MSO gala concerts complement ‘rush-hour’ programs | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

“OUR SEASON gala concerts are our major project. You know, we are called the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO), so we should be able to regularly play and showcase the standard orchestral repertoire, the  Beethovens and other classical composers who have written music specifically for a symphony orchestra.”

Thus spoke Jeffrey Solares, executive director and conductor of the  MSO, which is headed by artistic director and principal conductor Arturo Molina.

The season opens in June; there will be four concerts. The first is on June 4, “Director’s Choice, Russian Romanticism,” with Molina on the podium.

“It is a program where we allow the music director to choose the pieces he wants to feature, to showcase the knowledge of the symphonic program and also the capabilities of the orchestra,” said Solares.

The compositions are by Mussorgsky, Glazunov, Khachaturian and Borodin, with American saxophonist Brian Howrey as soloist in the Glazunov concerto.

Solares added: “We are very excited because we rarely get to play with a saxophonist in the symphonic repertoire. The saxophone was invented in the late 19th century, but somehow it didn’t get to become an instrument of the symphony orchestra. It’s popular with jazz bands.”

On Aug. 13, the international flavor continues with “Masterworks,” the spotlight falling on Singapore conductor Darrell Ang and young German-Korean cellist Isang Eders, who will perform Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. The concert opens with Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” Overture.

On Sept. 17,  guest conductor Alexander Vikulov will lead the MSO in works by Stravinsky and Cherubini, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8.

And on Dec. 14, the season’s finale, with Molina back on the podium, will be Beethoven’s mighty choral symphony, the Ninth, popularly known as “Ode to Joy.”

The four soloists are mezzo-soprano Camille Lopez-Molina and soprano Margarita Gomez-Gianelli, along with a tenor and baritone from Japan.

The first three concerts will be held at a new venue, the Power Mac Center in Circuit Makati (formerly Santa Ana Racetrack); while the final concert will be at the newly renovated Meralco Theater in Pasig City.

On June 16, following Independence Day, MSO turns nationalistic, with works by National Artists; and on Aug. 4 the theme is French (“Vive le MSO!”).

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