Arts and Culture

1st Philippine International Guitar Festival 2010

The Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with The Guitar Friends, Inc., are holding the 1st Philippine International Guitar at the CCP from January 28 to 31, 2010.

There is a very exciting line up of activities and performances during the festival. International and noted Filipino artists will do lectures, masterclasses and will perform. Steve Lin, a noted Chinese American guitarist based in the San Francisco who has a music degree from Yale and is working on his master's degree at the Boston Conservatory, will do the world-wide premier of works written especially for him. Michael Dadap, Florante Aguilar and Perf de Castro, world class Filipino guitarist based in the U.S. are coming home for the festival, to demonstrate that the Filipino guitarist can make it on the world stage. Local guitar icons like Maestro Jose Valdez, Lester Demetillo, Sixto Roxas will also be participating. Guitar ensembles and orchestras from U.P., St. Scholastica's, St. Paul, PWU, Santa Isabel, and the Yamaha School of Music will be featured together in one concert. The winners of the NAMCYA guitar category in a concert, where the 1st place winner Franco Maigue will perform the very popular Concierto de Aranjuez backed up by no less than Manila Symphony Orchestra. The Kasilag Guitar Trio, Centro Flamenco, Oktokanto, Guitar Friends and the Harana kings will also do special performances.

There will be a guitar display featuring the world famous Ramirez Guitars side by side with the best Philippine luthiers namely Armando 'Tabo' Derecho, Domingo Javier, and Apa and Sons.


PERFORMERS


Florante Aguilar

Critically acclaimed guitarist Florante Aguilar is considered one of the leading proponents of Philippine harana music in America today. He is comfortable playing traditional western classical music as a virtuoso and also ventures into contemporary music and other genres with ease. But his true love and affinity belongs to the music he grew up with in the Philippines - the music of a bygone era called the harana.

Born in Manila, Florante grew up in Cavite province where he learned to play the octavina in a rondalla group. At an early age, he picked up the guitar by way of rock and roll and by sixteen was enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Music where he was trained as a classical musician. In 1985, Florante toured Europe, United States and Asia for 6 1/2 months performing in major cities both as a soloist and ensemble player.

Later, he moved to New York under a scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music with Sharon Isbin, Grammy Award winner and current guitar department chair of the Juilliard School. Florante also studied with internationally recognized Filipino guitarist Michael Dadap and has performed in masterclasses of guitar luminaries such as David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, David Starobin, Frederic Hand and Benjamin Verdery.

Florante later accepted a position with the pioneering Buffalo Guitar Quartet where he toured and recorded the critically acclaimed CD New Music for Four Guitars (New World 384-2). Florante received his Bachelor of Music Degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1996 under the tutelage of David Tanenbaum.

Florante is currently working on a documentary film entitled "The Harana", which explores the music and custom of courtship. The riveting movie, directed by award winning director Benito Bautista, contains a treasure trove of beautiful Filipino music waiting to be rediscovered. Intent on preserving vanishing customs, the film rekindles a connection with the past before it is irrevocably lost, and portrays a side of the Philippines rarely ever seen on the screen. Featuring dazzling music and stunning cinematography, the film aims to capture many hearts and leave a lasting impression that will forever change the landscape of Filipino cinema.

(Performances: January 30, 2010, 7:30 PM - Harana; January 31, 2010, 7:30 PM - Huntahang Gitara)


Michael Dadap

Michael Dadap has been the artistic/music director and conductor of The Children's Orchestra Society since 1984. After graduating from the University of the Philippines majoring in philosophy, he pursued further music studies at Mannes College of Music and The Juilliard School. As a conductor, Mr. Dadap has conducted and collaborated with some of the world's most renowned concert artists.

As an accomplished classical guitarist, he made his Carnegie Recital Hall debut in 1974 and has since performed in numerous concerts internationally. As part of the Dadap-Ma duo, he has toured in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Mr. Dadap's published solo guitar recordings include Lambingan, (Tenderness) Songs of the Visayans for Voice and Guitar, Himig Ng Puso (Songs from the Heart), Harana (Serenades for Solo Guitar), and Intimate Guitar Classics, which was featured as "album of the month" on WQXR in February 1990.

As a composer and passionate folklorist and advocate of music from his native Philippines, his composition Handurawan Dance Suite won the Asian-American Alliance for the Arts Award and was premiered by the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble in 1988. His Sinulog Suite for Orchestra, commemorating the Philippine Centennial, was premiered by the YSE in the 1998 Discovery Concert and given its UK premiere during the YSE's tour of London and Edinburgh in August of 2005. Mr. Dadap has written works ranging from solo, chamber, musical plays, folkloric ballet music, to full orchestral works.

