The Passion within Dedi Sjahrir Panigoro

Source: Aero Life, The Magazine From Aerowisata Hotels & Resort, 20th Edition, May-June 2011

When someone is passionate about something, age doesn’t become a limit. At the age of 64, The Chairman of Medco Holdings is still highly active in various business companies, social and cultural organizations and still spares some time to write in his online blog which provides an insight to the things he deems most important: music, architecture and family.

For Dedi, there are a lot of ways to express his passion in music. In his 60th birthday, he produced a compilation CD filled with his favorite songs including “Smile” by Tony Benett and “Fly Me to the Moon” by Nat King Cole and George Shearing. Apart from enjoying classic-jazz and a little bit of keroncong in his free time, the casual piano player helped raising Ruth Sahanaya and Andien to their current popularity. His “Orkes Symphony Nusantara” specializes in classical music and performs six times a year in Jakarta.

This music enthusiast cares a lot about aspiring musicians who are often unable to explore their talents to the fullest. As the Chairperson of “Yayasan Musik Sastra Indonesia”, he had gathered donations from various companies and individuals for the cause. The organization had taken a hawker who loved to play melodica onto receive a scholarship in France. As a form of support to traditional music, the organization also enrolled Jithron Pha, a sasando player from East Nusa Tenggara who entered the “Indonesia Mencari Bakat” competition in national television, into a bachelor degree program.

As a man who loves travelling, Dedi had seen a lot of architectural grandeurs and found himself attracted to them. “I love classic-modern style which is not too minimalist and also not too intricate,” Dedi answered when asked about his favorite style. He once invited a Thailand architect, Lek Bunnag to design his establishment in Bukittinggi, resulting in a Minangkabau atmosphere with an Islamic architectural concept and complemented beautifully with the landscape design from Bill Bensley.

But nothing completes life more than the existence of a family. Dedi met his wife in Bandung Insitute of Technology (ITB) who blessed him with a daughter and a son, and all of them show constant support to Dedi. The fact that he has just returned from a trip to India and Melbourne with his family proved just how much he enjoys spending time together with them. His classic-modern home and vast lush garden holds numerous painting collections of all styles and two more family members: an oddly domesticated Rottweiler and a Terrier dog. “I’m not born to be solitary,” Dedi Sjahrir Panigoro said. “I always need someone to talk to.”

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