Friday, May 27, 2011

Eugenio Bennato and the Taranta Power to highlight Italian National Day Celebrations

June 1, 2011, 2:00 PM
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

June 2, 2011, 8:15 PM
Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk
Ayala Center, Makati

Eugenio Bennato, band leader
Ezio Lambiase, classical and electric guitar
Valter Vivarelli, percussion
Sonia Totaro, vocals and dancer

Time flies so fast and before I knew it, it’s been almost a year since that memorable Uto Ughi concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. That concert was part of the Italian National Day celebrations by the Embassy of Italy and they were so generous to share that musical event with the public.

For this year’s Italian National Day celebration, they’re extending their generosity once again with yet another musical treat but of a different kind. This year, they are bringing to us Eugenio Bennato and the Taranta Power. Looking at the info I was able to gather about this group, it seems that their music is a mix of folk featuring traditional instruments like the mandolin, acoustic guitar and the tambourine with modern touches like the use of the heavily distorted electric guitar and the electronic bass drum. And just like what their name suggests, they highlight the Tarantella, the ritual dance of Southern Italy that the group is trying to revive. Now that’s quite a departure from last year’s music genre.

Nonetheless, those who are into this kind of music or even those who would want to expand their musical horizons (that would be me) will have two opportunities to catch this group. One is their performance at the Greenbelt 5 Fashion Walk happening this June 2, 2011 at 8:15 PM. And the Italians are really generous since this concert is for free!

But before that on June 1, 2011 at 2:00 PM, Bennato and other members of the Taranta Power will also have a masterclass/clinic at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater). In here, people can learn more about the kind of music that they play. I’m familiar with the Tarantella since I’ve encountered this kind of music in some classical compositions so I’m interested to see and hear more about this directly from them. And since the Tarantella is a dance, there also will be a dance demonstration during the masterclass. So those who are into dance will have something to learn as well. I do believe that this is an excellent way to get psyched for their Greenbelt 5 performance the next day. And yes, the masterclass is also for free.

I do like to expose myself to different kinds of music whether they’re music from the various parts of the Philippines or from the rest of the world. That’s why I do make it a point to grab opportunities such as this whenever they come my way.

Free admission

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The 2010 Gawad Buhay! PHILSTAGE Awards for the Performing Arts

Gawad Buhay! Trophies

I’ve first heard about the Gawad Buhay! Awards just last year when I read the news that they presented one of my singing idols, Ms. Celeste Legaspi a lifetime achievement award. She is one of my favorite local singers so I was glad that she was recognized for her body of work. And then a year later, I couldn’t contain my delight when I saw her during the third edition of this awards night held at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines which I was able to attend.

The big winners this year are the play Tatlong Mariya by Tanghalang Pilipino and the musical Little Women by Repertory Philippines with both winning 6 awards each. Equus by Repertory Philippines bagging 5 awards while Crisostomo Ibarra by Ballet Philippines was the most awarded dance production with 4 awards.

One of the main highlights of the program was the awarding of the Natatanging Gawad Buhay! award (which is what their lifetime achievement award is called) to four highly respected artists here in the Philippines: Ryan Cayabyab, Tony Espejo, Tony Mabesa and Lisa Macuja. I am glad to say that I am totally familiar with the works of these awardees and they’ve truly enriched the arts and culture scene in the Philippines throughout the decades so they do deserve this recognition. One of the things that struck me the most during this time was Lisa Macuja’s speech when she received her award urging the people who belong to certain groups to support and patronize the productions of other groups as well. She got very emotional as well especially when she mentioned that she’s about to retire from dancing.

Other highlights of the program were the numbers spread throughout the evening. One number that I really appreciated was the excerpt from the Nutcracker featuring Lisa Macuja and Rudy de Dios. The Nutcracker's music was composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and I was so pleased that the excerpt that they performed was the Adagio of the Pas de Deux which is one of my favorite pieces of orchestral music. The other number that I really liked was the Musical Tribute to Mr. C which featured Celeste Legaspi and Pinky Marquez along with a powerhouse ensemble. What can I say? I really like Celeste and seeing her perform live was such a treat.

