Though the focus is often reduced to one person, the greatest lasting master pieces are usually the result of collaboration. The Bandung Philharmonic Orchestra is poised to become among the best professional orchestras in South East Asia in the next five years, and has made significant strides toward that goal by the end of only its second season, landing Robert Nordling as Music Director and guest soloists such as Leyla Zamora (San Diego Symphony Orchestra) and Bob Stoel (Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra) who not only contribute to their performances but more importantly to the development of their musicians.
The dream started with current Executive Director Airin Efferin, and materialized with the help of colleagues Fauzie Wiriadisastra, Ronny Gunawan, Putu Sandra Kusuma and a host of donors. This diversity and group-effort is a characteristic unique to the Bandung Philharmonic compared to other Indonesian orchestras which tend to center around one or two Patriarchal (or Matriarchal) figures and this may prove key to its perpetual progress and success.
Funding is always a challenge for orchestras which are almost by definition, non-profit. Legislating tax laws which facilitate deductions for donors to the arts can be a true legacy of the country’s current administration.
The Bandung Philharmonic are still somewhat homeless, though they have already proven that fine musicians matter more than a fine concert hall. Yet that is exactly why they deserve one. Therefore, unless the world ends in 2018 and Ridwan Kamil does not get re-elected by a landslide, there will really be no justifiable reason for the Bandung Philharmonic Orchestra not to get a permanent home during his tenure as mayor. Hopefully it will be as the Wiener Musikverein to Theophil Hansen or Teatro San Carlo to Giovanni Antonio Medrano.