Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor Gerard Salonga
Soprano Andion Fernandez
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO), the national orchestra and a resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), unveiled its 37th season program and list of soloists and guest conductors for the 2019-2020 concert series.
PPO Music Director Yoshikazu Fukumura takes the helm in five concerts of the season while three will be led by guest conductors Michael Cousteau, Herminigildo Ranera, and Gerard Salonga.
The 37th PPO concert season is billed as “Gold Classical Music Treasures” and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CCP.
It will run from September 2019 to April 2020 at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).
The season opens on Sept. 13 with pianist Noriko Ogawa as soloist and Maestro Fukumura at the podium. Ogawa achieved renown when she earned success at the Leeds International Piano Competition.
According to the Telegraph, her “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries. She is known as a fine Debussy specialist and a professor at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. On the concert program are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Don Giovanni Overture, Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no.3 op.26 in C Major, and Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony no.7 op.70 in D minor.
On Oct. 25, French conductor Michael Cousteau takes over the baton to conduct a program offering Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod, Hector Berlioz’s Harold in Italy op.16, and Romeo and Juliet: Love Scene, and Franz Liszt’s Les Preludes. Cousteau is “an established international musician of unusual versatility, conducting operatic and symphonic repertoire ranging from the Baroque period to contemporary works.” Featured soloist for the evening is Rey Casey Concepcion on the viola.
On Nov. 15, Maestro Fukumura returns to the podium with the Sora Ensemble of Japan as the featured soloists of the evening. The group was formed by Hiromasa Iwasaki, the principal oboist of the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra in 2008. Along with the motto “Music at Anytime, Anywhere,” they have performed more than 100 concerts annually while travelling to different cities, towns and villages in Hokkaido and other parts of Japan, to bring the energetic live performances of chamber music, symphony, and other ensemble music to the people.
The concert repertoire consists of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony no.9 op.70, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante op. 84 in B-flat Major, and two works by Arturo Marquez, Danzon no.7 and Danzon no.8.
For its Christmas offering, the PPO performs on Dec. 20 with conductor Herminigildo Ranera. The PPO performs two works by Samuel Barber’s, Adagio for Strings and Die Natali op.36, Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra, and Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien op.45. Percussionist Aimee De la Cruz and soprano Alexa Kaufman are the soloists for the evening.
The bassoon heralds the New Year when Adolfo Mendoza is featured soloist in the fifth concert of the PPO season on Jan. 24, 2020. Maestro Fukumura conducts a program of Antonin Dvorak’s Serenade for String Orchestra op.22 in E Major, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, and Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D minor.
Gerard Salonga is the guest conductor for the PPO’s sixth season concert with soprano Andion Fernandez performing as soloist. Salonga is currently the music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. He is in his second season as assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Fernandez is a soloist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2001.
Slated on Valentine’s Day 2020, the concert offers Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky’s “Pathetique” Symphony no.6 op.74 in B minor, National Artist Lucio San Pedro’s Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan, Franz Schubert’s Erlkönig, Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas.
On March 13, Japanese violinist Ryu Goto returns to Manila to perform again with the PPO. Goto has established himself as a significant icon in classical music, with a large and growing following in Asia, North America, and Europe.
Maestro Fukumura leads the PPO in a repertoire consisting of Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Violin Concerto op.35 in D Major, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony no.5 op.67 in C minor.
The grand finale of the PPO concert season, on April 24, is an exciting collaboration with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. Ray Wang again plays the cello with the PPO under Maestro Fukumura. Wang currently serves as head of the Junior Music Department and he is a senior lecturer in strings at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
The evening program will feature Carl Orff’s Entrata for Orchestra, Franz Joseph Haydn’s Cello Concerto no.2 in D Major, and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique op.14.
The PPO is the country’s leading orchestra and also recognized in the Asia-Pacific region. It was established on May 15, 1973 as the CCP Philharmonic Orchestra intended to perform at the center as one of its main resident performing groups and collaborate with renowned Filipino and foreign artists either as soloists or conductors.
The PPO promotes music appreciation, especially to Filipinos, through the CCP’s Office of the President Outreach Program headed by Arsenio Lizaso. Through this program, the PPO performs in schools, parishes, government agencies, and underserved communities not only in Metro Manila but also in other key cities.
Currently, the PPO is under the music direction of its principal conductor and music director Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura. with Prof. Herminigildo Ranera as associate conductor and Dino Decena as concertmaster.
For ticket information, please call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.