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Matthias Bamert, Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor
Markus Gundermann, Concert Master

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra gave its inaugural performance under founding Music Director Kees Bakels in Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur, on 17th August 1998. The initial search in 1997 for outstanding musicians involved a worldwide audition tour. The result is a 105-member symphony orchestra made up of musicians from 25 nations and is a remarkable example of harmony among different cultures and nationalities. Over the past eight seasons it has consistently impressed and inspired audiences with its excellent performances. A host of internationally-acclaimed musicians have worked with the orchestra, including Lorin Maazel, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jiří Belohávek, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Neville Marriner, Yehudi Menuhin, Vadim Repin, Joshua Bell, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Vladimir Ashkenazy and José Carreras. 2005/06 marked Matthias Bamert’s first season as Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the MPO. He has continued the work of attracting a loyal and appreciative following in Malaysia, while building on the orchestra’s enviable reputation for musical excellence. Its annual schedule of more than a hundred concerts draws from over three centuries of orchestral repertoire as well as chamber, contemporary and specially-commissioned new music. The MPO is proudly sponsored by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia’s National Oil Company. The orchestra’s mission is to nurture an interest in classical music in Malaysia, a key component of this being the encouragement of home-grown talent, with an active education and outreach programme that reaches beyond the concert platform to develop musical awareness, appreciation and skills through dedicated activities which include instrumental lessons, workshops and school concerts. Touring has brought visits to the major cities of Malaysia, as well as Singapore, and international tours have included Japan and Korea in 2001 and five cities in Australia in 2004. In its relatively brief existence the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra has established itself as a respected recording ensemble. Eleven CDs have so far been released, including nine internationally for the Vox and BIS labels.

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Role: Orchestra 
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