Monday, September 30, 2013

16-year old Pianist to Close MCOF Young Artists’ Series

Press Release
Pianist Matthew Calderon will be performing at the Ayala Museum, Makati Ave. corner De la Rosa St., Makati on October 16, 2013 at 7pm under the aegis of the MCO Foundation's "Young Artists' Series".
Considered one of the most exciting young artists of this generation, Matthew Calderon started his first piano lessons at the early age of 6 under Mr. Jerome Baes.  In 2010, he was accepted as a music scholar at the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) at 12 years old.  He is now on his 4th year and under the tutelage of Prof. Mary Anne Espina. Since his first year at PHSA, he has consistently garnered academic and artistic excellence awards.
In 2011, he won 4th prize in the PTGP’s 2011 “Soundscapes” competition.  Last year, he was the lone winner of the 2nd International Mozart Piano Competition held in Bangkok, Thailand. He joined with 11 other young talented pianists across Asia to participate in the 2013 Summer Piano Institute at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at Singapore where he had master classes with Prof. Thomas Hecht and Prof. Albert Tiu.
Aside from solo concerts, Matthew also engages himself with chamber music with other young musicians of his age, and regularly performs in school or outreach concert handled by National Arts Center of the Philippines in Los BaƱos and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Matthew regularly attends piano masterclasses including those handled by Claudia Yang, Fr. Manuel Maramba, OSB, Prof. Najib Ismail, Prof. Aries Caces, Dr. Ross Salvosa, Prof. Reynaldo Reyes, Dr. Victor Asuncion, Ms. Carmencita Sipin-Aspiras, Dr. Charisse Baldoria, Dr. Anna Kijanowska and Prof. Rolf Dieter Arens.
For this concert, Matthew will be performing works by Bach, Debussy, Schumann and Beethoven.  This concert is made possible through partnership with Ayala Museum, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts,  Lyric Piano, National Book Store, Sheaffer Fine Pens, BusinessWorld, HerWord, HighLife, Development Bank of the Philippines, and 98.7 DZFE.FM The Master's Touch.
The "MCOF Young Artists' Series" is one of Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation’s core programs.  The MCOF, established in 1985, has a mission of promoting classical music. Every year, the MCO Foundation selects some of the most promising young artists, who are given the endorsement, performance opportunities, and exposure to a wider public. Oftentimes, the recitals of young artists under the MCOF aegis have become the artists’ official debut as performers. The MCOF has featured numerous young talents who are doing well now in their respective careers.

For tickets, please call TICKETWORLD 891-9999 and MCO Secretariat at 750-0768 and 0920-9540053.

A fab! Tribute to Tony Fabella

Press Release:
A showcase of some of the most exciting works of award winning Filipino ballet dancer, teacher and choreographer Tony Fabella will be staged in a Ballet Festival to be held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) from October 11-13, 2013.

Classical, modern and neo ethnic pieces will be performed by many of the ballet schools that Fabella worked with. Among these are Acts Manila, Perry Sevidal Ballet, Quezon City Performing Arts Development Foundation, Vella Damian School of Ballet, Philippine Ballet Theater Conservatoire, Pink Toes, Ballet Manila School, Ecole de Ballet, Halili Cruz School of Ballet, Radaic School of Classical Ballet, and the CCP Dance School.

Tony Fabella was a Filipino choreographer whose work greatly contributed to the development of Philippine dance, popularizing the medium of classical and contemporary ballet, and fusing them to evolve a distinct form and style. He co-founded and was President of the Q.C. Performing Group and the Manila Dance Center. Fabella was an Artistic Council member of Philippine Ballet Theater, and former lead member of the Bayanihan Philippine National Folk Dance Company and was the company’s Artistic Consultant before his demise in 2009. He has taught dance in many schools and directed many productions all over Metro Manila from studio set-ups to college and university courses.

Among many other accolades, Tony Fabella received the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award from the City of Manila in 1984 and the National Commission on Culture and Arts’ 2003 Alab ng Haraya.

For more information, contact the CCP Performing Arts Division at 832-1125 loc. 1607 and 1611 or the CCP Marketing Department at local 1803 or 1406.

