Manila Symphony Orchestra
The Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is Asia’s oldest symphony orchestra. It was founded by Dr. Alexander Lippay in 1926 and, upon his death in 1939, was carried forward by Dr. Herbert Zipper until the latter emigrated to the USA in 1946. From 1951 to 1969 Dr. Zipper returned annually to lead concert seasons. In 2001, 75 years after its founding, it was reorganized by its longtime concertmaster Prof. Basilio Manalo to what it is today.
At present, the MSO is composed of around 60 musicians under the music direction of Prof. Arturo Molina. Many of the members of the MSO are professional musicians who, in addition to their leadership roles in the orchestra, are also participants in the cultural life of the country as soloists, music educators, music arrangers, chamber music performers, entrepreneurs, bandmasters, and choir conductors. A significant part of the orchestra is also composed of young music students who represent the best crop of young musicians enrolled in the different colleges and conservatories of music in Metro Manila.
Many of these have been winners in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NMCYA) and have represented the country in various international music festivals and workshops. MSO’s mission is to enrich the Filipino’s vibrant cultural life through fine orchestral music and to enable more people to experience the power of music. MSO aims to perform within the highest international standards and to present symphonic orchestral music in a fresh, spirited, and entertaining way. Being part of the MSO gives the Filipino musician the chance to participate in the performance of the major symphonies, concertos, overtures, and other masterpieces that generations of composers all over the world have written for the orchestral genre.