Emphasis on arts vital for Malaysia to become a developed nation, says Reimagine Music Festival organiser

Cellist Trey Lee performs with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas during the Reimagine Music Festival on Wednesday. — Picture courtesy of Reiner Pfisterer
Cellist Trey Lee performs with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas during the Reimagine Music Festival on Wednesday. — Picture courtesy of Reiner Pfisterer

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — Malaysia must place more emphasis on arts and culture if it wants to be a developed nation, says Reimagine Music Festival co-founder Dr Kris See.

“To head towards becoming a truly developed nation, we must put more emphasis on arts and culture.

“Music is definitely a good means,” Dr See said.

The Reimagine Music Festival made its debut on Wednesday evening at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas featuring a line-up of renowned classical music acts.

They included sought-after soloists like the Berlin-based and Hong Kong-born cellist Trey Lee (also the festival’s co-founder and artistic director), US violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley and the world’s oldest chamber orchestra, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra.

The festival’s objective is to help make Malaysia a cultural hub in the Asean region.

“Southeast Asia is an interesting and upcoming space for the international cultural scene. 

“Malaysia has all the resources and expertise to put on a world-class act,” Dr See said, urging for promotion of more arts-related directives and engagements.

During the festival’s debut, audiences were serenaded by easy listening chamber music that ranged from the works of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg to Mendelssohn’s delightful Concerto for Violin and Strings in D minor which the German composer wrote when he was 13.

Musicians from the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra take their bow after delighting audiences in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture courtesy of Reiner Pfisterer
Musicians from the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra take their bow after delighting audiences in Kuala Lumpur. — Picture courtesy of Reiner Pfisterer

Dr See said some festivalgoers flew in for the performance but what touched him most was seeing Malaysians from all walks of life in the audience.

“I saw representatives from different Malaysian music societies, young aspiring musicians as young as seven years old as well as physically challenged individuals. 

“All these truly demonstrate that music transcends barriers,” he said.

Reimagine Music Festival co-organiser Ng Yeen Seen spoke of the role of music in facilitating learning and improving mental well-being.

Music, she said, can lead to better brain development, increases human connection and does wonders for stress relief.

“It is my hope that while we are busy chasing our dreams and busy with our daily commitments, we will make time to listen to music.

“Music is not only entertaining but can also make us healthier in the form of psychological benefits,” said Ng, who is the founder and chief executive officer of the Centre for Research, Advisory and Technology (CREATE).

The classical music festival continues tonight in Penang at the Majestic Theatre in Georgetown where Lee, Bendix-Balgley and Malaysian pianist Foo Mei Yi will present An Evening of Piano Trios to music lovers.

“It would be very interesting to see what kind of chemistry will transpire when these three world-class musicians perform together for the first time,” Dr See added, and voiced his hope that the festival will be able to return next year.

Reimagine Music Festival is presented by OSEL Group and The Asquire, co-organised by DFP and the Centre for Research, Advisory and Technology (CREATE) and supported by Malaysia Airlines, GMBB and the National Building Institute (NBI).

Malay Mail is the official media partner for the festival.

Catch An Evening of Piano Trios tonight, 8.30pm at Majestic Theatre, Georgetown, Penang.

Tickets are priced at RM50, RM120 and RM150, click here to purchase.

For full details, visit reimaginemusicfestival.com.

Related Articles