In March 1999, a collection of his works including his Four Visayan Serenades for Guitar and Song Cycle for Tenor, Cello, and Piano were presented by the Felipe De Leon Foundation at Weill Recital Hall. Mr. Dadap has devoted much of his career to the appreciation of Filipino folk music, pioneering the awareness of Filipino Rondalla in the United States.

Despite his busy schedule, Mr. Dadap continues to involve himself in outreach programs in his homeland by performing solo and chamber guitar concerts and giving master classes. He is currently working on his latest compositions, a Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra commissioned by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, a three-act musical play, YUTAO, and Visayan Liturgical Music for chorus, chamber orchestra, and Rondalla.

(Performances: January 30, 2010, 7:30 PM - Harana; January 31, 2010, 7:30 PM - Huntahang Gitara)


Perfecto de Castro

Perfecto De Castro is the quintessential guitarist's guitarist. Well-versed in a multitude of musical styles, his affinity with the instrument is evident in everything he does; from unleashing an emotion-laden solo from an overdriven electric guitar, to navigating complex musical counterpoint on his 10-string classical guitar.

Perf, as he is known to Filipino music fans, is best recognized as the original guitarist for 90s Pinoy Rock supergroup Rivermaya. He left behind the life of a lead guitar rock star with 2 platinum records and turned to the 10-string classical guitar, which turned out to be the love of his musical life due to its technical challenge and ability to express emotion. He studied with one of the Philippines' best guitar pedagogues, Maestro Jose Valdez and augmented his guitar studies through lessons and masterclasses taught by some of the world's best guitarists and teachers: Paul Galbraith, Tilman Hoppstock, Scott Kritzer, Jonathan Leatherwood, Janet Marlow, and Michael Dadap.

Since his departure from Rivermaya, he has added numerous credits to his wide and varied list of accomplishments; from producing platinum selling albums by Wolfgang and Marc Velasco, to lending his guitar wizardry to Pinoy Music Icons Mike Hanopol and Francis M, to garnering awards such as NU 107's Guitar of the Year as well as from Philippine Music organizations Awit and Katha.

Since relocating to Southern California in mid-2004, Perfecto has pursued a career as a solo concert guitarist, performing Classical and World music on his 10-string classical guitar. His recordings, 2007's "A Journey through 10 strings" and 2009's "CAPARISON" (PDC Records) are warmly received by fans and critics, celebrating Perf's graceful and passionate playing that permeates both CDs' diverse musical content.

As described by the Philippine Star "In the hands of Perf De Castro, a 10-string classical guitar becomes a more potent medium of artistry and self-expression -- a virtual orchestra that reverberates with thunderous bass lines, complex chordal clusters, silky sweet upper-register harmonies and tons of natural harmonics and overtones."

At the core of De Castro's performing repertoire, lies an appealing blend of east and west: the simplistic beauty of indigenous ethnic melodies, rhythmically complex folk dances, Spanish-flavored art songs, Bach, Vivaldi, Dvorak, and a contemporary fusion of them all.

(Performance: January 29, 2010, 3:00 PM - Coalescence)


TABS

The Tabs Trio is a group of three of the most prominent classical guitarists in the country, Lester Demetillo, Armando "Tabo" Derecho and Jerry Duran. Each has contributed to the Philippine classical guitar scene in a unique and invaluable way, earning the respect of many generations.

Its history stems from that of the UP Guitar Orchestra. Lester Demetillo, one of the Philippines' leading classical performers and a professor in the University of the Philippines College of Music, organized the UP Guitar Ensemble, a group of nine promising classical guitarists and the first guitar ensemble in the country. The group impressed the musical scene with its debut concert, which featured Bach's Brandenburg Concierto No. 3 - scored for nine guitars. The ensemble then performed in major concert sites in the country and toured around the world in countries such as France, England, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Spain, the United States and Australia.

The group became a quartet at one point with Lester, Tabo and Jerry as the nucleus and successfully produced two records; The UP Guitar Ensemble" Classical Music" and "Original Pilipino Music."

In 2009, the three regrouped and formally named their group TABS since the trio all uses Armando "Tabo" Derecho guitars. Tabo's masterfully handcrafted classical guitars have earned the respect of serious classical guitar players in the Philippines and in the rest of the world. Tabo has demonstrated that the Filipino luthier is capable of producing world-class guitars that produce exquisite, balanced tones at good volume but at reasonable prices.

Since then, the Tabs Trio continues to perform while maintaining the prestige of being the top contributors of the classical guitar scene today.

