The University of Malaya Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) began as an idea of the late Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Abdullah Sanusi Ahmad, UM’s sixth Vice Chancellor (1994-2000). In 1997, the Cultural Centre of UM experienced a paradigm shift from its nature as a cultural event management and service centre to an academic entity. This shift then led to the formation of a brass and woodwinds ensemble known as the UM Symphonic Band. However, it was Professor Dato’ Dr. Anuar Zaini Md Zain (Vice Chancellor 2000-2003) who materialized the idea to build an orchestra in the University of Malaya. The UM Symphony Orchestra was finally given life under the baton of the ingenious Dr. Mohd Nasir Hashim. The Orchestra debuted during the 2001 Convocation at Putra Stadium Bukit Jalil and was launched by His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak Darul Ridzuan, the Chancellor of UM, on the 26th of March 2003. The UM Symphony Orchestra was further consolidated by Vice Chancellors Dato’ Professor Dr. Hashim Yaacob (April 2003-2006) and Datuk Rafiah Salim (now Tan Sri) (May 2006-November 2008).
Some of the performances by the UMSO since then are:
Malam Semarak DTC (16 December 2002), to commemorate the rebuilding of the Dewan Tunku Canselor after the disastrous fire in June 2001,at Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
The Launch of the UM Symphony Orchestra (26 March 2003) at Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Piano Entrée: UM Symphony Orchestra in Concert (14 January 2004) with guest musician, Professor Razif Mohd, at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
East-West in Harmony (16 September 2004), a collaboration with St. Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, UK
Children of Tsunami (26 January 2005) at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
An Evening of Poetry & Music (10 September 2005) with guest artists such as Kopratasa, Sham of Visa Group and Zubir Ali at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Classical Tones Modern Touch (10 December 2005) with guest artists such as Zainal Abidin and Professor Razif Mohd at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Celebrating Love and Life (1 June 2007) with guests artists such as Man Kidal of Lefthanded, Mus May, Professor Razif Mohd, Razak Rahman at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Big Band @ UM (11-12 July 2009) with guest artists such as Dato’ Mokhzani Ismail, Professor Hanafie Mohd Imam and Professor Razif Mohd at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Give Life a Chance Concert (Breast Cancer Charity Concert) (6 March 2010) with guest artist such as Dato Khadijah Ibrahim and Jaclyn Victor
Persatuan Alumni Universiti Malaya Fund-Raising Dinner 2011 (3 April 2011) at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Dinner for the 14th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Malaysian Association for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (18 November 2011) with guest artist such as Man Bai at the Dewan Tunku Canselor, University of Malaya
Retro Night 29-31 March 2013 at the Experimental Theatre, University of Malaya with guest artist such as Roy
Pertabalan DYMM Tuanku Duli Yang Maha Mulia Paduka Seri Sultan Perak Darul Ridzuan Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah (6 Mei 2015) at Istana Iskandariah Kuala Kangsar, Perak Darul Ridzuan
East meets West (1,2 & 3 October 2015) at Experimental Theatre, University of Malaya. This time around, the UM Symphony Orchestra will play the songs that lingers around the theme ‘East meets West’ which is defined by classics and western pop that has been easternize and vise vice versa. This emergence will oversee the two fields between the creator and editor. These findings are shaped through writing of high scale of orchestra score.
In a special segment, UM Symphony Orchestra will emphasize the well-known composer’s masterpiece P. Ramlee into a different shape. The creation made by the Director of Musics and Orchestra leaders of University Malaya, Prof. Madya Dr. Mohd Nasir Hashim by combining piano solo alternately performed with symphony orchestra. It is hoped that the western-classic masterpiece will bring all P-Ramlee songs to a new paradigm far to be shared with many international musicians.
To this very day, UMSO continues to strive to bring various types music to life, gathering members from all over the university, including the alumni with one intent: to share their passion for music.
For further details please contact Associate Professor Dr. Mohd. Nasir Hashim at 03-7967 3454.