The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 40th anniversary through a new season of symphony

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra will kick off its 40th anniversary celebration with a concert on September 6, 2013.


The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), the country’s leading orchestra, just celebrated its 40th year of existence.

As it now enters its 31st Classics Season (2013-2014), PPO is planning to showcase new innovations and a more contemporary branding.

Mr. Olivier Ochanine, the PPO’s Music Director and Principal Conductor, outlined the PPO’s schedule of concerts during a lunchtime press conference held recently at the main lobby of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Each concert begins at 8:00 pm.

  • On September 6, the PPO opens the season with “Guzman & Pathétique,” under the baton of Maestro Ochanine with Ms. Viviana Guzman (who will perform “Flutes of the World”) as flutist. Its program features Paul Dukas’ “Fanfare from La Peri,” Antonio Vivaldi’s “Flute Concerto in D Major,” Franz Liszt’s “Les Préludes,” Vittorio Monti’s “Czardas” and the “Symphony No. 6 in B Minor,” Peter Tchaikovsky’s final work (also known as the “Pathétique”).

    • On October 11, PPO Associate Conductor Herminigildo Ranera conducts a program of Filipino works which will feature the “Suite Pastorale” of Lucio D. San Pedro, Angel Pena’s “Philippine Festival Overture,” Alfredo Buenaventura’s “Manik Buangsi and Tuan Putli’s “Symphonic Poem.” Also on the program is the jazzy “La Création du Monde” of Darius Milhaud and the lovely “Slavonic Dances, Op.46” of Antonin Dvorak.

    • On November 14, in partnership with the Embassy of Israel, the PPO (conducted by Maestro Ochianine) will feature pianist Yossi Reshef as soloist for Robert Schumann’s “Piano Concerto in A Minor.” Also included in the program are Schumann’s “Manfred Overture” and Giuseppe Verdi’s “Overture to La Forza del Destino (The Force of Destiny).” Plus, to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Richard Wagner (he was born on May 22, 1813), his “Overture to The Flying Dutchman” and “Overture to Rienzi” will round out the concert.

    • For December 13, Japanese conductor Yoshikazu Fukumura returns to conduct a program of Ludwig van Beethoven (“Symphony No. 2”), Camille Saint-Saens and Manuel De Falla pieces. Hong Kong cellist Ray Wang joins the PPO for the Saint-Saens “Cello Concerto” while selections from De Falla’s “Three-Cornered Hat, Scenes and Dances” are also on the program.

    • On January 17, 2014, following many requests, the complete “Four Seasons” of Antonio Vivaldi will be the main feature of this PPO concert, conducted by Maestro Ochianine and held at the Meralco Theater. Soloists for this concert are Joanne Ruth Livioco, the PPO’s Assistant Concertmaster, and her brother Jonathan David Livioco, a violinist and Concertmaster of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. Also on the program is the “Symphony No. 2, op. 16 - The Four Temperaments” of Carl August Nielsen.

    • On February 21, 2014, former PPO Music Director Eugene Castillo will conduct the PPO in the “Symphony No. 5” of Jean Sibelius, while American violinist Roger Wilke will join the PPO for the romantic “Violin Concerto” of Johannes Brahms. To top it off, Castillo leads the PPO in “The Fall of The Leaf” of Gerald Finzi. This concert will be held at the Meralco Theater.

    • On March 14, 2014, Maestra Apo Hsu, a stellar conductor from Taiwan, will lead the PPO in the exciting Symphony No. 5 of Sergei Prokofiev. Taiwanese oboist Wanchen Hsieh will play the lovely “Oboe Concerto” of Bohuslav Martinu. Maestra Hsu also leads the orchestra in Carolyn Yarnell’s “Yosemite and the Range of Light.”

    • On April 11, 2014, the PPO, conducted by Maestro Ochianine, closes its season with a fun program at the movies. To open this concert, the orchestra premieres the work of the winner of the PPO 2013 Composition Competition (to be announced). The program also features some popular classics from the film music repertoire, along with the stunning “Also Sprach Zarathustra” of Richard Strauss, whose 150th birth anniversary will be commemorated in 2014.

In collaboration with the CCP Marketing Department, headed by its new director Mr. Winston Santiago, the PPO is also committed to narrow the perceived divide between classical music and Filipinos from all walks of life. To do this, the PPO will do a new series of free family and youth concerts at Rizal Park called “Out of the Box,” where everyone will have the chance to hear a wide array of music and see stellar collaborations between local schools and the PPO.

During the presscon, a concertino was performed, with Maestro Ochianine playing the flute and Ms. Lourdes Gregorio on piano.

University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music alumni and PPO assistant bassoonist Adolfo “Pong” Ong Mendoza then performed “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan,” a George Canseco composition.

Finally, invited media were regaled by the FEU Bamboo Band (also known as FEU Pagkat Kawayan) who performed the Filipino folk classics “Magtanim ay Hindi Biro” and “Leron, Leron Sinta” plus “Eye Level,” using the ingeniously crafted marimba (which provides the melody), the lira gabbang (a traditional Muslim instrument), bumbong (which carry out bass and chord rhythms), and angklungs (which provide melodies and counterpoints to the marimba tunes).

Ticket prices for the concerts are PhP1,500, PhP1,200, PhP800 and PhP500, with discounts available for students, senior citizens and groups. Subscription packages are also available for eight (8) or four (4) shows.

For inquiries and subscriptions, please call the CCP Marketing Department (Tel. No. 832-1125 loc. 1806), the CCP Box Office (Tel. No. 832-3704) or Ticketworld at National Bookstore (Tel. No. 891-9999). Purchase tickets online through Ticketworld.

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