Acclaimed young violinist Joaquin Maria “Chino” Gutierrez’s recent renditions of Constancio de Guzman’s “Bayan Ko” and Jose Rizal’s “La Deportacion” have been caught on video and is drawing YouTube audiences, bringing the comfort of classical music to new coronavirus disease-harried Filipinos.
“Bayan Ko” was posted on June 11, on the eve of Philippine Independence Day, while “La Deportacion,” which Rizal composed during his Dapitan exile (1892-1896), was posted on June 17, two days before the 158th birth anniversary of the national martyr. The violin arrangement of the Rizal composition was made by Gilopez Kabayao.
Gutierrez, who started playing the violin at 7 years old, is now 28 and under the tutelage of the French master violinist Pierre Amoyal at the renowned Universitat Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria. He has been dubbed “a major talent” by the German music pedagogue Jens Ellermann.
He was the first Filipino violinist to have been invited to compete at the highly prestigious Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, Germany. In 2019, Gutierrez represented the Philippines at the Singapore International Music Festival.
As a kid, he began violin studies under Alfonso Bolipata. After only two years of instruction, he won second prize at the National Music Competitions for Young Artists, grade school division. At 12, he bagged the first prize in the high school division of the same competition.
He made his orchestral debut at 10 years old in a performance of Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole” with Metro Manila Community Orchestra, under the baton of Josefino Chino Toledo, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has since performed with Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and Moscovia String Orchestra, under conductors Yoshikazu Fukumura, Oscar Yatco, Toledo, Francisco Feliciano and Eduard Grach.
He has given performances in Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria and Israel.
“Bayan Ko” and “La Deportacion” can be accessed on the violinist’s YouTube channel, “Joaquin Maria Chino Gutierrez.”
‘Let It Be’
Also drawing classical music audiences is Manila Symphony Orchestra’s (MSO) online performance while on quarantine of the Beatles song “Let It Be.” This follows up on MSO’s quarantine performance of Ennio Morricone’s “Nella Fantasia: Gabriel’s Oboe.” Both performances are part of the series, “Tagpi-tagping Damdamin: Orchestra in Quarantine,” with concept and editing by MSO executive director and conductor Jeffrey Solares.
The MSO performances can be accessed on the Manila Symphony Orchestra YouTube channel. They’re also available on the MSO Facebook page. —Lito B. Zulueta INQ