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The Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) is celebrating a decade of great music-making this year with a host of dazzling concerts, set to affirm its status as an orchestra to be reckoned with.

The initial steps towards realising the dream of the late PETRONAS Chairman, Tun Azizan Zainul Abidin, to create a youth orchestra as a ‘stage for young talent’, alongside the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), were taken on 13 January 2006; on this date, it was launched by the then Chief Executive Officer of DFP/MPO, Puan Juniwati Rahmat Hussin. Some 500 aspiring instrumentalists from across Malaysia auditioned and 110, with an average age of 18, were selected to form the new MPYO. Today, it currently has 98 active members.

The establishment of the MPYO has its primary aims to nurture and encourage young musicians in their passion, integrate them into a highly skilled ensemble, support Malaysia in the provision of well-trained professional and amateur musicians through knowledge and skills transfer, and provide valuable work experience in all aspects of arts and event management.

After a period of intensive training under its then Principal Conductor, Kevin Field, and mentors drawn from the ranks of the MPO, the young MPYO gave its debut public concert at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP) on 25 August 2007. It has since established a pattern of music camps held four times a year and culminating in performances in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.

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With repertoire that ranges from the core symphonic repertoire to specially commissioned works by Malaysian composers, Broadway to film music, jazz and traditional music, the MPYO has grown from leaps and bounds and stood tall as an orchestra full of vibrant enthusiasm and energy.

Besides its regular slots in the MPO concert season at DFP, the MPYO has performed in prestigious concerts such as the PETRONAS’ Merdeka Award, Khazanah’s Malam Terang Bulan, Symphony Lake KLCC, and the opening ceremony of the 128th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session, the latter was broadcast ‘live’ around the world.

Over the years, the members of the MPYO has gained scholarship to further their studies to international music schools in Singapore, the USA and the UK, while many has gone on to become full-fledged professional musicians with local orchestras such as Orkestra Radio Televisyen Malaysia, Orkestra Kuala Lumpur, Orkestra Simfoni Kebangsaan, and also Asian Youth Orchestra. 

To celebrate these one-decade of glorious achievements, the MPYO will present exciting concerts throughout the half-year of 2017 and first half of 2018. This include collaborations with the Trinity Youth Symphony Orchestra from Indonesia, Hong Kong Children Symphony Orchestra and Orkestra Tradisional Malaysia.

Kevin Field will return to conduct this ensemble in a special reunion concert too.  The celebration will kick-off with its participation at the Miyakojima Youth International Music Festival, Japan, in June. The MPYO will also perform in a special concert at Singapore’s The Esplanade this December.

For a complete list of concerts, log on to MPO.com.my