The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) announced its 35th concert season in a press conference held recently at Diamond Hotel’s Citrine-Emerald Function Room.
Anchored on the theme “Romancing the Classics,” PPO’s season concert kicked off on Sept. 15 at Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater with Yoshikazu Fukumura, its music director and principal conductor conducting.
The soft-spoken maestro informed the media the goals for the PPO last year pursued under the theme “Timeless Classics, New Beginnings” was successfully achieved. This, he said, was made possible with everyone’s cooperation, such as the PPO musicians, the CCP management, the media and the listening public.
The theme focused on learning the basics, which meant honing the technique of the musicians, and strict imposition of discipline, all aimed at the production of a “disciplined symphonic sound.”
Asked how Fukumura’s stint as a conductor had impacted on them, three musicians unanimously hailed his tight handling of the orchestra as “dynamic and productive.”
PPO OIC concertmaster Dino Akira Decena said he saw “a bright future for the PPO under the stewardship of maestro Fukumura.”
For another violinist, Berny Dulce Payte, the presence of the maestro was “badly needed for the discipline he imposes.”
For principal cellist Gerry Graham Gonzales, the maestro had “delivered the goods excellently,” capping his statement with an emphatic “the PPO needs him.”
Ricson Poonin, trombone, performed with Jane Banta on the keyboard an excerpt from Bizet’s “Carmen.” He gave a warm elegant sound rather than the brassy, squeezing sound usually associated with the instrument.
Artistic director Chris B. Millado welcomed and thanked the media for the support they had collectively given to the PPO. He told everyone about the PPO’s other tasks, in addition to the eight concerts it regularly performs yearly.
Among these are the PPO’s special performances on different occasions in different venues; collaborative performances with CCP’s other artistic companies; command performances in state functions such as the recent Asean conference held in the country.
The opening concert featured Russian pianist Yury Shadrin, who performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major.
Fukumura will share the baton with two Filipino conductors and performing artists in the concert series.
The Filipino conductors are Gerard Salonga, to collaborate with saxophonist Tots Tolentino who will play John Williams’ “Escapades: Catch Me If You Can” in the third series on Nov. 17; and Herminigildo Ranera, to collaborate with trombone player Ricson Poonin who will play F. David’s Trombone Concerto in E-Flat Major in the fifth series on Jan. 19, 2018.
Concert pianists Ingrid Sala Santamaria and Raul Sunico will forge a tandem in the seventh series on March 16, 2018, for the rarely performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in A-Flat Major with Fukumura as conductor.
The closing concert on April 13, 2018, will see trumpet player Raymund de Leon perform Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto.
Foreign performing artists include cellist Ray Wang, who will perform E. Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D Minor in the second series on Oct. 13; and guitarist Eduardo Fernandez, who will perform Rodrigo’s concerto “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” in the fourth series on Dec. 15.
Greek conductor Stefanos Tsialis will lead the PPO in the sixth series on Feb. 16, 2018 featuring among others Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. –CONTRIBUTED
Call CCP Box Office at 8323704; TicketWorld at 8919999; visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.