Organization - ISTANA BUDAYA

Basic Information
Local language ISTANA BUDAYA (literary means Cultural Palace in English)
Country Malaysia
Category Government Agency
Domain Performing Arts
Established year 1999

Istana Budaya aims to raise the standards of performing arts, develop artistic excellence in stage performing arts, popularize high quality theater productions, and develop a higher sense of artistic appreciation in Malaysia.


The idea of this state-of-the-art theater began with the proposal in 1964 to establish a national cultural center. The construction work began in 1995 and was completed three years later. It was built at a cost of RM 210 million with a theater floor area of 21,000 m as part of the 54,400 m cultural complex with an architectural design based on Malay culture. The Istana Budaya was officially opened by former prime minister of Malaysia Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in 1999.

The Istana Budaya’s theater hall Panggung Sari with its unique design of royal boxes inspired by the windows of the traditional Rumah Melayu or Malay house, can accommodate up to 1,411 audience members at a time. The building is the first theater in Asia that is equipped with state-of-the-art stage equipment. Istana Budaya is also rated among the ten most sophisticated theaters in the world, and on par with the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Besides providing a venue for theatrical performances, Istan Budaya also has its own array of music and dance groups. For music, it has the National Symphony Orchestra (OSK), the Malaysian Traditional Orchestra (OTM), and Permata Seni Muzik Groups. While in dance, there are Artistari, Makyung, and Wayang Kulit groups.

Major Activities

Istana Budaya is the main venue in Malaysia for all types of performances including theater, opera, operetta, and classical and modern concerts from local and international troupes.

Contact Information (Organization)
Address Istana Budaya, Jalan tun Razak, 50694 Kuala Lumpur
Tel +603-402605555
Fax +603-40255975

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