When in Manila took a cultural turn in Kuala Lumpur recently when it attended a performance of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.
Concerts are held in the modest but beautiful Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, situated between the two towers of the Petronas building. Since the Petronas towers are adjacent to the Suria KLCC shopping mall, one has many eating choices prior to short walk to the concert hall.
Upon arriving at the Concert Hall, one can enjoy basic snacks or drinks from the bar, before proceeding to your seat. However, when I attempted to capture a picture of the Concert Hall’s interior for When in Manila prior to the performance, some killjoy from the sound booth shone a green laser light in my eyes, which I ignored in order to capture the photo. Not long afterwards, a staff member requested that I deposit my camera in a locker, but no matter, as the photo was already mine.
This venue has a dress code which it does enforce. Be aware that jeans, denim, shorts, collarless T-shirts or singlets, sneakers and slippers are not permitted. However, a number of concert goers did wear evening dresses or suits, so the choice is yours. Children under the age of eight are not allowed admission to the concerts unless indicated otherwise.
When in Manila’s chosen program was 18th Century Evocations conducted by vigorous Paul Goodwin. This included pieces by Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor and two compositions from Mozart – his Oboe Concerto in C Major and Symphony No. 35 in D Major (the Haffner). However, the highlight was the sublime second movement (Andantino) of Rossini’s String Sonata No. 1 in G. Major. The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra played each piece beautifully.
The acoustics within the concert hall are superb, with a clear direct sound where one could hear every instrument, every note and with the absence of even the slightest echo. Just as pleasing was the educated audience who knew not to applaud in-between movements. They rightfully saved their appreciative applause for the end of each piece.
Concerts are regularly held most weekends. Ticket categories are reasonably priced and range from 50 Malaysian Ringgits for the cheapest seats through to 130 Ringgits for the most expensive. If you are a lover of classical music, then follow When in Manila’s example and attend a performance of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra when visiting Kuala Lumpur.