 2019 farewell on a light note and to draw the curtain on its 21st season, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) has lined up some remarkable concerts to cater to every musical palette.
Hosting a rock concert might be an eyebrow-raiser, as the MPO is known mainly for its classical symphony orchestras; however, welcoming headbangers on its plush seats, the MPO will be collaborating with local rockers for a dash of their symphonic flavours.
If before this old-school “Mat Rocks” had no reason to step into the Petronas Philharmonic Hall, now they have a very valid one, as the “Rock Tri-O” concert will feature legendary Malaysian rock star Datuk Haji Hattan, or simply known as Hattan.
He will be sharing the stage with fellow rockers Nor Azlan Rosle from the band Azlan & The Typewriter and Hazama Azmi.
Accompanied by the trio’s outstanding vocals and stage presence, the MPO could also have a first experience from this concert — the audience waving the heavy-metal fingers sign in the air.
Among some of the popular hits that will be performed are Gerhana, Biso Bonar, Tiada Lagi Kidungmu and a bonus — Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.
Hits by Singaporean rock legend group Sweet Charity and evergreen medleys will also be played.
Rock Tri-O will be making a ruckus on Nov 16 and 17, at 8.30pm.
Emily Saves the Orchestra
MPO’s “Family Fun Day” series is for both children and adults to enjoy.
A combination of orchestral symphony and interactive storytelling, the whole family is certain to enjoy “Emily Saves the Orchestra” which will be performed by the Platypus Theatre.
The show invites you to embark on an adventure with 10-year-old Emily as she asks for the audience’s help to defeat Cacopholous, an evil monster who threatens the world with noise and darkness.
The Platypus Theatre will perform masterpieces such as Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, The Nutcracker and The William Tell Overture which could be the key to fighting Cacopholous.
Emily Saves the Orchestra is Platypus Theatre’s first show and it was performed here back in 2001.
Audiences and orchestras loved this concert and it was praised for being “a visually stunning production” and “beautiful on the deepest level”.
The Platypus Theatre allows the young audience to understand music better as they collaborate with orchestras and chamber groups.
The theatre combines stunning costumes, impressive acting and storytelling while focusing on making music the main part of the story.
Join Emily in her conquest on Nov 24 at 2.30pm and 4.30pm.
Tales of Triumph
Italian composer Roberto Abbado will lead the MPO in “Tales of Triumph” which will be held on Nov 30 at 8.30pm and Dec 1 at 3pm.
Tales of Triumph is a protagonist- themed concert where works from Beethoven, Paul Hindemith and Johannes Brahms will take you into the life of the “hero”.
Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, composed in 1807, and tells the tale of a Roman leader’s resolve and humanity.
It is based on the story of Roman leader Gaius Marcius Coriolanus. Since it was long forgotten, many believed that it came from Shakespeare instead of Heinrich Joseph von Collin.
Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler (Matthias the Painter) tells the story of an actual historical figure, who struggled for artistic freedom of expression in the face of political injustice.
Hindemith wrote this piece in 1934 to show his dissatisfaction with the German National Socialist Party, most commonly known as the Nazi Party.
Also in Tales of Triumph is Brahms’ 1st Symphony which is a triumph of the composer’s own distinctive symphonic language.
The symphony is a combination of styles between Romantic-era music and Classical-era music. It was inspired by Beethoven’s works, the composer whom Brahm considered to be a hero.
Belgian clarinettist Annelien van Wauwe, who is known for her expressive, intensive, lyrical and honest performances, will make her MPO debut with “Modern Reflections”.
Another Belgian Dirk Brossé will be conducting the MPO in this concert, where significant world events and pop culture are given life through music.
Among the works which will be per formed is Philip Glass’ Low Symphony, a 1992 composition based on David Bowie’s album “Low”.
And then there is John Adam’s Chairman Dances which he composed in 1985. It is about Chairman Mao Zedong’s fourth wife Jiang Qing, also known as Madame Mao, who gatecrashed a presidential banquet and performed a seductive dance. Chairman Mao descended from his portrait and the two danced a foxtrot together.
Brossé will also lead a performance of his composition called “War Concerto,” a piece to condemn war using the clarinet’s voice of hope.
Modern Reflections will be performed on Dec 7 at 8.30pm and Dec 8 at 3pm.
The Music of Star Wars
The Force is strong in December as the final instalment of the Skywalker Saga concludes with Star Wars Episode XI: The Rise of Skywalker, which is set to be released in cinemas by the end of the month.
A week before the release, the MPO will take fans into a galaxy far, far away with Brossé returning to conduct John William’s iconic scores.
William’s iconic scores include Star Wars: Main Title which is played during the film’s famous opening crawl; Darth Vader’s theme The Imperial March and Princess Leia’s theme.
These scores have become the backbone of the films without which, watching Star Wars would be a completely different experience.
Unfortunately, Star Wars Episode XI: The Rise of Skywalker will be William’s last score before his retirement. “The Music of Star Wars” concert will be held on Dec 13 and 14 at 8.30pm.
On Dec 15 at 3pm, conductor Gerard Salonga from the Philippines will bring onstage the “Visionary Masterworks” concert, in which he serves the audience with some delightful classics.
Here, MPO’s resident conductor will be leading young musicians of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO).
The idea of forming the MPYO came from the late Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) chairman Tun Azizan Zainul Abidin, who wanted to provide a “stage for young artists”.
In 2007, the MPYO performed its first concert under the leadership of New Zealand conductor Kevin Field.
As many as 500 young musicians from all over the country auditioned but only 110 were selected to become the pioneers of the MPYO.
To ensure its longevity and those young talents will always have a spot to shine, the MPYO is always expanding their talent base where auditions are held every year.
the Looking Glass The MPO will take audiences into a journey through Wonderland with “Alice Through the Looking Glass”.
The popular children’s classic (which is also loved by adults) written by Lewis Caroll will be performed through a mix of music genres from jazz to contemporary, Latin and classic.
The musicians who will be performing in this lively concert include violinist Ming Goh, cellist Ivan Torrest, clarinet t ist David Dias da Si lva, percussionists Tan Su Yin and Joshua Vonderheide while Alysza Lim will be dancing to the tunes.
Alice Through the Looking Glass will be performed on Dec 21 at 6.30pm.