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An ode to joy

Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra takes on Beethoven

At a Glance

  • Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend. — Ludwig van Beethoven

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KEEPING CLASSICAL MUSIC ALIVE Members of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) posing in front of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Photo Rodel Valiente) 

Has there ever been a classical musician more known than Ludwig van Beethoven? Beethoven has long been credited as one of the greatest of all time when it came to classical music due to how he modernized music during his era. His innovative compositions, such as the Ninth Symphony, display an emotional depth and his willingness to experiment with his music. Even as he lost his hearing, he continued to work on his music and inspire countless artists. Now, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will be taking on his legacy in their upcoming concert as part of their 39th Concert Season, Switch, at the Samsung Performing Arts Theater.

Dubbed Ode to Joy, the program features Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 in D minor, under the baton of PPO music director and principal conductor Maestro Grzegorz Nowak.

Experience the grandeur of Beethoven’s monumental Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 in D minor, with guest performers baritone Byeong-In Park, mezzo soprano Krissan Manikan-Tan, soprano Rachelle Gerodias, and tenor Arthur Espiritu. The Beethoven piece has been known for its innovative use of a vocal quartet and a choir in the last movement, which includes the well-loved “Ode to Joy.” The PPO’s rendition features a 120-voice choir composed of singers from the CMU Consortium of Voices, Eastern Chamber Singers, Ateneo Chamber Singers, Novo Concertante Manila, and Kammerchor Manila, with chorus master and CCP trustee Jonathan Velasco. Velasco has made a name for himself as his choirs have won first prizes in major European choral competitions. He regularly adjudicates choral competitions in Europe and Asia and gives choral conducting workshops and coral clinics worldwide. He currently conducts the Ateneo Chamber Singers.

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Raul Sunico 

Meanwhile, renowned pianist and former CCP president Raul Sunico will also be taking center stage as he performs Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in A Major, a dazzling and virtuosic piece that highlights the composer’s inventive approach to the piano and his ability to integrate solo and orchestral parts fluidly.  Hailed for his “unusual gifts of lyricism and poetry,” Sunico has an illustrious international career as a concert pianist, orchestral soloist, and composer-arranger of Philippine music. Aside from being a spectacular performer, he is a music education advocate, textbook author, and former dean of the UST Conservatory of Music. (Culturalcenter.gov.ph)

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Credit belongs to: www.mb.com.ph

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