As the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia marks its quarter-century milestone, its music director and conductor Datuk Mustafa Fuzer Nawi says the orchestra’s biggest challenge is a lack of funding,” writes Melanie Chalil in Tuesday’s (11/13) Malaysia Mail (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia). “The NSO Malaysia 25th Anniversary Concert … this Saturday at Istana Budaya … is a rare occasion these days, compared to its formative years, when concerts were held every month. The NSO was formed in 1993 [and] is managed by Istana Budaya, which is under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Mustafa [became] Music Director in 1999. Under his leadership, he staged Istana Budaya’s first opera, Puccini’s Tosca in July 2003 … and participated in various orchestra festivals around the world…. The NSO currently has 41 full-time members and a round of auditions have just been conducted where an additional 10 musicians will join the orchestra next year…. Mustafa [said] the NSO needs at least RM1 million a year for it to have monthly concerts and maintenance…. ‘The more in-house musicians we have, the less budget we need … as we don’t have to spend money hiring guest musicians from around the region,’ he said.”

Posted November 15, 2018