The orchestral event of the week is the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) under Taiwanese-American conductor Marlon Chen performing Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1 (The Titan)” at Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on Jan. 30 at 8 p.m.
The added treat is Ravel’s “Piano Concerto” in G major with Victor Asuncion as soloist.
What is exciting about it is that the orchestra will team up with the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO), which was adjudged the best orchestral ensemble in the last Summa Cum Laude Festival in Vienna.
What makes it special is that Asia’s oldest orchestra has a new concertmaster in the person of an outstanding Juilliard-graduate Diomedes Saraza Jr., who was also one of the orchestra’s distinguished soloist in previous seasons.
He replaced Gina Medina who has retired.
What’s the big deal about a new concertmaster?
Medina said a good concertmaster must know the music very well and not just the part that he is playing. “The most essential quality is the high level of technical proficiency and artistic integrity,” she explained. “Since orchestral music making is about combining talents of different musicians in interpreting a masterpiece, a good concertmaster should be able to work well with the conductor. He should be able to execute what the conductor demands in the work at hand. Music-making is a relationship-
“As a leader, the concertmaster should be respectable. His level of playing should inspire and not intimidate the other members of the orchestra in order for them to perform with a high level of standard. He should be emotionally secure to accept corrections but must possess a strong character to make musical decisions in line with the conductor’s musical ideas or interpretation of the score.”
Tickets are available at www.ticketworld.com.ph.
Tenor Nomher Nival and sopranos Myramae Meneses and Nerissa de Juan will appear in a special Valentine’s concert, “Love Me! Love Me Not! Songs from the Silver Screen,” at Canto Guest House Feb. 14, 6 p.m., and at Teatro Amianan, University of the Philippines Baguio on Feb. 15, 5:30 p.m. Call 09183473027 or 7827164. —CONTRIBUTED