Young pianist ‘Enzo’ Medel shows promise in long recital

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LORENZO “Enzo” B. Medel

Young pianist Lorenzo “Enzo” B. Medel wowed Manila’s music lovers who came in droves to watch his mixed recital recently at Philamlife Theater.

Medel essayed both solo works and a concerto. Solo pieces consisted of four contrasting styles from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern periods. Practically all of them demanded virtuosity: dexterous fingers that can articulate technical brilliance.

These were Beethoven’s “Appassionata;” Chopin’s “Winter Wind”; Debussy’s “Fireworks”; and Bartok’s Two Rumanian Dances, Op. 8a.

The concerto was Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18; played in collaboration with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, with  Arturo Molina on the podium.

The recital was rather long, lasting for two hours, with the solo pieces practically requiring much time, such as Bach’s Prelude and Fugue and Abelardo’s First Nocturne, included.

Indefatigable, Medel played with gusto, as if there was no tomorrow, drawing much strength from a big reservoir of stamina.

His playing did not sound like a stunt. He simply enjoyed playing, sharing his musical prowess with the mesmerized audience.

Sitting coolly on the piano, he sank his fingers and moved them dexterously up and down the keyboard of a brand-new, highly responsive, handcrafted Shigeru-Kawai piano, courtesy of Lyric Corporation.

He struck powerful chords, and revealed innate, if not intuitive musicianship, all to the delight of the audience whose hearty applause was punctuated with crisp shouts of “Bravo.”

There is no doubt Medel stands as one of the promising young pianists in the country today. Now on the seventh year of his piano study with Mauricia Borromeo, Medel is a graduating senior from La Salle Greenhills.

Perhaps few would realize the recital was a sort of testing-the-water and at the same time a fund drive earmarked for his audition and his eventual study abroad.

Come February and March, Medel will audition in several music schools in the US where he intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance.

Needless to say, young talented musicians nurture a desire to hone their talents abroad. But that desire is hindered by the gargantuan costs required by such education. For musical talents who come from a family of modest means, the pursuance of such education is an ordeal; their families practically have to move heaven and earth to fulfill their children’s longing for a world-class learning. It certainly is criminal to neglect a talent undeveloped.

Consider, for instance, that top schools in the US now charge a staggering $40,000 a year! Add to this the cost of living and other incidental expenses, and you will have a nightmare.

Of course, merit-based scholarships abroad are available. This is the reason applicants seek auditions to a number of schools whose noted teachers they had already chosen. In the end, the school’s scholarship offering becomes a deciding factor for the student to choose which school to attend.

But in the light of the US recession, scholarships have been drastically reduced or hard to find.

This writer, therefore, is drumming up support for Medel. Having followed his career as a young pianist, this writer feels he certainly deserves the best education.

For, indeed, poor as we are, to paraphrase what the late historian Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ, said, we hide a jewel in our rags that has become part of our time-honored national life and tradition: music.

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