The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) continues to romance the classics on its seventh concert for its 35th season titled, “PPO 7: Romancing the Classics.” Featuring Raul Sunico and Ingrid Santamaria, it will be held on the evening of March 16, at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Fresh from its successful outreach concerts in Iloilo and Antique, PPO returns to Manila under the baton of Maestro Herminigildo Ranera to perform Requiem for String Orchestra composed by Toru Takemitsu.
Music lovers will have a rare treat as Sunico and Santamaria perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in A flat” with the CCP resident orchestra.
Composed by Mendelssohn when he was just 15 years old in 1824, the opus premiered in Berlin in 1825.
Sunico finished Music and Mathematics at University of the Philippines, received his Masters in Music at Juilliard School in New York, and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in Piano Performance, at the New York University. He holds the singular distinction of being the only pianist in the world to perform the four piano concertos of Sergei Rachmaninoff in a single evening.
Santamaria, on the other hand, received her music degree from the Battig Piano School, under the tutelage of her mother, Pilar Blanco Sala, followed by further studies at the Juilliard School in New York. She received a master’s degree from Sta. Isabel College in Manila, and was conferred with the Doctor of Music degree in Music Education, honoris causa, at the De La Salle University in 2006.
Through the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation, Inc., Santamaria founded the Peace Philharmonic Philippines (formerly Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra), the only orchestra group south of Manila. Her life mission is to bring live classical music to the countryside.
The seventh concert of the PPO will culminate with Johannes Brahms’s Symphony No. 4. The last of the German composer’s symphonies, it premiered in 1885 at Meiningen, Germany. Among the four symphonies composed by Brahms, Symphony No.4 is the only one ending in a minor key.