Penang Philharmonic was established in 2008 where dedicated music students combine to perform challenging repertoire. The orchestra strives to build a community that enhances the standard of classical music in Penang. Supported by the State Government, the orchestra today is 80 strong, while the choruses are 100 strong. The orchestra rehearses weekly and performs a diverse selection of repertoire drawn from over 350 years of symphonic literature. Each year PPO performs about three to four main concerts that feature visiting conductors of high caliber. As well as many smaller chamber performances. PPO is an outlet for Penang’s musically gifted to continue to cultivate their devotion to their art. In addition to ticket sales, PPO rely on the support and generosity of our audience, volunteers, and community partners to ensure that we have the financial resources to present artistically excellent concerts.
chairperson's 2024 message
Datin Seri Irene Yeap
As we stand at the threshold of a new year, I am thrilled to share the wonderful highlights of our musical journey thus far. The mission of the Penang State’s orchestra remains steadfast, aiming to shape the cultural life of our region by delivering exceptional, inclusive musical experiences that enrich, entertain, and educate.
I want to take a moment to express gratitude to our sponsors, donors, and patrons who continue to support PPO's pursuit of upholding musical excellence. In the symphony of challenges, your unwavering support has been the melody that carried us through. Your generosity during our testing times has not only sustained us but has also allowed our music to resonate even more profoundly.
PPO extends sincere thanks to our dedicated volunteer musicians and singers. Your passion and commitment to our musical cause have woven a tapestry of harmony that uplifts not only our performances but the spirit of our entire orchestra. Your selfless contribution of time and talent breathes life into our melodies, making each note a testament to your extraordinary dedication. Thank you for sharing your gifts and enriching the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra with your artistry.
Our challenges and achievements over the past few years have been many, but with the unwavering support from the State, donors, and musicians, the PPO has managed to fulfil several lofty goals.
The following is a summary sampling of our journey thus far.
Our Choir's Triumph: The Penang Philharmonic Chamber Choir (PPCC) and the “senior” Penang Philharmonic Choir (PPC) recently achieved remarkable success, securing gold and two silvers at the International Choir Festival in Kuala Lumpur. Their outstanding performance surpassed over 100 teams from around the world.
Expanding Musical Horizons: In response to the growing demand, the PPO has introduced the Wind Band/Orchestra, attracting not only school leavers but also working adults eager to showcase their musical talents.
Farewell to Star Building: We recently bid farewell to The Star building, marking a significant chapter in PPO's history. We express our deep gratitude to the Star management for their unwavering support over the past decade.
A New Home at WOU: Our relocation to Wawasan Open University (WOU) in 2022 has brought a unique ambiance to our music. Thanks to the generosity of WOU's Board, we look forward to strengthening our ties with higher learning institutions and enhancing our musical standing. WOU has also played host to international chamber concerts, promising more thrilling performances in the future.
Conductor's Success: Our resident conductor, Choong Yen, has seamlessly taken on a pivotal role, nurturing local talent and fulfilling the dream of having a local conductor for our orchestra.
Farewell to Ramesh Kumar: A heartfelt goodbye to our long-time administration officer, Ramesh Kumar, who has been the familiar face of PPO for over a decade. We extend our sincere appreciation for his unwavering commitment.
Future Vision: The Board's vision includes the establishment of a medium-sized concert hall in Penang, a top priority as we continue to harmonize our software and hardware for an elevated musical experience.
As we move forward, the Board and I are committed to stewarding this community treasure in the best way possible.
Before I conclude, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Penang State Government for being the PPO’s pillar of strength and fortifying the orchestra with your generosity. Your commitment to the arts is a testament to the enduring power of community and culture. We look forward to continuing this harmonious journey together, with each note a reflection of your invaluable contribution.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Datin Seri Irene Yeap
Ms. Agnes James
Mr. Chia Loong Thye
Dato' Danny Goon
Dr. Francis Tan Seow Kee
Ms. Audrey Ho
Orchestra and Choruses
With Guest Orchestra
*An event is confirmed when the ticket link is available here. More details will be provided once they are available. Events are subject to changes.
Check out some of our published media
We had Stephen Mak performed with us in the Mozart's Bassoon Concerto. Stephen Mak is a Malaysian bassoonist who began his journey at the age of 11. Since then, he has performed with numerous ensembles around South East Asia, namely the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, the High Winds Ensemble, the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jakarta Simfornia Orchestra, as well as the Orchestra of the Music Makers.
The Power Trio from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music played a Chamber Concert for the Penang Philharmonic. The Trio comprises three of the University's Professors, namely, Qian Zhou, Head of Strings, Qin Li-Wei, Head of Cello and Albert Tiu, Head of Piano. Together, they bring diverse global perspectives and synergize to create a unique identity of instrumental excellence coupled with a deep understanding of music.
Malaysian prodigy pianist, Sean Gan, performed a Chamber Concert for the Penang Philharmonic as part of fund raising for his study in the Julliard School in the United States. This prestigious opportunity will allow him to further refine his skills and nurture his artistic expression to new heights. Penang Philharmonic always believed in nurturing young talent in music to cultivate the love on classical music in the general public.
Fauré's Requiem is the first masterpiece performed by all the musicians in-house after more than a decade. The concert features the Orchestra, Choruses, Soprano Soloist, and Bass Soloist. With 130 musicians from the Penang Philharmonic, this piece of music is performed in-memory of our beloved Madam Lee Fee Khoon who passed away in 2022.