The moment Leona extended the invitation to this grand MPO 20th Anniversary, I could hardly breathe; panting with excitement. The dress code was, suit up and dress up. This round, I brought my friend Elsa Jane Ling. Thankful for Harry for being so generous with the invitation that I can enjoy this event with my friend.
The reception began at 7pm and as we drew near to MPO’s entrance through KLCC mall, to our surprise, the main hallway was locked and only two side doors were opened, with two security guards guarding the entrance. Both me and my friend only got more excited as we walked in. We were greeted with so many welcome staff. There was a photo booth with MPO 20th anniversary monument which we all queued up to take momento photo with it. Not to be forgotten, there was also have a mini live strings performance. Everyone was all decked up! We really liked the atmosphere that day. Lastly, our tummy is so blessed with the refreshment MPO prepareted. We especially enjoyed the mini quiche tart.
I really admired the dedicated ushers that made sure all the guests were seated in the hall on time. It was definitely a Gala befitting the theme, a celebration of 20 years of hard work by the MPO. Throughout its 20-year existence, the MPO has stayed true to its commitment to provide the best in classical music in Malaysia’s first concert hall dedicated to that music genre. Nonetheless, it has also musically evolved and presented other genres such as pop, jazz, film music, traditional and contemporary that appeal to a wider audience.
The first performance is Smetana’s Bartered Bride Overture conducted by Jac Van Steen. It was only a 7 minutes performance yet I was already drawn in, looking forward to his conducting for upcoming pieces.
The next was Dvorak’s Carnival Overture conducted by Tengku Irfan.
As we know Tengku Irfan has been appointed as MPO Youth Brand Ambassador in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary and his profile is extremely impressive given that he is only 20 years old! Click here for more information about Tengku Irfan (https://www.tengkuirfan.com/)
Back to Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, this, we all know is a fast-paced, many highs and lows piece within a very short frame of time and both myself and Elsa’s emotions were greatly lifted as we moved along Tengku Irfan’s passionate conducting. I noticed he got the audience’s heads nodding, hands tapping and body moving to his lively conducting. This piece came alive with much satisfaction. Great job Tengku Irfan!
To me, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 conducted by Jac Van Steen and piano by Tengku Irfan was the highlight of the night. Elsa said Tengku Irfan’s face was fully expressive and passionate as he played the piano. I honestly held my breath when he was doing the solo because one slight mistake will be so obvious and irredeemable. Yet it was perfectly presented. It was a long breath to hold, Elsa and I alike. We would love to see more of his performance in the future. I was also very fond of Jac Van Steen’s careful interpretation of the emotions for this piece; the teamwork was remarkable.
The last performance, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade also conducted by Jac Van Steen was so captivating. The violin solo by the violin lead really drew out feelings and moods for each segment. Again, all of us swayed with Jac Van Steen’s conducting. It was one of those performances you do not want to end, before we knew, it was already 11pm!
Thanks to the MPO for 20 years of dedication! Congratulations and Happy Birthday again! Also Thank you Leona for your gracious invitation each time. A friend like you, is hard to find and I know you must have come from God’s own generous hands.
By Belle Foong