Founded in 1926, the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is one of Asia’s first symphony orchestras. The orchestra was established by Viennese conductor Dr. Alexander Lippay who led the group until his death in 1939, after which Dr. Herbert Zipper succeeded him as conductor for the next 30 years.
In the 1970s, various conductors led the orchestra including Oscar Yatco, Helen Quach, and Regalado Jose. The MSO was reorganized in 2001 by its long-time concertmaster Prof. Basilio Manalo.
At present, the MSO is composed of around 60 musicians and has performed in all major concert venues in the Metro and throughout the country. Many of the members of the MSO are professional musicians who, in addition to their leadership roles in the orchestra, are also active participants in the cultural life of the country as soloists, music educators, music arrangers, chamber music performers, entrepreneurs, bandmasters, and choir conductors.
In 2014, to continue its legacy of musical excellence, MSO founded the MSO Music Academy and the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO). They regularly hold lessons, masterclasses, and music camps to hone the talents of promising young musicians.
MSO’s mission is to enrich the Filipino’s vibrant cultural life through fine orchestral music and to enable more people to experience the power of music. MSO aims to perform within the highest international standards and present music in a fresh, spirited, and entertaining way.