Wonder Boy Chino performs; Forbes tycoons take notice/Notes on Juan Luna’s model
SUNDRY STROKES (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2013 - 12:00am

Wonder Boy Joaquin Maria “Chino” Gutierrez, already regarded a virtuoso, will give a violin recital titled “Revelry: Live, Love, Dance” on Nov. 30, 8 p.m. at the F. Santiago Hall. He will render works by Ysaye, Franck, Stravinsky, Dvorak, Wieniawski, Ravel and Rizal-Kabayao.

Herewith is a backgrounder provided the press. Chino began studies at seven-and-a-half under international violinist, Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata; after only two years, Chino won second prize in the 1999 NAMCYA contest, grade school division. Three years later, he won its first prize, HS division, the youngest contestant at 12.

He made his orchestral debut at the CCP at 10 performing Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole. His first solo recital also at 10 won him critical acclaim. Bolipata described him as “unusually gifted, with a natural ability and a sense of music-making uncanny for someone his age.” This reviewer wrote: “Chino’s performance was brilliant, manifesting an expressivity and sensitivity well beyond his tender years. The most intricate and rapid configurations were played with agility and pizzazz…with virtuosity.” Distinguished violinist-conductor Oscar Yatco commented: “Chino is the Cecile Licad of the violin.” At Munich’s prestigious State Academy of Music and Theater, renowned pedagogue Jens Ellermann instantly recognized Chino as “a major talent.”

Simultaneously attending a German HS, the multi-talented Chino made splendid progress in his violin studies as also in science and languages. At 14, he emerged champion in the state math competitions in Bavaria. Because of his linguistic talent, he was hand-picked to co-author a book on etymology in five languages. When not performing onstage, Chino teaches HS algebra and trigonometry, and tutors violin students.

Chino has attended master classes here, in Germany, Italy and the US, and has been mentored by such violin icons as Gilopez Kabayao, 3-Yatco, Joseph Esmilla, Alexandru Tomescu, Gottfried Schneider and Weigang Li. Chino, who has performed with the PPO, the Manila Philharmonic, the Metro Manila Community Orchestra, earlier received grants from the Dorian Stiftung in Stuttgart and the Theodor-Rogler Stiftung in Munich.

Hopefully with sufficient donations from Forbes listed tycoons, he will be able to earn his Bachelor of Music degree in Munich’s State Academy under Olga Voitova-Bloch and Christoph Poppen who performed at the CCP years ago.

For Chino’s recital, collaborating artist will be Corazon Pineda Kabayao, one of the country’s leading pianists.

*      *      *

Prof. Jack Pillar will give a lecture on The Life and Works of Juan Luna on Nov. 12, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Lopez Museum. Not being an art critic — I review the performing arts, particularly music — I would like to write a few personal notes relative to the great painter.

Years before the war, my late mother commissioned a Spanish artist (a certain Perez) to paint a copy of Luna’s Spoliarium. Although the copy far from matched the tremendous size of the original, visitors (to our residence on Taft) would look long and hard at it in wide-eyed amazement. Unfortunately our house, and the painting along with it, was put to the torch by the fleeing Japanese during the Liberation. We did not have the foresight of taking it with us when we evacuated to Batangas.

As for Luna’s models, one of his favorites was Emiliana Trinidad, mother of my sister-in-law Edita de Santos (Mrs. Sixto Orosa Jr.). According to Edita, Emiliana, in fact was the model for “Bulaqueña,” as attested to by Luna himself in a letter he wrote, thereafter reprinted by Alfredo Roces in his book “Rage.”

Presumably, “Bulaquena” is still in Malacañang. (How it got there remains a mystery. Most likely, the Japanese took it to the Palace when they momentarily moved in.)

After the war, Emiliana requested me to try to retrieve it for her heirs. Rafael Salas, then the executive secretary, received me cordially in the Palace, but my attempt to get back the painting was to no avail.

Continuing to describe the relationship between Luna and Emiliana, Edita said the painter was so smitten by the half-Spanish beauty that he wanted to marry her. She was 18 then; he, 32. Emiliana’s family did not look with favor upon the considerable age gap, but had the marriage taken place, Luna’s life in Spain would have been an entirely different story.

In any case, Luna gave Emiliana several sketches of his and a few paintings, one of them having been what viewers named “Tampuhan” (Lovers’ Quarrel). Years later, Emiliana graciously gifted us with the painting.


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with