The Arts Council of Cebu, in cooperation with Rudolf Pianos, recently presented “The Great Romantics,” a piano recital by the internationally acclaimed Rudolf Golez. It was held at the auditorium of the Marcelo B. Fernan Press Center, filled to capacity by a select, appreciative audience.
Rudolf did away with lengthy program notes for the audience to read, and instead personally explained the repertoire. First came Beethoven’s “Waldstein Sonata” in C Major Opus 53. In its time, it was titled “The Dawn.”
Next came three preludes by Rachmaninoff, which Rudolf said were the composer’s favorites. “They are also my favorites,” he added.
The recital ended with the rarely performed (in Cebu) Brahms “Sonata” in F minor, all five movements of it. It was performed with such brilliance that the audience gave Rudolf a standing ovation.
Such was the response that it merited an encore, Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu.” The applause was even wilder for this, and so Rudolf obliged with one more encore, Chopin’s “Revolutionary Etude.”
In the audience was a beaming Rafaelita Pelaez, Rudolf’s mother, who had come from Cagayan de Oro for the event. She was Rudolf’s first piano teacher when he was a little boy.
“He had seen a video of ‘The Waltz King,’ starring Kerwin Mathews, about the life of Johann Strauss,” she recalled. “And he wanted to learn how to play those waltzes. So I taught him how to play. Regular music lessons, notes and all came later.”
Also present was Rudolf’s pretty wife, Diane. They were married October last year at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy. They are now expecting their first child.
Likewise present were former Arts Council president Maia Villarica Franco, and a great representation of trustees such as vice presidents Vivina Yrastorza and Maxwell Espina, Mariter Klepp, Elvira Luym, Annie Aboitiz, Teresin Mendezona, Marissa Fernan, Elena Young, Rose Hannessy and Angelina Escaño with her son Dr. Clint Escaño.
Spotted as well were the Arts Council’s executive secretary Mariz Rallos, Vikki Hermosisima, Marguerite Lhuillier, Coring Lienaw, Nonie Uy, Tessie Javier, designer Oj Hofer and Dominique Riegel.
More: Myra Gonzalez and Margot Larrañaga, Tina Ebrada and Mem La O, Paqui Aboitiz and Quina Melendez, Yvette Alfon, Chinggay Utzurrum and Terry Manguerra, Garrison Roseau, Stephan and Stephanie Sieberg.
Following the recital was a dinner at Casino Español de Cebu where Rudolf and his mother Rafaelita recounted anecdotes about his career.
Rudolf comes to Cebu when he’s not busy as vice president for cultural affairs at the family-owned Liceo de Cagayan University in Cagayan de Oro.
Asked when he is performing again in Cebu, he said he’s discussing with Rene Kintanar, treasurer of Casino Español de Cebu, a possible evening of Spanish music to mark Dia de Santiago on
Speaking of the Casino Español de Cebu, it has formed a committee for the celebration of its centennial in 2020. Club president Paco Jarque is in it along with Rene, Mendezona, José Sala, Margot Larrañaga and Honey Loop.
And, speaking of jubilees, there’s the Arts Council itself, which will turn 60 in 2020. It was founded in 1960 by the late Fe Sala Villarica.
Beyond 2020 is the 500th anniversary of Magellan’s coming to Cebu in March 1521. He may have died here, but his expedition continued, thus achieving the first circumnavigation of the globe.