(Performance: January 28, 2010, 7:30 PM - TABS & The UP Guitar Orchestra)


Steve Lin

Steve Lin has concertized throughout the United States, Italy, the Philippines, and Taiwan. He is acclaimed by Classical Guitar Magazine as "a confident player with a powerful sound, quick hands, and a solid musical memory" and praised by American guitar virtuoso Eliot Fisk as a performer who "plays with an innate and uncommon elegance".

Steve was the first prize winner at the 2006 Boston GuitarFest Competition and the 2001 East Carolina University Guitar Competition. He has performed at Mérida Yucatán Guitar Festival, Yale Guitar Extravaganza, L'Accademia Musicale Chigiana, ChitarraImperia Festival, and Stetson Guitar Workshop.

A recording artist for VGo Recordings, Steve has released two albums. The first, Eliot Fisk Series Vol. 1 (VG1013), is a joint effort with guitarist Joseph Williams II and La Bella Strings and was dubbed "innovative and exciting" by Minor 7th Acoustic Guitar Music Reviews. His second CD, Imagen (VG1015), features the Latin American compositions of Agustín Barrios and Antonio Lauro, which Classical Guitar Magazine called "brilliant" and "virtuosic". A third CD is underway and will include new works based on Asian-American themes.

Passionate about new music, Steve will be commissioning new works from award-winning composers Lei Liang and Mu-Xuan Lin in 2009. These compositions will draw from Chinese classics such as Dreams of the Red Chamber and Journey to the West. Steve has also commissioned and premiered works by David McMullin, Nomi Epstein, Joseph Johnson, Matthew McConnell, and Colin Stack.

In 2008, Steve was coached by composer Helmut Lachenmann in preparation for a performance of '...zwei Gefühle...', Musik mit Leonardo with Stephen Drury and the Callithumpian Consort. He has performed with Boston Microtonal Society's NotaRiotous, a chamber ensemble dedicated to promoting microtonal music. He has also appeared at New England Conservatory's Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice (SICPP) and on the New Gallery Concert Series of Boston.

At present, Steve teaches guitar at San Jose State University. He is also a guitar instructor at Northern California School of Music and Canon Music School and maintains a private studio. Steve is completing his doctorate from New England Conservatory under Eliot Fisk. He earned his M.M. at Yale School of Music and his B.M. at NEC. His primary teachers have included Oscar Ghiglia, Lorenzo Micheli, Wei-Ren Chuang, Ronald Purcell, and Ronald Borczon.

(Performance: January 29, 2010, 7:30 PM - Solo Guitar Concert)


Sixto Roxas

Sixto "Butch" Roxas grew up in New York City and started with the electric guitar, playing in the local jazz and rock circuits. After a short stint at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, he returned to the Philippines and worked the pop music circuit with the likes of Bond Samson, Gabe Ascalon and Paolo Luz. In 1986, he left for Paris, France to take up classical guitar courses at the Schola Cantorum under Madam Dumlaque. He received a generous grant in 1996 from the Agencia Espanola to study under Maestro Josep Henriquez in Barcelona, Spain. Since then, he has given and participated in numerous concerts and masterclasses, and was featured as soloist for the Philippine Philharmonic concert season and The Bamboo Organ Festival.

One notable project was a collaboration in 1998 with Japanese artists Shoko Mafune, Yoji Toyosaki, and guitarist Mitshuhiko Yushida entitled "Whispers from the Earth", a light and sound show with music specifically composed for the project by Butch Roxas.

He is currently helping reestablish, as well as playing for, the UST Jazz Orchestra together with conductor and saxophonist Tots Tolentino.

Butch is a faculty member of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music.

(Performance: January 30, 2010, 3:00 PM - Jazz Standards to Contemporary Classical)


Lyndon Aguilar

Lyndon M. Aguilar holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts in Music Theory from the UST Conservatory of Music (under the tutelage of Prof. Julie Ann Hallazgo). Lyndon is a faculty under the UST Jazz Studies Department and teaches Jazz Harmony and Jazz Theory.

Lyndon's first main jazz influence was the late jazz pianist Bill Evans. He studied the pianist's advanced harmony incorporating it into his playing. His further interests lead to sounds of Onaje Allan Gumbs, Billy Childs and the late Kenny Kirkland who used quartal harmony extensively. Prior to jazz, he was a session keyboardist for Dessa, Ima Castro and Glady's and the Boxers during the late 90's.

His article in the Woodshed column, Note for note transcription and analysis of Billy Childs' solo on Joy Spring from Freddie Hubbard's 1982 album -- Born To Be Blue was featured in DOWNBEAT Magazine last September 2005.

