“If the people are not able to go to the CCP (Cultural Center of the Philippines), the CCP will go to them. We will make music and the arts available to the people and to the world, since there are many Filipinos abroad.”
The words are from Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, CCP president, at the recent press conference to launch the 37th concert season (2019-2020) of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), a resident company of the CCP headed by music director and principal conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura. The launch was held at the Century Park Hotel in Manila.
Lizaso said this will be done through the outreach concerts of the PPO and through the “CCP on Wheels” project. The latter takes the form of a made-over, donated bus with a LED screen, library with computer and books, which will tour neglected areas of the country.
The PPO has been to foreign countries, including Japan, and has performed in many out-of-town venues. “The tours have attracted people from all walks of life,” said Lizaso. “They dance, cry and laugh. One told me, ‘hindi ko maintindihan’ (I don’t understand it), so I said it doesn’t matter as long as you enjoyed it! Music doesn’t change, it’s people who do.”
Aside from outreach concerts in Metro Manila, the PPO later this year and up to early 2020 will tour Iloilo, Aklan, Cebu, Bohol, Lingayen, Pangasinan; Naga City, Legazpi City, Sorsogon, Isabela, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Dumaguete City and Aurora province.
Performers during the press launch included child soprano Alexa Kaufman and bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza, backed up by the PPO Ensemble.
The season opens Sept. 13 at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) with Japanese pianist Noriko Ogawa playing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3.
Other playdates are Oct. 25 (viola player Rey Casey Conception); Nov. 15 (Sora Ensemble of Japan); Dec. 20 (percussionist Aimee De la Cruz); Jan. 24, 2020 (bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza); Feb. 14, 2020 (soprano Andion Fernandez); March 13, 2020 (rock star Ryu Goto, violinist); and April 24, 2020 (cellist Ray Wang).—CONTRIBUTED