Musical Tribute to Mr. C

It is interesting to note that in four categories, there was only one nominee who was the automatic winner and five categories even had no nominees. The nominees and winners were selected by a jury composed of Gilbert Cadiz, Ralph Galan, Glen Mas, Elka Requinta, Basilio Esteban Villaruz and Ma. Jovita Zarate.

The Gawad Buhay! is the PHILSTAGE awards for the performing arts. PHILSTAGE stands for the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, Inc. and is currently composed of eight of the country’s most established performing arts companies: Ballet Manila (BM), Ballet Philippines (BP), Gantimapala Theater Foundation (GANTIMPALA), Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), Repertory Philippines (REP), Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) and Triumphant People’s Evangelistic Theater Society (TRUMPETS). This meant that the awards presented all came from the world of the theater and dance and only those from the member companies are eligible.

Here is the list of all the winners of the 3rd Gawad Buhay! Awards.

Play Production (tie)
Equus by REP
Tatlong Mariya by TP

Musical Production
Little Women by REP

Dance Production
Crisostomo Ibarra by BP

Stage Direction
Audie Gemora, Equus by REP

Female Lead Performance in a Play Production
Mailes Kanapi, Tatlong Mariya by TP

Male Lead Performance in a Play Production
Mario O’Hara, American Hwangap (Filipino version) by TP

Female Lead Performance in a Musical Production
Caissa Borromeo, Little Women by RP

Male Lead Performance in a Musical Production
Robert Seña, Si Juan Tamad, Ang Dyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto by PETA

Female Lead Performance in a Modern Dance Production
Candice Adea, September Gala by BP

Male Lead Performance in a Modern Dance Production
JM Cordero, Crisostomo Ibarra by BP

Female Lead Performance in a Classical Dance Production
Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, The Nutcracker by BM

Male Lead Performance in a Classical Dance Production
No nominee 

Choreography for a Dance Production (tie)
Carlo Pacis, Shifting Wait by BP
Edna Vida, Peter Pan by BP

Choreography for a Play or Musical
Edna Vida, Banaag at Sikat by TP

Original Libretto
Bienvenido Lumbera, Banaag at Sikat by TP

Adaptation or Translation
Rody Vera, Tatlong Mariya by TP

Original Script
No nominee 

Musical Composition
No nominee 

Female Featured Performance in a Play
Che Ramos, Tatlong Mariya by TP

Male Featured Performance in a Play
Mario O’ Hara, Tatlong Mariya by TP

Female Featured Performance in a Musical
Cara Barredo, Little Women by REP

Male Featured Performance in a Musical
No nominee 

Female Featured Performance in a Classical Dance Production
Mylene Aggabao, The Nutcracker by BM

Male Featured Performance in a Classical Dance Production
No nominee 

Female Featured Performance in a Modern Dance Production
Carissa Adea, Crisostomo Ibarra by BP

Male Featured Performance in a Modern Dance Production
Angel Gabriel, Crisostomo Ibarra by BP

Musical Direction
Gerard Salonga, Little Women by REP

Sound Design
Jethro Joaquin, Equus by REP

Costume Design
Dennis Lagdameo, Equus by REP

Lighting Design
John Neil Batalla, Equus by REP

Set Design
Loy Arceñas, Tatlong Mariya by TP

Ensemble Performance in a Play Production
American Hwangap (Filipino Version) by TP

Ensemble Performance in a Musical Production
Little Women by REP

Ensemble Performance in a Dance Production
Peter Pan by BP

Maestro Ryan Cayabyab aka Mr. C and RAd

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Colina Serrano Quartet: A Jazz Concert

Colina Serrano Quartet performing

It is always a treat for music lovers of any genre whenever there is a free concert. So when it was announced that the jazz group Colina Serrano Quartet was having a free concert courtesy of the Embassy of Spain and the Ayala Museum, it surprised no one that jazz fans flockedto see it. And some did arrive early in order to get good seats and by the time the program started, the Ayala Museum lobby was already a full house despite the staff having to add additional seats.

