Cecile Licad: A pianist's pianist

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The first Filipino and probably the first Asian to receive the Leventritt Gold Medal in New York is now making the rounds of international piano competitions not as competitor but as international judge.

Celebrated Filipino pianist Cecile Licad was again named as a distinguished member of the international jury of the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Competition and Festival based in Maryland, USA.

Also named members of the jury were  Santiago Rodriguez  (USA), Richard Egarr (England), Ming Quiang Li (China), Peter Roessel (Germany), Noriko Ogawa (Japan) and Elisso Versaladze (Georgia).

The competition is named after a brilliant American pianist William Kapell who died at age 31 and left behind a legacy of consummate artistry and commitment to music. By the time he was 19, William was already renowned pianist with an impressive list of honors. He had a strong sense of the music of his own time, particularly the piano works of Aaron Copland, and he had an enormous breadth of repertoire.

A few years back, Cecile was invited to judge in the Chopin International Piano Competition but the judging work fell on her engagement in Hong Kong playing Chopin No. 1 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Called “a pianist’s pianist”  by The New Yorker and described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “extraordinary and one of the great flaming talents that comes along one or two times in every generation,” Cecile is considered as an artist whose artistry is a blend of daring musical instinct and superb training. Her natural talent was honed at the Curtis Institute of Music by three of the greatest performer/pedagogues of our time: Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski.

Cecile’s recording credentials included a  recording of three works by Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin, Gaspard de la Nuit and Sonatine. She has an all-Gottschalk recording on the Naxos label and on Sony Classical, she has recorded Schumann’s Carnaval, Papillions and Toccata in C Major; and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Chicago Symphony, conducted by Claudio Abbado. Her Sony Classical release of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2, with André Previn conducting the London Philharmonic, was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Frederic Chopin. Angel/EMI produced her solo all-Chopin recordings, which include Études, Op. 10. Also for Angel/EMI, she recorded, with Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the Franck Sonata in A Major, the Brahms Sonata No. 2 in A Major, and Sonatensatz in C Major.

The Filipino pianist will fly to Manila next month in a special performance with Lea Salonga and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde with the Filharmonika orchestra under the baton of Gerard Salonga on March 17 at the CCP main theater. After her CCP engagement, she will also have a solo recital at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City on March 22; Ciriaco Hotel in Calbayog City, March 24; and Marco Polo Hotel, Cebu City, March 27.

Her solo outreach program includes Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantaisie in A-flat major, Op. 61; Three Mazurkas, Op. 56; Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante in E-flat major, Op. 22; and Liszt’s Miserere du “Trovatore” de Verdi – Paraphrase de Concert and Après une Lecture de Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata. For ticket inquiries, call 748-4152 or 0906-5104270.










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