Monday, September 16, 2013

St. Lorenzo Meets Voltes V in the Musical, Lorenzo

It all  happened in De la Salle UniversityTheater when the Filipino saint was in the same play as Voltes V.  The unexpected twist and appearance of a 70s Japanese icon to the heavy tragic narration of Lorenzo Ruiz's story was appreciated by the audience as they left in a high mood. Including anime, kabuki and other Japanese stylings to a biographical musical, made the play feel modern and artistic.  For me, this is what made the play stand out from the rest.
In the beginning, I must admit I was a bit confused with the transitions of scenes and I wasn't too impressed with the set and the blockings.  But as the play progressed, I saw the build up and intentions of the director.  The unpredictability and subtle symbolisms made me sit up and my interest grew as I continued to watch.  The choreography made me smile as it complemented the scene and set design.  I loved the movements which helped progress the story.  Add the great vocals of Lorenzo's wife and kids, along with the Japanese officials who gave a "rock musical" feel to the play then you have a great piece of entertainment that maximized all possible tools and ideas. 

 Encountering the actors several times in previous plays already,  I had no doubt they would be superb in their performance.  It was a given for me . . . great actors, great singers.  But when you provide them a great environment, such as a band, stage, choreography, costumes, lighting then you have one heck of a play.

Adding another element of symbolisms, subtlety, and "out of the box" executions (with pun intended) then you have a memorable play that for me is world class.

We all know the sad ending of martyrs, and I am not exactly looking forward to witnessing torture, especially so with the barbaric execution of Lorenzo and his group. But with the unique execution of including kabuki, anime, and other Japanese culture visuals made the play light and fun.  I especially love the effort in the "bow" or curtain call which intended to make people laugh.  Needless to say that this play is a must see.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sagada: Greens and Fresh Air, Left and Right, Left and Right

So it wasn’t the most comfortable trip ever but the destination was all worth it.  Taking a whiff of the fresh, clean air and savoring the cool breeze upon arriving to this mountainous tourist attraction made my nausea from the zigzag road go away faster.   It was around 5 hours of zigzaging from Benguet province to Sagada.

After our Benguet farm tours, my fellow bloggers and I took a van to Sagada which left early around 4am.  We learned the hard way that you should not take coffee before the trip and to make sure you visit the comfort room before you depart because it will take quite a while before you land near a public toilet.  I blame it on the cold weather and the coffee for the urge to urinate every so often .  The pay public toilets  available at every junction is proof of the fact that other people also experience the same thing.  So make sure to always have coins with you for whenever  you need to go.

For a more memorable Sagada adventure they say, you should travel by jeep sitting on the roof.  I’ve seen a couple of foreign tourist backpackers do exactly though we did not have a chance to try that.

 We made a courtesy call to the Mayor’s office upon arrival where we were  briefed about their organic agriculture progress while being served a cup of homegrown, brewed coffee.  They treated us to a savory lunch of native cuisine which included ‘Pinikpikan” with cured smoked beef.  The salted beef was the strong flavor that made the stew extra special.

After lunch, we were brought to a cozy, reasonably-priced homestay accommodation to unpack and rest.  With rates around P250-300 per night per head, the homestay  is ideal for  for the backpacking crowd who have limited budgets.  There were other foreign boarders whom we shared the same home, toilets, living and dining areas with.  The nights were cool and conducive for a refreshing sleep. 

The mornings were even more awesome, waking up to a gorgeous view of the mountains while smelling freshly-brewed Sagada coffee.Breakfast was the social event of the day were everyone was cheerful and excited for the day’s activities.

Prior to our Sagada tour, was a visit to an organic coffee farm where the farmer discussed how they maintained the farm focusing on their compost preparation, fertilizers, and application of organic pesticides.  Due to rainy July weather, the grounds were muddy and a bit slippery.

Back at the Homestay,  we strolled around the premises late afternoon  then had dinner while exchanging jokes and stories.  It was simply heaven the next morning to have warm, freshly brewed Sagada coffee in such a cool, lovely weather with a gorgeous view of greeneries.  That was the highlight of my Sagada experience.  But wait, there’s more . . .

I did the unthinkable, for me, when I said yes to go spelunking in a deep, dark, muddy, bat-inhabited cave---the Sumaguing Cave.  Yes, I decided to try it for the first time, and perhaps the last time, just to say that I did it.  The thought of grabbing slimy rocks covered in bat feces and urine just to keep from slipping is not something I look forward to doing again.  Once is good enough for me.  The other tamer activities we did in Sagada was touring around the museum, pottery shop, weaving shop, and visiting the hanging coffins site. 

 I wanted to take home and try the blueberry and mulberry jams as well as try the blueberry wine, but the thought of carrying that extra load on top of my luggage made me decide against it. 

For me, Sagada would be the ideal haven for writers and painters who long for a peaceful environment with inspiring views, fresh clean air to clear the mind,  and organic coffee to stimulate the mind’s creative process.  


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