(Performance: January 30, 2010, 3:00 PM - Jazz Standards to Contemporary Classical)


Josefino Toledo

T.O.Y.M. awardee and International Award for the Arts recipient Josefino "Chino" Toledo is a recognized figure in Asian contemporary art music scene. An active composer-conductor, he is currently a full professor of music composition and theory at the University of the Philippines, and the music director of Metro-Manila Community Orchestra (MMCO). He was the music director of, University of the Philippines Festival Orchestra, former music director of Manila Symphony Orchestra and Peace Philharmonic Orchestra of the Philippines.

Toledo is noted for premiering works of Filipino composers as well as other Asian composers. As the artistic director of the Asian Composers League Music Festival in Manila, he was cited for remarkably conducting the local premier of twenty contemporary music compositions during the week-long festival. Toledo was also critically praised for his conducting of premier performances of new works by Filipino composers during the Philippine Centennial Celebration; and conducted at the Art Summit Festival in Indonesia; Pacific Soundstream Festival; Federation Music Week in Melbourne and several festivals in Japan. He is frequently invited to be the music director and conductor of several Cultural Center of the Philippines productions and performances, among them were "Lagi Kitang Mamahalin"; "Lagi Kitang Naaalala"; "Salinlahi"; "Magkaugnay"; "Pinoy Ako"; "Hinabing Gunita"; "Virtuoso Strings"; "Supling" and the recent "Bayan, Bayani, Bayanihan". He was the music director and conductor of the Philippine gala presentation at the 2005 Aichi World Exposition in Japan.

Toledo's own compositions are regularly performed in international festivals and concerts in US, Canada, Brazil, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, and almost all Asian countries by well-known international artists and ensembles such as the New Juilliard Ensemble; guitarist Kazuhito Yamashita; percussionists Isao Nakamura, Peter Neville and Thierry Miroglio; trombonist Barry Webb; Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra among others.

His music has been described as "pure and powerful", and has been cited for its fusion of contemporary western language and Southeast Asian aesthetics. Music critic Rosalinda Orosa described Toledo as "a composer-conductor of considerable worth" and ". . .an ingenious, remarkably original composer of singular creativity and imagination." Toledo's music is characterized by great energy and often bears a relationship to the traditional music of Southeast Asia.

(Performance: Janaury 31, 2010, 7:30PM - Huntahang Gitara)


Jose Valdez

Maestro Jose Valdez is an institution in the world of the classical guitar. He is the most illustrious guitar maestro and one of the most respected figures in Philippine guitar history. As a professional, he has taught and performed for a span of more than 30 years, starting as a child prodigy at 14. It was in this capacity that his name has become a byword among guitar aficionados. Ranked as one of the early exponents of the guitar by the CCP Encyclopedia of Arts, he has pioneered the guitar courses in several schools and has authored and introduced invaluable guitar subjects such as "Progressive Studies in Philippine Guitar Music"; "The Art of Transcribing and Arranging for the Guitar"; "Andalucian Studies"; and "Advance Pedagogy and Guitar Literature".

He is currently guitar professor at the Philippine Women's University, St. Scholastica's College of Music, University of the Philippines College of Music, and St. Paul's University. He is fully engrossed in doing orchestrations and in developing young guitar players. His success as a mentor is widely known since he has produced many protégées who have become competent performers and teachers themselves in the Philippines and in other countries.

He is often hear saying, "Every student is an entrustment by God", a simple yet very effective formula which has served as a driving force in bringing his students to the peaks of success, as if a portion of himself has been left to each and everyone of them. He believes that he has been called to teach by the Lord, and this he has done religiously all these years.

Maestro Valdez has published 14 books of his arrangements for classical guitar namely: The Philippine Guitar; Familiar Tunes for Classical Guitar Volumes 1 to 4; Piano Masterpieces for Classical Guitar Volumes 1 to 3; Most Loved Christmas Carols for Classical Guitar; Selected Philippine Music for Classical Guitar; Favorite Spanish-Latin American Songs for Classical Guitar; One Heart for God's Glory Volumes 1 and 2; and Original Pilipino Music Volume 1.

(Perfomance: January 31, 2010, 7:30 PM - Huntahang Gitara)


With special participation of Angelis Guitar Quartet, Fundacion Centro Flamenco, Kasilag Guitar Trio, Octokanto, Philippine Women's University Guitar Ensemble, Sta. Isabel Guitar Quartet, St. Paul University Guitar Ensemble, St. Scholastica's College Guitar Ensemble, TABS, University of the Philippines Guitar Orchestra and more.

Free entrance to Masterclasses & Lectures.
50% discount for students & senior citizens on concert tickets.
Schedule/Venue
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
CCP Complex
Roxas Blvd. cor. Pablo Ocampo Sr. St., CCP Complex, , Pasay
Metro Manila, Philippines


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