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‘Symphony at the Bay’ Unique piano concert / IC’s non-stop reading

The Foundation for the Musical Filipino, headed by President Jul Dizon, presented jointly with the Management Association of the Philippines "Symphony at the Bay" at the Coconut Palace. Mrs. Dizon observed that the concert "will focus on patriotic compositions to awaken love for country as we dare to dream of creating peace through music."

Featured were internationally acclaimed concert pianist Raul Sunico, multi-awarded soprano Rachelle Gerodias, tenor Lemuel de la Cruz and the UST Orchestra under Herminigildo Ranera in an all-Filipino program.

Gerodias was spirited and sparkling, her voice made even more ravishing by her dexterous manipulation of dynamics in climactic passages. De la Cruz seemed rather inhibited, not always delivering in full volume. In Anak Dalita and Kalesa, the soprano tended to overshadow the tenor.

The orchestral pieces – the Tanging Yaman Overture, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan, Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa, etc. as well as L. Sacramento’s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, "Maharlika", played by Sunico, were relatively speaking, technically much less sophisticated, less challenging and demanding than foreign compositions. The Concerto was a breeze for Sunico who infused tremendous power, outstanding dexterity and sensitivity into the work.

Heading the audience were music patrons Alfred and Enny Ching, impresario Tony Pastor, Luis and Mellie Ablaza.

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Young pianist Jonathan Arevalo Coo will make his debut as conductor when he wields the baton over the Adventist Chamber Orchestra which will assist eminent concert pianist Ingrid Santamaria in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor on May 21, 4 p.m. at F. Santiago Hall.

Orchestra members come from diverse regions – Isabela, Baguio, Manila, Sta. Rosa, Lucena and Bicol. Six are from Korea.

Coo will also conduct Il Repastore Overture by Mozart who marks his 250th birth anniversary, and Awit ng mga Kabataan, Pandanggo sa Ilaw, Philippines Triumphant and Ode to the Republic by National Artist Col. Antonino Buenaventura who marks his 10th death anniversary. Tribute will also be paid the orchestra’s honorary music director Rizalina Exconde Buenaventura who is observing her 88th birthday.

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After the sacred music concert Maestro Rolando Nicolosi gave at the Manila Cathedral, he will give another concert in the RCBC auditorium on May 18 at 6:30 p.m. under the auspices of the Italian Embassy.

The event will be unique. Images of famous films will be projected on a big screen without sound; instead Nicolosi’s piano-playing will be heard. There will be 41 film trailers, some of which will be Gone with the Wind, Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Gilda, Johnny Guitar, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Magnificent Seven, The Wizard of Oz, Roberta, Lawrence of Arabia, Summer Time.

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The Instituto Cervantes is inviting all Spanish-speaking residents and students in Manila to take part in the first public, non-stop, round-the-clock reading of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere as a tribute to the national hero. There will be 21 continuous hours of reading the novel’s 580 pages. The occasion will be the official inauguration of the Instituto Cervantes’ new building at the Salon de Actos.

Reading dates are June 16 and 17, starting 3 p.m. on June 16. There will be a midnight concert and midnight paella on Friday and the final breakfast party on Saturday morning, with chocolate con churros for all participants who will each get a T-shirt and a certificate.

The IC needs 250 readers. Those wishing to sign up should call 526-1482 to 85, local 115 or text 0906-8173781, or e-mail cultmni@cervantes.net.ph on the subject "Lee el Noli".

The IC theater, now under construction, will be inaugurated in mid-June. Anyone who wants to be a theater sponsor will have his/her name engraved on a brass plaque, which plaque will be placed at the back of a theater seat. A corporate sponsor will have the same privilege. Individual sponsorship is for P11,000; corporate sponsorship, P16,000. Deadline for checks is May 20.

The First International Congress on Fil-Hispanic Architecture was held in Manila in November of 2002. The conference papers are now in a book which the IC will present jointly with the Asia-European Foundation on May 16 at 7 p.m.

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I was unable to attend the piano recital of eight-year old Hannah Frances Hua at the F. Santiago Hall but the following program notes on her are very impressive. Hannah performed Haydn’s Concerto in C and Mozart’s Concerto in F, assisted by the MSO II under Prof. Arturo Molina.

Daughter of Yun Wang and Jingdon Hua, and a student of Cecile Basilio-Roxas, Hannah has already played in several piano recitals and workshops. She also performed at the Sta. Isabel College Jubilee Concert in the Philamlife auditorium last year during which she rendered ensemble pieces with her equally talented younger brother Hugo. Grade Two student at the ISM, Hannah has just turned eight.

Her recital was under the auspices of the MCO Foundation which supports highly promising artists by giving them exposure, endorsement and experience.

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