In upholding its long tradition of bringing world-class musicians to Malaysia, UMW Toyota Motor conducted the 20th Toyota Classics performance on 10 November 2011, at the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS, Kuala Lumpur. Initiated as a unique yet sophisticated way to raise funds for the underprivileged, the Toyota Classics has evolved into a much-awaited annual event for the musically discerning, who are delighted to know that their contribution will make a difference to society.
“Since the inception, we have supported 47 charitable and non-governmental organizations nationwide amounting to over RM6 million until 2010. We are glad to see how our contributions have made a difference to the lives of the people in the organizations we have supported,” says En. Ismet Suki, President of UMW Toyota Motor.
Toyota Classics is one of UMW Toyota Motor’s main pillars of Corporate Social Responsibility. Every year, the concert brings internationally renowned orchestras to Malaysian shores, providing Malaysians the invaluable opportunity to enjoy world-class classical music without having to travel thousands of miles around the world.
Over the last two decades, Toyota Classics has developed a life of its own, with performances by different orchestras and beneficiaries. Yet the philosophy behind the Toyota Classics programme remains, which is to allow Malaysians to enjoy an enchanting night of music, at the same time donate to charity.
This year’s Classics featured the Northeast German Philharmonic Orchestra, whose performance in Kuala Lumpur marked the last leg of their Asian traveling tour covering Brunei, Vietnam, Korea and Taiwan. Under the masterful baton Thomas Dorsch, the German-based orchestra showcased two soloists, Vasko Vassilev on the violin and Pamela Nicholson the pianist. This is the second time the Northeast German Philharmonic has performed here, having performed at the Toyota Classics in 2003.
The orchestra performed twelve songs to a rapt audience, which included Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, the Sultan of Selangor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Kuala Lumpur mayor Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail and foreign dignitaries such as the Japanese and German ambassadors. Top personnel from Toyota Mr. Katsuaki Watanabe, Senior Advisor to the Board, Toyota Motor Corporation was also present at this year’s Classics as a show of support.
Proceeds from this year’s ticket sales and corporate donations amounted to RM318,500 were channeled to three charitable and non-governmental organizations for specific purposes. MAA-Medicare Kidney Charity Fund will utilise the funds donated for the purchase of 3 dialysis machines, while Persatuan Orang-orang Cacat Anggota Malaysia will be purchasing a new van to replace their existing one which is already into its 15th year on the road. The remaining goes to Persatuan Daybreak, a vocational training and employment centre for people with disabilities, to improve their safety and working environment at their centre.
En. Ismet also commented, “We are touched to see how these organizations are not only looking into the physical needs of the disabled community but are also empowering them to look after themselves with vocational training and job opportunities.”
The Toyota Classics continues to be a gratifying event for UMW Toyota Motor as they are able to share the proceeds of the ticket sales and corporate donations as well as expose the Malaysian public to world class musicals.
The Toyota Classics is part of the three social pillars of UMW Toyota’s CSR initiatives. The other two pillars are the Environment programmes for secondary school students and the road safety campaign, which is focusing on preschool children.
words & pix: UMW Toyota Motor