The Barcelona based group is composed of double bassist Javier Colina, harmonica player Antonio Serrano, pianist Mariano Díaz and drummer Marc Miralta. And they started the concert with Overjoyed, a Stevie Wonder classic. And Serrano was on the spotlight with his superb harmonica playing skills. He then acknowledged that Stevie Wonder, who also plays harmonica, has been one of his major influences.

That was the only familiar piece that they played during that night. For the rest of their prepared program, they took the audience through a journey of jazz with a heavy dose of Latin beats. And there were many surprises as well like when they interspersed some Flamenco in one of the pieces that they played or when Colina played the bass with a bow. Despite not knowing the title of the pieces and only hearing them for the first time, I enjoyed watching and listening.

It was a good experience for me getting myself exposed to this kind of jazz music since this performance widened my musical horizons. I was amazed by the pianist Díaz and I admitted to myself that it’s beyond my capacity what he does with the piano. It’s totally different from what I know how to play and I just have to be content knowing that jazz on the piano is something that I will never master.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Musica FEUROPA 2011 Grand Finals

1st Place Open Category UPLB Chorale Ensemble

Congratulations to the Musica FEUROPA 2011 winners!

High School Category

1st Place Boscorale
2nd Place Ramon Magsaysay High School
3rd Place UPLB Rural High School Choir

Open Category

1st Place UPLB Chorale Ensemble
2nd Place The La Salle Chorale
3rd Place San Antonio de Padua Chamber Choir

Musica FEUROPA, the Far Eastern University-European Union Chorale Competition in the Philippines has indeed gotten bigger and better in its third year of staging this competition.  The semi final round was held on the first day of the competition but I wasn't able to watch it. So I made sure to be present at the grand finals held at the FEU Auditorium the following day. There was a good audience turnout as I got into my seat and there was indeed excitement, anxiety and nervousness inside the auditorium which is what I normally expect whenever there is a competition.

I was able to watch all the choirs perform but I had to leave moments before the winners were announced. And as I was about to leave, I saw a conductor of one of the choirs and congratulated him. He was a bit amused as to why I was already congratulating him since the winners haven’t been announced yet. It was a fearless forecast for me but I was pretty sure that they nailed it. And I was right, it was Vonn Lomarda of the UPLB Chorale Ensemble whom I congratulated and they indeed won first place in the Open Category. They were spectacular last year and this year they raised the standard with their impeccable and very solid choral technique. And I was very pleased by how the two songs they selected were not similar to each other which really showcased their range and diversity. And I really liked the first song that they performed which started with very low bass and haunting chants. The opening was made up of unison parts that showcased the choir's excellent phrasing. And then came the multiple layers of different parts until the resounding climax. And after this was a recapitulation of the haunting chants and I knew right then and there that this was the choir to beat.

In the High School Category, the Boscorale was the standouts and the crowd favorite as well since it was the only all boys choir in the competition. One might think that the lack of female voices would mean a thin sounding choir but that wasn't the case with this group. They were by far the most entertaining and exciting choir to watch in all of the competition. And I guess that it didn't hurt for them to be wearing bow ties with their suits which added some swagger to their performance.

2nd Place Open Category The La Salle Chorale

I noticed that a few of the songs this year were already performed by other choirs last year and I couldn’t help but make a comparison which choir performed them better. More interesting was that there weren’t any song duplicates this year unlike last year when three choirs had the same song. So there was great variety in the songs coming from all the choirs this year.

