Semalam Di Malaya: The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra pays tribute to local icons

Music and culture are often intrinsically linked. A loss of the traditional sounds of our culture is a loss of the rich heritage we hold.

In conjunction with Malaysia Day, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) will pay tribute to the Malaysian icons of yesteryears with Semalam Di Malaya – a special concert which will take place for two nights at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP) on the 15th and 16th of September 2018. 

The nights will honour the works of music legacies in symphonic arrangements, offering older generations a walk down memory lane with renditions of rich evergreen sounds and younger generations a space to enjoy the country’s treasured legacies in the form of fresh symphonic orchestral arrangements.

The concert will be led by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose and features highly acclaimed musicians in the field including Aishah, Liza Hanim, Musly Ramlee and the Rachel Guerzo Trio

(Source: Malaysian Philhamonic Orchestra)
Liza Hanim, Aishah, Rachel Guerzo and Ahmad Muriz Che Rose (Source: Malaysian Philhamonic Orchestra)

Semalam Di Malaya will present songs that reflect the nation’s rich musical heritage and that encompass the unifying themes of love, sacrifice and hope, including Airmata Berderai, Gadis Idaman and Tunas Kasih (composed by Alfonso Soliano), Sayang Di Sayang and  Setangkai Kembang Melati (Zubir Said).

Also featured are the familiar patriotic tunes Tanah Pusaka (Ahmad Merican), Putera Puteri (Jimmy Boyle), Perajurit Tanah Air and Berjaya (Saiful Bahri), the classic evergreen compositions Ibu and Jelingan Manja (Ahmad Jaafar) and P Ramlee’s Hujan Di Tengahari and Joget Malaysia.

The performance of these classics are also an attempt to give a new edge to sounds of the past. All songs were rearranged in its symphonic grandeur by young arrangers Leonard Yeap, Luqman Aziz, Syed Sharir Faisal, Jenny Chin and Vivian Chua.

“When we first heard the mock arrangements of the songs, we were surprised by how different they came out.” Ahmad Muriz Che Rose said.

It is rare that MPO puts together what they call a “legacy-themed” concert, where they perform songs from yesteryears. Semalam Di Malaya  will join the series of traditional concerts presented by MPO at DFP after Irama Warisan Kita (2009), Keroncong Merdeka (2012) and Malaysia Tanah Airku (2014); all of which received an overwhelming response from its audience.


Semalam Di Malaya will be a night of rich sounds and historic rhythms. Taking place on both the eve and night of Malaysia Day, the night provides an elegant way to witness a contemporary spin on our favourite local classics.

If you’d like to attend the concerts, you can book tickets via their website.

Semalam Di Malaya will take place on the 15th and 16th of August at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS (DFP). For more information, you can visit their website and can follow them on Facebook and Instagram

Featured Image Source: Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra


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