Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Pasay, Metro Manila
Denise Beck, soprano
Thomas Storm, baritone
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor
Overture to Maskarade
Symphony No. 3, Op. 27 Sinfonia Espansiva
Shattered Song (Homage to Carl Nielsen)
When Olivier Ochanine assumed his post as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal conductor/music director, he has made it his mission to feature the works of his favorite composer, the Danish Carl Nielsen.
Since then, the PPO audience has heard a couple of his works namely Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 The Inextinguishable and the Aladdin Suite performed on separate occasions. Come February 19, 2016, 8:00 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater, an entire concert will be dedicated to Nielsen as the PPO in cooperation with the Embassy of Denmark join in The Carl Nielsen Project, a worldwide celebration of the composer’s 150th anniversary of his birth.
Almost an all-Nielsen affair, the concert will include performances of the Overture to Maskarade, Symphony No. 3, Op. 27 Sinfonia Espansiva, and a selection of songs. The two soloists flying to the country for the concert are two of Denmark’s finest singers: soprano Denise Beck and baritone Thomas Storm. The concert will also feature the world premiere of Phillip Faber’s Shattered Song (Homage to Carl Nielsen), a piece commissioned by the PPO for this special occasion.
Carl Nielsen, considered as Denmark’s national composer and also a leading figure in Scandinavian music, has gone largely unnoticed outside of Europe during his lifetime. It was through Leonard Bernstein, then music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra championing his works back in the 1960’s that interest in Nielsen started to grow in America. Today, Alan Gilbert, the current music director of the New York Philharmonic, and another ardent fan continues what Bernstein has started making sure that Nielsen becomes a household name in classical music circles. The Carl Nielsen concerts, exhibits, recordings, and publications have been underway since 2015 and finally, the Philippines is about to catch up and join in the celebrations this February.
In Asia, Nielsen’s music is even more obscure with his works almost never played at all. This puts the PPO in an enviable task of being one of the Asian orchestras performing and introducing his music at this side of the globe. In order to make this concert a reality, Olivier Ochanine embarked on a trip to Denmark tracing the life and musical journey of Carl Nielsen. And with the cooperation of the Embassy of Denmark and Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, one of Olivier’s dream projects with the PPO is finally coming to fruition.
Since its official reopening back in January 2015 after closing in 2002, the Embassy of Denmark, has promoted Danish culture to Filipinos who are mostly only familiar with the tales of Hans Christiann Andersen, the popular toy Lego, and of course, the Danish cookies along with the infamous tin can. Hopefully with The Carl Nielsen Project, people’s knowledge of Danish music will also expand beyond Michael Learns to Rock and Aqua. This concert is part of the Embassy of Denmark's celebrations commemorating the 70th year of diplomatic relations between Denmark and the Philippines.
P1500 Orchestra Center
P1200 Orchestra Side
P800 Extreme Orchestra Side
P500 Balcony I Center
P400 Balcony I Side
P300 Balcony II
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