Istana BudayaShowcasing many works of performance arts, cultural dances and even great local performances by artists, the Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur has never failed to mesmerize the audience with a great show! Construction started in 1995 and three years later, when the Istana Budaya was opened to the general public, there was no looking back.

The Istana Budaya is a great cultural and arts heritage that was opened by the fourth prime minister of Malaysia; Tun Dr. Mahathir. It was built to increase the excellence in standards of performing arts and to develop greater sense of theater. The outside of the Istana Budaya offers a spectacular architectural design and its inside is even more spectacular. The green or more accurately; the turquoise has folds on them with very detailed designs. The beautiful architecture and prestigious of the venue makes the Istana Budaya one of the landmarks that has been highly celebrated in the heart of the city. Local material was used in the construction of the interior. The royal boxes or better known as Tingkap on either side of the halls are replicated from the traditional Malay houses.

Besides local productions, some other international productions like operas and works from international artist were performed here. One popular performance that was staged here is that of Dato Siti Nurhaliza, Malaysia’s pride and joy who also performed in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

When you enter, you will notice that most doors have intricate designs on them. You will also be able to see the Banyan Leaf showcasing the Wayang Kulit as the decorative pieces along the walls of the lobbies in the building. The work of a Malaysian renowned artist is also along the walls. In short, the ambiance and beauty of the place make the Istana Budaya a prestigious place to be in to watch a theater production in the evenings. The spaces in the Istana Budaya can be rented. The price of rental is quite steep but they certainly are worthwhile for an enchanting experience at the theaters.

The main hall accommodates up to 1413 people at one time. This is including those on the stage, the stalls, grand circle and even the upper circle located on the third floor. Resident performers who make the music at the Istana Budaya is the National Symphony Orchestra who established themselves in the year 1989 when the ministry of culture, arts and tourism of Malaysia elected about 17 musicians to serve in the Istana Budaya full time. Ever since its establishment, the orchestra has had soaring success and has managed to keep itself up to date and even performed in Singapore’s Esplanade and in Japan during the renowned Asia Orchestra week in 2004. Up to today, the orchestra has grown to 34 music making members who perform under the baton of Mustafa Fuzer Nawi. Also, the Istana Budaya has its very own traditional music orchestra that features more traditional musical instruments that are unique to the culture of our nation. If you wish to explore the culture and music of the country, the best orchestra to hear performing would be the traditional one.

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