All the choirs were required to perform two pieces. One had to be a song that was written by a composer whose nationality is rooted in any European Union country. And the other had to be a song written by a Filipino composer and this had no limitations regarding the genre and the language/dialect used. I noted that a lot of the choirs were remarkably weaker with their EU song and their overall performance felt uneven since they were strong with the Filipino song. I guess it’s because they don’t probably have the EU piece in their normal repertoire and only had to learn one for the sake of the competition.

These were just my thoughts and I have no idea if those who judged the competition also thought of these as well. These adjucators by the way were Rodolfo Delarmente, Edgardo Manguiat, Rafael Serrallet, Arwin Tan and Jonathan Velasco.

3rd Place Open Category San Antonio de Padua Chamber Choir

I’ve already seen two stagings of this competition and it seems that next year will continue the growth of this event. This year saw the competition spread into two days and the inclusion of the High School Category. It will be interesting to see how this Musica FEUROPA will continue to grow on its 4th year. All we know so far is that this year’s winners go straight to the finals next year. So the countdown to the 4th Musica FEUROPA now begins.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ryan Bang's I Lilly Lilly Like It Presscon

Ryan Bang

The summer months here in the Philippines is normally the off season for orchestras and other music performing groups. So it’s not surprising that there aren’t a lot of classical music concerts happening at around this time. And majority of upcoming performances are usually the recitals of the various summer music workshop so there’s not really that much to see.

This meant that I could use this time to expand my horizons, step out of the box and get out of my comfort zone. But I never imagined that this would mean that I’d be on hand to cover the press conference of Ryan Bang for his album I Lilly Lilly Like It: Ryan Bang Party Party Hits!

Yes I am talking about Ryan Bang, the Korean former Pinoy Big Brother Housemate who rose to fame via his silly dance moves and undecipherable speech as a judge at ABS-CBN’s Showtime. And he does now have an album. Now let that sink in for a moment.

The album, clocking at a little over 30 minutes, contains 7 tracks. The lead track of this album is Ryan’s first ever single, I Lilly Lilly Like It. The rest of the tracks are made up of dance hits that have been featured in Showtime.

Right from the start, Ryan couldn't hide his excitement and happiness for this project. He hopes that the kids will like it and that it will make him so happy if he sees them dancing to his song. He also hopes to shoot a music video in the future somewhere in either Baclaran or Divisoria since he says that it’s a happy place. And if given the chance, he’d love to record a Christmas song next time because for him, it’s such a happy season. Yes, happy was the operative word for that day.

He admits that he’s not really cut out to be a singer but his aim is just simple, to make kids happy whenever they hear his song. It was hilarious when he told us that his mother wasn’t too keen on his singing voice and even wondered why the recording company even got him to record a song in the first place. But that didn't dampen his mood at all and he is still excited about this album since it’s a new experience for him and he's been enjoying everything that’s been happening in his life so far.

When asked if he would eventually leave the Philippines to try his luck in Korea like Sandara Park of 2NE1, he answered that he doesn’t have the looks and the chops to make it there. He said that the Philippines that has accepted him with open arms and numerous laughs is so different from Korea which is more serious and has more handsome guys than him. So I guess that the Philippines will see more of his quirky antics and dance moves and will hear more of his unusual voice.

Ryan Bang performing his first single

So it was indeed a very unusual day for me and it’s a drastic change from Rachmaninoff one day and then to Ryan Bang the next. But in these tough economic times, intense heat, and impending end of the world (if you believe what you’ve been seeing around), an unpretentious track like this and the thought of kids dancing around to the song, is a breath of fresh air and a welcome change. So if you Lilly Lilly Like Ryan Bang, (or don't like the economy, the heat and the impending end of the world) then try to grab a copy of the album at record stores nationwide. And if you want to see him in person, then take note of these dates and places:

June 3, 2011 5:00 PM  Robinsons Angeles, Pampanga
June 17, 2011 5:00 PM Robinsons Dasmarinas, Cavite
June 24, 2011 5:00 PM Robinsons Starmills, Pampanga
July 1, 2011 5:00 PM Robinsons Sta. Rosa, Laguna

I Lilly Lilly Like It: Ryan Bang Party Party Hits! is released by Galaxy Records and distributed by Polyeast Records.

