PPO’S OCTOBER CONCERT FEATURES JAPANESE AND FILIPINO ARTISTS

September 27, 2016

PRESS RELEASE
September 27, 2016  

JAPANESE soprano Shoko Fukuda, Filipino alto Camille Lopez-Molina, Japanese tenor Hiroshi Watanabe, Filipino bass Noel Azcona and a chorus of 100 members from the University of the East Chorale, Philippine Vocal Ensemble, University of the Philippines Los Baños Choral Ensemble, and Technological Institute of the Philippines Choral Society perform with the PPO led by its new Music Director, Japanese conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura on October 14, 2016 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) at 8:00pm.

Program for the evening includes Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 1 in C” and “Symphony No. 9 in D minor”.

Born in Japan to a Russian father and a Japanese mother, Shoko Fukuda graduated from the piano department of the Osaka College of Music. Subsequently she graduated from the Osaka University of Arts, major subject vocal music. She was awarded the second prize at the 6th Osaka International Music Competition, and a prize at the 1st Tokyo International Vocal Music Competition. Shoko studied under Gianfranco Pastine. She performed joint recitals with German pianist Stephan Moeller (professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) in the Ginza Yamaha Hall in April 2011, and in Vienna in June 2011. In May 2012 she performed joint recitals with Israelian pianist Gilead Mishory (professor at Hochschule fuer Musik Freiburg, Germany) in Vienna, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Osaka. She graduated summa cum laude from the 54th full-time class of the Tokyo Nikikai Opera Training Institute.

Camille Lopez-Molina studied voice at the University of the Philippines College of Music. She obtained her Professional Diploma in Music, majoring in Opera Studies, from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1996. She then proceeded to Vienna, Austria where she studied Gesang until 2001 at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien under Prof. Marija Sklad-Sauer and Prof. Julia Conwell. She has sung in opera, operetta, oratorio, music theater, zarzuela, concerts and recitals. She is a frequent guest artist of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manila Symphony Orchestra, and the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra, and has performed under conductors such as Yaacov Bergman, Piero Gamba, Jerome Hoberman, Oscar Yatco, Eugene Castillo, Ruggero Barbieri, and Julian Quirit. Camille is a three-time ALIW AWARDEE for Best Female Classical Performer. She has also served as Chairman of the Voice Competitions of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA). She is one of the founders and artistic director of VIVA VOCE VOICE WORKSHOP, an intensive summer voice camp, the first of its kind in the Philippines. At present, she is a member of the Voice Faculties of St. Scholastica’s College School of Music and the University of the Philippines College of Music.

After graduating from Tohogakuen University and finishing his master’s course, Hiroshi Watanabe studied at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien in Vienna, where he learned Vocalization with Steinbrück, Opera with A. Kollo, and Ried (German art songs) with Anton Dermota. He has appeared on stage in the opera “Paride ed Eleno” at the Siena Music Festival. Watanabe received the Special Award Gold Medal at Lonigo Singing Competition, and won a prize at the International Opera Competition in Merano. In Thailand, he appeared as a tenor on stage performing “Symphony #9 in D minor – L.V. Beethoven”. In Hong Kong, he performed with H.K. Philharmonic Orchestra. Watanabe is with the Tokyo Nikikai.

Noel Azcona is a recipient of the Santo Domingo scholarship grant of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, Philippines and a former assistant music director of the internationally-acclaimed University of Santo Tomas Singers and currently a faculty member of the Centro Escolar University Conservatory of Music. Azcona opened the Best of the Philippines National Concert Series which debuted in 2005 with performances of Verdi, Handel, Beethoven, Rossini and Mozart. Between 2003 and 2010, Azcona was a featured soloist in the 28th, 31st, 33rd and 35th Las Piñas International Bamboo Organ Festival under notable Philippine conductors Eugene Castillo, Chino Toledo, Jonathan Velasco and Eudenice Palaruan, singing works by Mozart, Brahms, Bach, Rossini, Dubois and Haydn. In August 2003, he was invited to perform the Oratorio by Richard Einhorn entitled Voices of Light under Maestro Lim Yau in the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore. In October 2007, he performed the title role of Tchaikovsky’s well-loved opera Eugene Onegin at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has taken part in 13 world concert tours as assistant conductor of the UST Singers and as a soloist covering major cities of Europe, USA, Mexico, Canada and Southeast Asia.

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