The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra recently announced the appointment of Jun Märkl as its new Music Director. The German conductor will take up his baton with the forthcoming Season 2021, ushering in a new era for the MPO.
A respected interpreter of Germanic symphonic and operatic repertoire, Märkl is known for his refined and idiomatic explorations of the French Impressionists. His long-standing relationships with the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera Munich and the Semperoper Dresden led to his being offered the Music Director posts of the Orchestre National de Lyon, the MDR Symphony Orchestra Leipzig and the Basque National Orchestra.
He has also recorded extensively, including the complete Schumann symphonies with the NHK Symphony; Mendelssohn and Wagner with MDR; and Ravel, Messaien and a highly acclaimed Debussy set with the Orchestre National de Lyon. He is currently working on a cycle of works by Saint-Saëns, Richard Strauss and Hosokawa.
Märkl, of course, is no stranger to the MPO, having led them in the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas a number of times – the most recent in March 2020, just before the Movement Control Order. As Music Director, Märkl will continue the MPO’s mission to present the best classical music performances for Malaysian audiences as well as enriching the lives of the community through music.
“It is with great joy and excitement that I am accepting the honour to lead the MPO through the next years to come. I am delighted to begin the journey of a closer relationship with an organisation I feel a close affinity to already – both warmly with the musicians of the orchestra and also with the management team,” he said.
“Even though these are difficult times and the shadow of a worldwide crisis can be particularly demanding for live music, I am excited that we are able to shape our future performances to be much more flexible and creative in ways that still allow us to reach the public effectively. One important effort through which we will achieve this is a much more extensive digital media presence that I am excited to be part of in the near term.”
With regards to the programme line-up for Season 2021, Märkl said: “Since very few of us can easily travel as we used to, we shall offer concert programmes that allow us all to travel musically to many countries, to explore their musical attractions and to allow us to stay connected with the world. In times of crisis, music can provide tremendous consolation and hope, and this, most importantly, is what we aim to give to our audiences and to the country and the world right now”.