March 08, 2018

FRESH from its successful outreach concerts in Iloilo and Antique, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra continues to romance the classics on its seventh concert for its 35th season on March 16, 2018, 8:00pm at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Conducted by Maestro Herminigildo Ranera, the PPO will perform Requiem for String Orchestra, a piece for string orchestra composed by Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu. Composed as a tribute to his mentor, composer Fumio Hayasaka, Requiem for String Orchestra shows an avant-garde style of composition, with elements of various forms combined with Western modernism. Takemitsu was known for his subtle manipulation of instrumental and orchestral timbre in his compositions.

Music lovers will have a rare treat as noted Filipino pianists Raul Sunico and Ingrid Santamaria perform Felix Mendelssohn’sConcerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in A flat with the CCP resident orchestra.  Composed by Mendelssohn when he was just 15 years old in 1824, the Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in A flat premiered in in Berlin in 1825.

After graduating with degrees in music and mathematics at University of the Philippines, receiving his masters degree in music at Juilliard School in New York, and obtaining his Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in Piano Performance, at the New York University, acclaimed Filipino pianist Raul Sunico regales the world with his music. He holds the singular distinction of being the only pianist in the world to perform the four piano concertos of Sergei Rachmaninoff in a single evening.

Aside from performing all over the world, he has recorded more than 40 CDs and albums, including 15 volumes of Filipino folk songs and kundimans he arranged for classical piano. He has also embarked on a series of projects on music education including “Himig,” a five volume series on piano arrangements of different folk songs of the Philippines.

Born in Cebu City, acclaimed pianist Ingrid Santamaria received her music degree from the Battig Piano School, under the tutelage of her mother, Pilar Blanco Sala, followed by further studies at the Juilliard School in New York. She received a master’s degree from Sta. Isabel College in Manila, and was conferred with the Doctor of Music degree in Music Education, honoris causa, at the De La Salle University in 2006.

Through the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation, Inc., Santamaria founded the Peace Philharmonic Philippines (formerly Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra), the only orchestra group south of Manila. Her life mission is to bring live classical music to the countryside.

The seventh concert of the PPO will culminate with Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. The last of the German composer’s symphonies, it premiered in 1885 at Meiningen, Germany. Among the four symphonies composed by Brahms, Symphony No.4 is the only one ending in a minor key.

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