Leading up to a historic 100th year anniversary in 2026, the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) are celebrating with a series of concerts that will run from 2024 to 2025.

Dubbed “Road to 100: A Symphony for the People”, it will see the veteran ensemble tour across the Philippines beginning as early as April 2024 and continue onwards to 2025 leading up to their centennial year.

Prior to this, their “Road to 100” journey will begin with the first two concerts of their 2024-2025 season. Entitled “PUCCINI AT 100: DOUBLE BILL OPERA”, the orchestra will be performing Italian composer Giacomo Puccini’s operas “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” alongside a cast of performers at the Hyundai Hall of the Areté Ateneo in Quezon City on March 16-17. It serves as a fundraiser for the MSO Foundation, an institution created by the orchestra to further discover, hone, and showcase Filipino talent to the rest of the world. Tickets are now available via Ticketworld.

The orchestra’s nationwide tour in April succeeding these back-to-back concerts aims to reach many different parts of the Philippines before their centennial anniversary. According to a press release from the ensemble, Cebu and Iloilo are said to already be on board; inviting other cities and provinces to join on their journey towards this incredible milestone. These concerts are meant to embody the orchestra’s purpose of “uniting people through music across time and generations.”

If the lead up to their centenary already sounds ambitious, the Manila Symphony Orchestra are upping the ante even further by undertaking several more grand projects for the actual anniversary itself according to the aforementioned press release. This includes a number of culminating concerts to round off the 2024-2025 tour as well as launching their very own commemorative book; serving to recognize and document their unparalleled history over the last 100 years which has led them to international collaborations as well as worldwide recognition. More details to follow. Watch this space for updates.

“We carry the torch with joy, pride, and dedication. This isn’t just a celebration of longevity; it’s a commitment to a legacy that belongs to every Filipino—a Symphony for the People,” states MSO musical director Maestro Marlon Chen with regards to the lead up to their 100th year anniversary.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1926 by the Asociacion Musical de Filipinas (Philippine Musical Association) and Alexander Lippay, the orchestra’s founder, being their first ever conductor. Hailed as the “longest-surviving artistic institution” in the Philippines, they are one of the oldest orchestras in all of Asia and are known for having served as a symbol of resilience during World War II. They are also known for having conducted ambitious projects over the years since their inception such as their Gala Concert Series, Rush Hour Concerts, as well as a number of provincial tours. Along with this, the orchestra has also founded the MSO Foundation, the MSO Music Academy, as well as the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra as ways to cultivate new talent among the Filipino people. They are also known for having collaborated with several Filipino National Artists such as Ryan Cayabyab, Antonio Molina, and Antonino Buenaventura.

Just earlier this year, the orchestra ended their 2023-2024 MSO Concert Series and celebrated their 98th year with a sold-out anniversary concert held last January 31 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City. They performed the works of Angel Peña, Carl Nielsen, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and were joined by renowned violinist Diomedes Saraza Jr. and conducted by Maestro Olivier Ochanine.