I Lilly Lilly Like It: Ryan Bang Party Party Hits!

1. I Lilly Lilly Like It (I Really Really Like It) by Ryan Bang
2. Pan Americano (We No Speak Americano) by Yolanda Cool
3. Parapapa by Cidinho & Doca
4. Waka Waka by All Star Generation
5. Git With U by PSIX
6. Bon Bon by Pitbull
7. I Lilly Lilly Like It (Bang Mix) by Ryan Bang.

The 63rd Anniversary of the State of Israel Reception

RAd and Chef Michael Katz

At first glance, the 63rd Israel National Day celebration doesn't seem to be related with music at all. But it was actually music that enabled me to get involved with the Israeli Embassy in the first place. And it was a pleasure for me to be invited to take part at the celebration of the 63rd Anniversary of the State of Israel which was held at the Grand Ballroom of the InterContinental Manila.

My involvement with the Israeli Embassy actually started when I watched a piano concert of two pianists from Israel a little over a year ago. And a comment that I made immediately after that concert consequently made me one of the page turners for the pianists’ mini-concert during the 62nd National Day Celebration. Since then, the Embassy never failed to invite me whenever they had a music event.

For this year’s celebration, there wasn’t a mini-concert since the main feature was Israeli food and wine. And in charge of the whole menu during the event was restaurateur-chef and lecturer Michael Katz. He also prepared Israeli dishes for a special food festival at the Café Jeepney also at the InterContinental Manila but it was for a very limited time only. So after some opening remarks from Ambassador Zvi Vapni, the guests were then treated to an abundance of food and wine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take note of the name of the dishes that I tasted at the time.

This time around, I was more relaxed since there wasn’t any pressure at all unlike last year when I had to focus or else make an embarrassing mistake while page turning. And for the past year, I also got to know more people from the Israeli/Jewish community here in the Philippines and it was a pleasure seeing them once again.

A guest, Rabbi Azaria and RAd

Michael Katz was also busy entertaining guests and accepting compliments from them because of the wonderful food that was served. I also had the opportunity to talk to him as well and he was really entertaining. He talked a lot about so many things ranging from how the type of grain eaten by cows affects the marbling of the meat to how he loves to play the drums. As I’ve said earlier, I wasn’t able to take down the names of the dishes that I tasted but Mr. Katz was so kind and gave me not just the menu of the food served at the reception but also the recipes as well.

To end this entry, I’d like to share what I told the Ambassador when he was welcoming the arriving guests: I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities that have been going my way because of my involvement with music. I wouldn’t have been able to experience all this if not for music, so even though this event wasn’t really about music, music still had a huge part in it.

Text by RAd
Photos by Kristina Tatad

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The 3rd Far Eastern University-European Union Choral Competition in the Philippines announces competing choirs

May 18, 2011, 1:00 PM Semi Finals Open Category
May 19, 2011, 1:00 PM Grand Finals High School and Open Categories
FEU Auditorium
Far Eastern University
Nicanor Reyes St. Sampaloc, Manila

The European Union Choral Competition in the Philippines, now known as Musica FEUROPA, will have its third annual competition this May 18 and 19 at the FEU Auditorium at Far Eastern University. This year's competition, which is a part of the European Union's Viva Europa 2011 celebrations, features five choirs competing in the High School category. In the Open Category (groups that are either university, college, community or church based), twelve choirs will compete in the semi finals to be among the eight advancing to the grand finals. Joining the eight choirs at the grand finals are last year's first prize winner and runner up: UPLB Chorale Ensemble and Tarlac State University Choir respectively.

