Japanese conductor Tetsuji Honna leads PPO in January concert | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Tetsuji HonnaThe Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performs under the baton of Japanese conductor Tetsuji Honna on January 22, 2016, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) at 8 pm. Guest soloist is pianist April Dawnena Merced-Misa.

Program includes Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 1” and Beethoven’s monumental and memorable Symphony No. 3 “Eroica”.

Tetsuji Honna is the music director and principal conductor of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra (VNSO).

He studied under Kazuo Yamada and Michiyoshi Inoue and studied at Royal Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and London Sinfonietta. From 1995-2001, he was a permanent conductor of the Osaka Symphony Orchestra, and a guest permanent conductor of Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra from 1997-2000.

Honna was appointed with VNSO as Music Advisor and conductor from 2001-2009. He conducted numerous orchestras including La Scala Phil, Filharmonia London, Hungary State Symphony, Arturo Toscanini Orchestra, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.

Honna has worked with numerous soloists including Martha Argerich, Elizabeth Leonskaja, Cecile Licad, Antonio Meneses, Christian Tetzlaff, Cyprien Katsaris. He won 2nd prize in the Tokyo International Competition, 2nd prize in Arturo Toscanini International Conductor’s competition, 1st prize in Budapest International Conductor’s competition.

Likewise, he garnered prizes including the Nippon Steel Music Award Fresh Artist, Cultural Minister Prize of Japan, Foreign Minister Prize of Japan, Cultural medal by the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Honna performed with VNSO in many concerts including the First American Tour at New York Carnegie Hall and the Boston Symphony Hall in 2011, first Italy tour at La Fenice Venice, Teatro Maggio Florence and Capella Paolina at the Italian Presidential Palace in 2013, and first time on the stages of the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and of the Grand Hall of the Saint Petersburg Philharmonia in Russia in 2014.

April Dawnena Merced-MisaAward-winning pianist and pedagogue April Dawnena Merced-Misa is quickly establishing herself as a fixture in Philippine music. Born and raised in Cotabato, April has lived and trained solely in the Philippines with the best local mentors, honing her craft through full scholarships at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) and the University of the Philippines College of Music.

She has won several tilts, notably the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and two concerto competitions, paving the way for her orchestral debut playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto in B-flat minor.

April has performed all over the Philippines, as well as in Singapore and Malaysia, and is currently a PhD candidate in Music Performance at the Philippine Women’s University with Reynaldo Reyes. Her past mentors include Avelina Manalo, Nita Abrogar Quinto, Agot Espino, and Rudolf Golez. She also serves as a piano faculty member at the University of the Philippines College of Music.

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