Standing Ovation For ‘Mastro Johari Salleh’
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Ikhwan Hashim
KUALA LUMPUR, 13 December 2014 – Concert ‘Maestro Johari Salleh’ jointly organised by The National University of Malaysia (UKM) and Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall received a standing ovation prompting an encore from the conductor.
The concert was in appreciation of the services of Datuk Dr Johari Salleh as a leading musical figure of the nation. Johari who is UKM’s Principal Fellow led the orchestra.
Artists, including Alyah, Nassier Wahab and Johana Johari, his daughter sang popular standards including Berdebar Rasa Hati, Papaku, Duniaku, Gadis Kota, Kau Yang Terindah dan Hati Lebur Jadi Debu.
Johari showcased his prowess as an arranger interpreting the works of other musicians like P Ramlee, Gus Steyn, Jimmy Boyle and Alfonso Soliano.
Many in the audience were made up of relatives and acquaintances of those artists who became guides or mentors to Johari when he served at RTM beginning in 1961 until 1982.
The concert was also graced by performances of Jimmy Boyle’s son, Jimmy junior and Alfonso Soliano’s daughter Isabella – who played the piano and sang.
Jimmy gave a rendition of a medley of his father’s songs, Putera Putri and Jauh jauh while Isabella Soliano gave her jazz interpretations of some local standards.
The concert received overwhelming response from local jazz, ‘standards’ and ‘pop’ fans, prompting Johari to give an ‘encore’ performance in appreciation of the audience.
The Singapore-born composer is a musical legend in Malaysia. He has vast experience in composing, arranging and conducting while also mentoring budding young musicians.
The concert – the first of its kind – was attended by Deputy Vice-Chancellors Prof Datin Noor Aziah Mohd Awal (Students and Alumni Affairs), Prof Dr Imran Ho Abdullah (Industry and Community Relations) and Broadcasting Director-General Datuk Hj Abu Bakar Abdul Rahim.