The semi finals for the Open Category will happen on May 18 while the grand finals for both the High School and Open Categories will take place a day later on May 19. Cash prize worth P25,000 along with a trophy will be awarded to the first prize winner of the High School Category while P60,000 as well as a trophy await the first prize winner of the Open Category. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded also to choirs finishing second and third in both categories.

High School Category (Grand Finalists)

Ramon Magsaysay High School (Manila)
Michael dela Peña, Conductor

St. Paul University High School Glee Club (Makati City)
Jeffrey Buensuceso, Conductor

Boscorale - Don Bosco, Makati (Makati City)
Alvin Paulin, Conductor

Imus Institute Pitch Choir (Cavite)
Warlito Yalung, Conductor

UPLB Rural High School Choir (Laguna)
Marife Rebutar, Conductor

Open Category (Semi-finalists)

UPLB Chorale Ensemble (UPLB) *
Vonn Lomarda, Conductor

Tarlac State University Choir (Tarlac, City) *
Aris Madrid, Conductor

Second Chronicle Singers (Pasay City)
Alan P. Acurantes, Conductor

The La Salle Chorale (Bacolod City)
Serry C. Repique, Conductor

UB Voices Chorale (Baguio City)
Bienvenido Constantino Jr., Conductor

UMAK Chorale (Makati City)
Elsie Eranista, Conductor

First Asia Minstrels (Tanauan City)
Eric Kalaw, Conductor

San Antonio de Padua Chamber Choir (Manila)
Alfie Jacinto, Conductor

Intervoices (Manila)
Mikhael Bryan Caluya, Conductor

University of the Cordilleras (Baguio City)
Walter Mang-usan, Conductor

United Voices Concert Chorus
Martin Antonio, Conductor

TIP Choral Society
Jose Emmanuel Aquino, Conductor

San Felipe Chamber Singers
Ronell Oñate, Conductor

Chorus Vocales
Ranier Aguilar, Conductor

* Finalists

Free admission

For inquiries:
FEU-PCC Office 736-4897

Friday, May 06, 2011

Jazz at the Ayala Museum with Colina Serrano Quartet

May 19, 2011, 6:30 PM
Ayala Museum
Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street
Greenbelt Park, Makati

Colina Serrano Quartet
     Javier Colina, double bass
     Antonio Serrano, harmonica
     Marc Miralta, drums
     Mariano Díaz, piano

The Embassy of Spain and Ayala Museum present Colina Serrano Quartet: A Jazz Concert on May 19, 2011 at the Ayala Museum, 6:30 pm.

The Barcelona-based group offers a unique journey into sound, combining jazz with various Latin American rhythms.

Javier Colina is considered one of the best double bassists in Europe. As his musical career flourished, Colina saw himself performing with musicians consecrated in the world of jazz such as George Cables, John Hicks, Louie Bellson, Gary Bartz, Jimmy Owens, Tete Montoliu, and many others. Outside the jazz panorama, he has collaborated with Flamenco musicians like Tomatito and Carmen Linares.

Antonio Serrano, on the other hand, is Spain's internationally acclaimed harmonica virtuoso. A native of Madrid, Serrano is considered one of the world's most versatile and talented masters of the harmonica, displaying an amazing technique that spans many different musical genres, from classical to jazz, tango and Flamenco.

They are joined by Marc Miralta on drums and Mariano Díaz on piano.

Colina Serrano Quartet

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis

For inquiries:
757-7117 to 21 local 29

Violinist Gina Medina and pianist Mary Anne Espina to perform in a fundraising concert

Violinist Gina Medina

May 28, 2011, 6:00 PM
UP Balay Kalinaw International House Conference Hall
University of the Philippines
Diliman, Quezon City
Gina Medina, violin
Mary Ann Espina, piano

Fritz Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Pugnani
                   Rondino on a Theme of Beethoven
                   Schön Rosmarin
Enrique Granados Spanish Dance No. 5 in E minor *
Manuel de Falla Danse Espagnole *
Potenciano B. Gregorio, Sr. Sarung Banggi **
Nicanor Abelardo Cavatina
Antonio Molina Hating Gabi
Constancio de Guzman Bayan Ko 

* arranged by Fritz Kreisler
** arranged by Gilopez Kabayao
† arranged by Redentor Romero

The May 28, 2011 Concert of violinist Gina Medina and Mary Anne Espina at the UP Balay Kalinaw is a fundraising concert for the legal fund of detained cultural worker Ericson Acosta, former editor of the Philippine Collegian, the official student publication of the University of the Philippines.

