“MY FOUR Seasons” documents career highlights of pianist Ingrid Sala Santamaria, interspersed with personal milestones in her life.
The book is a compendium of selected articles written by several writers from all over the country, notably writers from Cebu City and Manila. The title draws inspiration from the cyclic movements of nature that the pianist views as a continuing, dynamic spiral.
These seasons, she writes in her foreword, “came out according to life-defining events in my life.” These are: Spring (1940-1961); Summer (1962-March 1991); Autumn (April 1991-Sept. 7, 2012); and Winter (Sept. 8, 2012 onwards).
She expresses her eternal gratitude first to the Almighty and second to her parents, Salvador and Pilar Sala for bringing her into the world, and next to her late husband Joe and their children and grandchildren for the “wonderful,” seasons.
Spring was “ecstatic”; Summer, “intense and colorful”; Spring, a bounty “gift”; and Winter, glorious “lifetime memories.”
Handsomely laid out in between the covers are about a hundred special feature articles and reviews written throughout the decades starting from 1950 when the pianist was just 10 years old. They are enhanced and made light with over 500 photographs of original photos.
Original photos that could not be retrieved anymore have been changed. Other vintage pictures pertinent to the articles’ eras have been used to enrich and highlight the pianist’s life and career.
This is done in lieu of a traditional biography or autobiography, the pianist said. The writers, she said, have “virtually and actually written my ‘book’ as they “tell my musical story and my life seasons” all done in a dialogic manner.
Reading the text and appreciating the vivid photos are made interactive with the inclusion of three recently cut CDs that are neatly tucked in the inside back cover. They contain Tchaikovsky Concerto in B Flat Minor and Chopin Concerto in E Minor (CD1); Grieg Concerto in A Minor and Rachmaninoff Concerto in C Minor (CD2), and Liszt Concerto in E Flat Major and Schumann Concerto in A Minor (CD3). Collaborating with pianist Santamaria was the Manila Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Prof. Arturo Molina.
The CDs were launched on Philippine Independence day last year in the heart of Tondo, They have become a benchmark in Philippine classical discography. On the other hand, the launch venue was dedicated to the pianist and now bears the name Ingrid Sala Santamaria Concert Salon.
The “Epilogue” acknowledges former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, whom the amiable pianist refers to as her inspiration. If by the word “Imeldific” is meant “over excessive,” truly pianist Santamaria says, only “Imelda could that be Imeldific.” For it simply means excessive and selfless commitment to the arts and artists, the musical arts and musicians included.
For that reason, “I consider Madame Imelda Marcos my lifetime inspiration.” as she “illuminates my commitment to life and art.”
Joanne Zapanta-Andrada designed the book and shot the photo laid out on the book’s cover, apart from being one of the writers whose article is included in the book. Virgilio C. Paterno of J. Romero Advertising designed the book’s cover, including the inclusion of the CDs.