Schedule/Venue

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Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

Cultural Center Of The Philippines (CCP)
Roxas Blvd. cor. Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., CCP Complex, Pasay
Metro Manila, Philippines

  • 8
    8:00 PM

About the Event

Manila Symphony Orchestra opens its 2013-2014 Season on Saturday, June 8, 2013, 8:00PM at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) with “Ode to Stars,” featuring Filipino contrabass virtuoso Jiovanni Tabada, MSO Concertmaster Gina Medina, and an 80-piece Manila Symphony Orchestra (with an all-female chorus of 20 singers from Viva Voce) under the musical direction of Maestro Arturo Molina.


Featuring Lucio San Pedro’s “Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan,” Giovanni Botessini’s “Duo Concertante for Violin and Contrabass,” Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” and “Two Overtures from Film Scores by John Williams- E.T., The Extra Terrestrial and Star Wars,” the program is thematically crafted around musical explorations of the various heavenly bodies and their effects on the human psyche.


The Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is one of Asia’s oldest symphony orchestras. It was founded by Dr. Alexander Lippay in 1926 and reorganized in 2001 by its longtime concertmaster, Prof. Basilio Manalo. At present, the MSO is composed of around 60 musicians under the music direction of Prof. Arturo Molina. Many of the members of the MSO are professional musicians who, in addition to their leadership roles in the orchestra, are also active participants in the cultural life of the country as soloists, music educators, music arrangers, chamber music performers, entrepreneurs, bandmasters, and choir conductors. A significant part of the orchestra is also composed of young music students who represent the best crop of young musicians enrolled in the different colleges and conservatories of music in Metro Manila. Many of these have been winners in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) and have represented the country in various international music festivals and workshops. MSO’s mission is to enrich the Filipino’s vibrant cultural life through fine orchestral music and to enable more people to experience the power of music. MSO aims to perform within the highest international standards and to present symphonic orchestral music in a fresh, spirited, and entertaining way.


Arturo Molina’s conducting is described as instinctive, natural and intuitive- yet precise, clear and authoritative. This combination of natural musical instinct and precise baton technique allows the orchestra to perform with a unified sense of phrasing, textural clarity and rhythmic control. Under Prof. Molina’s guidance, the orchestra was able to develop a distinctive sound, a wide dynamic range characterized by purity of tone from the faintest pianissimo to the more robust and energetic flourishes of orchestra tutti and bravura passages. Being himself a first-rate concert violinist and a teacher of several of the country’s emerging virtuosi, Prof. Molina is also known as an excellent conductor when accompanying soloists, always striking collaborative support with the soloist. A protégé of Prof. Basilio Manalo with whom he studied violin since he was 11 years old, Prof. Molina further honed his skills as a violinist in Moscow and Kiev Conservatories of Music in Russia, under tutelage of Prof. Alexander Yegerov. During his stay in Russia, Arturo Molina won the annual String Department Competition, thus gaining the singular distinction of becoming the first non-Russian student to gain that honor. This victory led him to perform in some of Russia’s prominent concert halls, which include the Bolshoi Theater. Upon his return to the Philippines in 1987, he became the concertmaster of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, and later, also the concertmaster of the Manila Chamber Orchestra under Prof. Sergio Esmilla. He also taught the violin in partnership with Prof. Basilio Manalo through the Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS) based at the St. Scholastica’s College. He was Chairman of the String Department of the University of the Philippines College of Music from 1994 to 2003. In 1999, together with cellist Wilfredo Pasamba and pianist J. Greg Zuniega, he formed the Battig Trio and had concerts in Italy, France, and Germany. In the year 2000, he became a conducting fellow at the prestigious 2000 Conductor’s Institute at the University of South Carolina in the United States. In 2001, in a concert launching the Manila Symphony Orchestra II, Prof. Basilio Manalo handed down the baton to Prof. Arturo Molina as a symbolic gesture of his becoming the new leader of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.


Distinguished violinist, as soloist and as chamber performer, Gina Medina has gained a vital seat in the Philippines’ classical music circle. Gina was featured in the Filipino Artist Series held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2001; she has performed as soloist with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, PREDIS Chamber Orchestra, Metro Manila Community Orchestra, Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra, UST Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Orchestra and Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Basilio Manalo, Arturo Molina, Wilfredo Pasamba, Chino Toledo, Jeffrey Solares, Herminigildo Ranera, Arnel Feliciano, Agripino Diestro, Eugene Castillo, Wing Sie Yip and Oscar Yatco. Equally a prominent chamber musician, Gina has performed in piano trios with Nena del Rosario-Villanueva and Chino Bolipata; Virginia Laico-Villanueva and Wilfredo Pasamba; Raul Sunico and Renato Lucas; and Mary Anne Espina and Anjo Inacay. She has performed duo recitals with pianists Corazon Pineda-Kabayao, Greg Zuniega, Allan dela Cruz, Marianne Fajardo, Najib Ismail and Mary Anne Espina. A versatile artist, Gina is currently the concertmaster of the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO). She likewise held the position of concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra in the annual Bamboo Organ International Festival. As a student, she was the concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra under the baton of Sergui Commissiona. Gina finished her Master’s Degree in Music with Chamber Music Emphasis at the San Francisco State University (SFSU) under full scholarship in 2003. She started formal lessons with Luis Valencia at the Philippine Women’s University. One of the first scholars of the Philippine Research for Developing Instrumental Soloists (PREDIS), she eventually pursued her violin studies at St. Scholastica’s College School of Music where she graduated cum laude, with distinction, under the tutelage of renowned pedagogue Maestro Basilio Manalo. Upon graduation, she was awarded a French government scholarship where she landed opportunities to participate in several music festivals in France, including the Maurice Ravel Chamber Music Academy in St. Jean de Luz, and to study with Olivier Charlier, Dong Suk-Kang, Philippe Bride and the Amadeus Quartet. Eventually, she received a full scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where she trained under Professor Pavel Prantl and Barry Wilde. In addition, she has been coached by Ezther Perenyi and renowned Filipino violinists and pedagogue Gilopez Kabayao, Sergio Esmilla Jr. and Joseph Esmilla. Gina is currently a faculty member of the School of Music of St. Scholastica’s College, UST Conservatory of Music, Philippine High School for the Arts, and MSO Academy. She is the conductor of the PREDIS Chamber Orchestra. A mentor to young violinists, Gina has trained her students to become soloists of major orchestras in the Philippines, chamber musicians, and participants in international festivals and competitions.


Jiovanni Tabada received his basic music training on double bass in 1996 at St. Paul Seminary Foundation, Inc. Four years later, he was awarded a full grant to study in one of the best conservatories in Europe, the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands. In 2009, Jiovanni graduated from the Royal Conservatory with a Masters Degree in Music, Major in Double Bass, with distinction. He has performed with the Sinfonia Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra, the Holland Sinfonia, and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. He now resides in his hometown, Cebu, and is contributing to its growing music scene. He is currently the music program director of Sistemang Pilipino, an outreach program for children. At Sistemang Pilipino, he strives to promote his vision that music is for everyone.

Ticket Prices: P 1,200, 800, 600

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