Pianist Mary Anne Espina

Ticket prices:
P1000 (with buffet dinner)
P500 (concert only)

For inquiries:
748-4152, (0906) 510-4270

Monday, May 02, 2011

Filfest's All-Chestra continues with cellist Wilfredo Pasamba

May 21, 2011, 8:00 PM
Insular Life Auditorium
Insular Life Tower
Filinvest, Alabang

Wilfredo Pasamba, cello
PREDIS Chamber Orchestra
Philippine Youth Symphonic Band
Jeffrey Solares, conductor

Antonino Buenaventura Youth (A Symphonic Poem)
Robert Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor, KV. 550

The Filfest Cultural Foundation in cooperation with Insular continue Season 4: All-Chestra and will feature cellist Wilfredo Pasamba, the PREDIS Chamber Orchestra and the Philippine Youth Symphonic Band under the baton of Maestro Jeffrey Solares.

Hailed by the New York Times for his "audacity and brilliance", Wilfredo Pasamba has appeared with the Juilliard Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Wichita Symphony, Syracuse Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra, Cebu Philharmonic, and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as Pierro Gamba, Pamela Gerhardt, Basilio Manalo, Arturo Molina, Robert Olson, Michael Palmer, Ruggero Barbierri, and Vahe Kochayan among others. Pasamba garnered top honors at the Jennings Butterfield Young Artist Competition, Juilliard Cello Concerto Competition, the National Music Competition for Young Artists, Reno Chamber Orchestra Competition and was a semi-finalist in the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. 

The Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS) was founded in 1985 by Prof. Basilio Manalo and Sr. Mary Placid Abejo, OSB. Its purpose is to develop talented Filipinos to become professional musicians to supply Philippine orchestras with highly qualified and competent instrumentalists. At present, after twenty five years in existence, it has produced well-trained musicians who are now taking leading roles in the country's musical life as orchestra players. The Philippine Youth Symphonic Band (PYSB) was first organized in 1978 with the singular purpose of nurturing the symphonic band tradition as a pillar of the country's national musical heritage. Today, the PYSB is a versatile ensemble of 64 young, dedicated, talented and skilled musicians. Their membership age ranges from 8-24 years old. They recently finished cutting their second CD with a varied sampling of the band's capabilities. 

After his graduation from the Philippine High School for the Arts, Jeffrey Solares received a scholarship from the Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS) and was placed under the tutelage of Mrs. Rosario Molina-Cruz, Mr. Arturo Molina and Prof. Basilio Manalo. He pursued his degree of Bachelor of Music at the St. Scholastica?s College of Music under scholarship from the SSC Music Alumnae Association. Upon the completion of his musical studies in Manila, he was handpicked by concert pianist Ingrid Sala-Santamaria to help develop and eventually lead the Cebu-based Peace Philharmonic Philippines (PPP), formerly known as the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO). Being himself a three-time winner in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA), he eventually led several of his Cebuano students to a high level of musical achievement by consistently winning awards in the same competitions. In 2005 he became Acting Resident Conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) based at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He recently volunteered to be the Associate Conductor and Orchestra Manager of the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO). He is also the Associate Conductor of the UST Symphony Orchestra, with which he conducted in a concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and at the Peoples Republic of China.

Cellist Wilfredo Pasamba

Ticket prices:
P800 Orchestra
P400 Balcony
50% student discount
20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
Marie (0917) 817-7261, (0918) 941-9472, 585-3823
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