Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Last night, I had the privilege to witness a world-class musical performance at the International Convention Center. Read on to know more about the spectacular event.

The Toyota Classics is an annual and much-awaited musical extravaganza in Brunei Darussalam.

Programme and Invitation
Simply me!

This year, the show featured the Northeast German Philharmonic Orchestra. It was conducted by Thomas Dorsch, and original music and arrangement by Pamela Tan Nicholson. Vasko Vassilev, a violinist soloist, was also one of the key performers.

The event sold BND80,000. Full earnings were given to three charity institutions: Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al Hajjah Maryam, Learning Ladders Society, and Believe Youth Association.

Her Royal Highness Yang Teramat Mulia Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah Binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab Rahaman, D.K. graced the Toyota Classics 2011 and awarded the cheque to the selected institutions.

The Pillars of Toyota Classics 2011

The Northeast German Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1993 when the theatres of Greifswald and Stralsund were merged, and has now become the internationally most successful orchestra of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern through its interesting programmes and artistic quality. The orchestra has been known for its enormous programme of concerts, music theatre productions and ballets.

Thomas Dorsch, the conductor, has led performances at the Theatre in Heidelberg, Schwerin, Flensburg, Pforzheim and the Nordhazer Stadtebund Theatre.  He has also taught music theory, arranging, ear training and score reading at the Misukhochschule in Hannover and the University of Hildesheim. From the winter semester 2010, he has taken on a teaching position at the University of Oldenburg.

On one hand, Pamela Tan Nicholson's music was featured for the Gold Medallists in the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2007 World Ice Dance Championship.

Meanwhile,Violin Soloist Vasko Vassilev was already a star prodigy violinist at age 8. In his teens, he won top prizes in three major international violin competitions (Jacques Thibault, Carl Flesch and Pagnini). He was also the youngest and first ever concertmaster at the Royal Opera House.

Fusion: When West meets East

The music and arrangement of the Toyota Classics 2011 fuses the west and east. It also transcends through the traditional to the contemporary vibe.

The one and a half hour show showcased the expertise of the Northeast German Philharmonic Orchestra in portraying music of selected countries in the world. As conveyed by Musical Arranger Pamela Tan Nicholson, each music pays homage to the richness of the traditions and culture in the different countries - from New Zealand, Australia, Africa and the Orient.

They came and conquered!

While the Northeastern German Philharmonic Orchestra left the audience in awe, the interactive ambiance in the venue was even remarkable. Thomas Dorsch, the conductor, was very perky on stage in engaging the audience to clap. On one hand, Vasko, the violinist, did the same gesture.

Pamela Tan Nicholson was pleasing on stage. Apart from conveying the outline of the show in a short speech, her smile, as paired with her exquisite dress, was an eye-candy in the show. As she dramatically played with the piano,  the audience had a share of poignant and world-class performance.

The rapport of Pamela and Vasko on stage added to the beautiful repercussion of the musical ensemble.

Overall, the Toyota Classics 2011 once again captured the hearts of the spectators. From blending the artistry of the west and the authentic cultural bounty of the orient, the night was bedazzled with at par explosion of unforgettable musical exhibition.

Tickets ranged from as 30 up to 150 Brunei Dollars. The Orchestra will be performing in other countries in Asia, namely Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia.

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