Next music director of the boycotted Malaysian Philharmonic

Next music director of the boycotted Malaysian Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2014

After months of barrel-scraping, it looks like the hapless oil-funded orchestra is nearing a decision on a new chief.

fabio mechetti


  • Malcolm James says:

    Fabio Mechetti – who he?

  • Peter says:

    You can’t fault their sense of their own direction. Downwards. Although the speed is picking up…

  • Doug says:

    Those who remember Spokane Symphony can only think: “but of course!”

  • MPOveteran says:

    No surprise… things are going south for already quite a while between the twin towers.

    Unqualified but high handed management, corruption, scandals, fired musicians, plenty of vacancies, international boycott for auditions, recently even more restrictive contracts…

    It surely looks like they are quite desperately looking to find a new MD on short notice.

    But every half-decent conductor is probably fully booked for the next few years and would think twice about his reputation before signing up. It’s a messy situation after all.

    With only a few months left to find a replacement for C.P. Flor (good riddance!) it won’t be easy.

    So most likely it will be a non-expensive nobody who just has to fit into the hierarchic system.

    No quality-related decision has been made there for years now anyway.

    What a shame.

  • Warren Cohen says:

    None of this is fair to Mechetti. I know some people who worked with him in Spokane and I have seen him conduct elsewhere. He knows what he is doing. He seems to me to be about the level of the last two Music Directors in KL. You should not assume that because you do not know who he is that he is no good.

    • MPOveteran says:

      I don’t know maestro Mechetti and so I would not dare to judge his conducting skills or personality.

      Apologies if my comments above implied this.

      No question: there are many excellent but fairly unknown conductors around.

      Beside this there are other candidates as well, a short list. So it’s really not specifically about maestro Mechetti.

      The focus should be the rather hopeless situation in Kuala Lumpur, with an uneducated, unqualified and musician hostile management. The way they acted during the last few years looked like their mission is to destroy the orchestra.

      Many good musicians left already, others are planning to leave. Some musicians close to outgoing MD Flor got fired recently; others are leaving voluntary like the concertmistress.

      Inevitably the bad reputation and all problems will be linked to any conductor signing up as new MD.

      Alone filling all the vacancies (about 30-40?) with qualified musicians despite the ongoing boycott will be an almost impossible task. Perhaps a shiny well-known name would be helpful there.

      Fixing things will certainly be hard and it is very unclear if the management is interested to do so.

    • sdReader says:


      Incidentally, I believe he has been an advertiser on the Opera Chic website.

  • L says:

    ” the level,of the last two music directors”

    With all respect to Mr. Mechetti, you cannot possibly be serious.

    This discussion follows the same trajectory as the MPO, it seems.

    • Warren Cohen says:

      I am serious, and I stand by the assertion. Of course the situation in KL is awful and what has happened to the orchestra is horrific and I agree with MPOveteran that that is a much more important issue. But it really bothers me to hear uninformed attacks simply because the person in question is unknown to the person posting, and I think such assertions need to be called out.

  • I served as Fabio Mechetti’s concertmaster for a number of years. While it was not all “sweetness and light”, I have to take exception to the mocking tones in some of the comments. Mechetti is a very talented conductor and his orchestras would rank very high even by the strictest standards. The truth is that the top conservatories are producing first class artists at a faster rate that the market can absort them and some relatively small orchestras have musicians worthy of Cleveland or Philadelphia. For all the problems that Malaysia might be facing, Fabio Mechett is not one of them. Good luck, Fabio.

  • MPOinfo says:

    Just found this older post via a google search.
    Maybe worth to add that Maestro Mechetti resigned already about a couple of months ago after not even one year holding the position, stating unprofessional and unethical treatment from the MPO management as reasons.
    more to read here: