The famous Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York on June 18.
“It took a whole community to make this dream come true,” said Chris Millado, vice president and artistic director at the Cultural Center of the Philippines during the recent sendoff for the PPO at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.
Millado said the PPO performance at Carnegie Hall marks the first time a Filipino orchestra will perform in the US and in this prestigious concert venue.
PPO’s trip and performance is sponsored by Smart Infinity, the most premium postpaid brand of Smart—known to bring international Broadway productions like “Les Miserables,” “Chicago,” “Cats,” “Mama Mia,” The Phantom of the Opera,” and “Wicked” to Manila.
“Smart Infinity has been bringing international Broadway musicals to the local audience; it’s high time we help bring local talents to the international stage because we know that our talents are world class as well,” said Julie Carceller, head of Smart Infinity and Smart’s Multi-Segment Marketing group.
During the sendoff concert on June 10, PPO played some of the pieces it has selected for its Carnegie concert. These included Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, op.96, Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, op.47 and works by Filipino composers, including Redentor Romero and Ryan Cayabyab.
Thanking all the sponsors of the trip, Millado said everything was jumpstarted by a grant from the MVP Group of Companies, including Smart PLDT Foundation and Smart Infinity.
Millado recalled how PPO principal conductor and musical director Olivier Ochanine first started knocking at doors to make the performance possible.
“He tried year after year. He was rejected but he was determined,” said Millado.
In New York, world-class Filipino talents, pianist Cecile Licad and violinist Diomedes Saraza will join the orchestra. Proceeds from the show will go to a housing project of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) in Tacloban City for super Typhoon Yolanda victims.
The performance is part of Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra’s “MILESTONES: Celebrating the Filipino Spirit” concert tour of the US.
Millado also recalled how difficult it was to make arrangements for an 80-strong orchestra, from visa requirements to accommodations.
“That and the 10 additional airline seats required for 10 cellos, which cannot be checked in, made the arrangements very difficult. But it is happening! We are going to the Carnegie.”
Among the sponsors who are making the Carnegie Hall performance possible are Smart Infinity and One Meralco Foundation, with the support of PLDT Smart Foundation. Alfred Bayle