Thursday, 16 June 2016

Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival Opening Night at R&F Princess Cove with Charivari Agréable JK1525


Johor Baru is hosting the five-day Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival from 15 to 19 Jun 2016. We will have the chance to enjoy world class Malaysian and international classical music artistes from England, Spain, France and Austria performing at various iconic venues in Johor Bahru.


I attended the Festival's opening night graced by DYMM Raja Zarith Sofiah Binti Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah, Permaisuri Johor.

The premiere show for Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival 2016 was an exquisite performance rarely seen in Asia by the Oxford-based Charivari Agréable led by world renowned Malaysian harpsichordist Professor Datuk Dr Ng Kah Ming.


I attended the event as a media member 😊


As I arrived early, before the show began, I even had the opportunity to watch Charivari Agréable in rehearsal as the orange sun sets 😍

That instrument which Datuk Ng is playing is an harpsichord - it looks like a piano and pre-dates it. Harpsichords are seldom seen nowadays, especially in Asia. A harpsichord is played with a keyboard (like a piano) but makes sounds by plucking strings, whereas the piano makes sounds with hammers striking wires.


The concert was held on the lawns of R&F Princess Cove 富力公主湾 mega residential-commercial development.


Looking across the Johor Straits from the lawn, R&F Princess Cove 富力公主湾 is literally a stone's throw from Singapore.


That's the Singapore-Johor Causeway with the Singapore CIQ buildings in the background. My face is a little red because I had a couple of beers already before the party started 😝


I had time to wander to the sales gallery of R&F Princess Cove 富力公主湾. That's how the mega residential-commercial development would look when it is completed in 2018.


Pre-show finger food and beverages for the Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival opening night was supported by Eight 8 at Lido Hill. Needless to say the food was delicious.


The much anticipated performance by Charivari Agréable about to begin under the stars.


MY LADYRE LOVES is a musical narrative commemorating the 400th anniversary of the death of English playwright William Shakespeare.

YBhg. Professor Datuk Dr Ng Kah Ming on harpsichord with Layil Barr (recorder and viol) and Isobel Collyer (singer/ reader/ actress) took us back in time to the Baroque era through sonnets, extracts and speeches from Shakespeare’s timeless works. It's the touching love stories of Queen Elizabeth I and her suitors - some comedic, some intriguing, often tragic but always captivating.

I love Sixteen-Seventeen Century European classical music but till now only on recordings or broadcasts. I am so happy to be able to listen to this rather esoteric music LIVE for the first time, thanks to the Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival.

It was an uplifting and thoroughly enjoyable evening. I saw many youthful faces in the audience, proving that appreciation of classical music has no age barriers. It also indicates that Johor Bahru has an emerging classical music scene with much potential.


After the concert, gold painted golf buggies were standing by to take the audience from the lawn back to the car park. But, nearly everyone opted instead to walk 5 minutes under these charming umbrellas and enjoy the Johor Straits breeze back to their cars.

👍 If you are a classical music fan in Johor Bahru, Singapore or even KL, do check out the world class acts at the Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival.

Johor Bahru Classical Music Festival 2016 Full Programme

15 Jun 2016 (Wed)

🎻 MY LADYE LOVES by Charivari Agréable with Datuk Dr Ng Kah Ming (harpsichord), Isobel Collyer (singer | reader | actress) and Layil Barr (recorder and viol).

8.30pm, R&F Princess Cove | RM188 per entry (drinks and finger food provided)

16 Jun 2016 (Thur)

🎻 CAMERA SUTERA - AN EVENING OF MUSICAL SNAPSHOTS by The Sutera Ensemble with Loo Bang Hean (piano), Angel Lee (violin), Dr. Andrew Filmer (viola) and Jonathan Oh (cello).

8.30pm, Afiniti Medini Auditorium | RM 100 (VIP), RM 50 (Adult), RM 30 (Student/ Senior Citizen)

17 Jun 2016 (Fri)

🎻 CELLO MASTERCLASSES by Florent Audibert.

2.30pm, Afiniti Medini Conference Room | RM 100/45mins

🎻 THE RAINBOW CONNECTION talk by Dr. Andrew Filmer and Angel Lee.

2.30pm, Afiniti Medini Auditorium | Free for ticket-holders, RM 10 for non-ticket holders  

🎻 SAUDADES Y DANZAS by Sara Guerrero (guitar)
🎻 NEW COLOURS OF THE PAST by Duo Aliada Michal Knot (saxophone) and Bogdan Laketic (accordion).

8.30pm, Afiniti Medini Auditorium | RM 100 (VIP), RM 50 (Adult), RM 30 (Student/ Senior Citizen)  

18 Jun 2016 (Sat)

🎻 THE EUROASIA STRINGS COMPETITION 2016 (Johor Regional Round) organised by the Euroasia Association of Performing Arts.

10am, Afiniti Medini Conference Room | RM 15 for spectators

🎻 A GARDEN OF MUSICAL DELIGHTS by The Malaysian Harp Ensemble.

2.30am, Afiniti Medini Auditorium | RM 50 (Adult), RM 10 (Student/Senior Citizen)  

🎻 VIENNA, VIENNA, VIENNA! by Arnold Schoenberg's Vienna’ Ensemble Virama with Malaysian Guest Soprano Tan Sin Sim, Soprano 女高音陈欣沁.

8.30pm, Afiniti Medini Auditorium | RM 100 (VIP), RM 50 (Adult), RM 30 (Student/ Senior Citizen)  

19 Jun 2016 (Sun)

🎻 ONE THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS WITH THE MALAYSIAN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA by The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) with Guest Soloist Florent Audibert.

8.30pm, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios, TV Studio 1 | RM 300 (VIP), RM 100 (Adult), RM 50 (Student/ Senior Citizen)  

🔖 For ticketing information and venues, call the organisers at ☎ +6019-713 9900.

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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