PHL Philharmonic Orchestra debuts in Carnegie Hall

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The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) made its Carnegie Hall debut in June, performing both world classical music and Filipino classics for the first time at the prestigious and historic New York performance venue 43 years after the PPO’s establishment in 1973.

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra [by Olivier Ochanine via Facebook]

The PPO opened with the Philippine National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang,” setting the Carnegie Hall stage for an evening of performances highlighting the best of Filipino musicianship and Philippine songs.

PPO principal director and main conductor Olivier Ochanine led the country’s premier orchestra in performing the classical music of Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Enrico Caruso, Maria Callas, and pop songs of The Beatles, Ella Fitzgerald, Luciano Pavarotti, and Frank Sinatra.

The orchestra performed Filipino classic “Magtanim ay ‘Di Biro (Planting rice is never fun)” together with world renowned Filipino pianist Cecile Licad.

Juilliard and Yale-trained Filipino violinist Diomedes Saraza Jr. performed Nicanor Abelardo’s “Cavatina”.

The orchestra’s final piece was Philippine national composer–conductor Redentor Romero’s Philippine Portraits, along with folk songs “Dandansoy,” “Sarungbanggi,” and “Pamulinawen.”

To acknowledge the enthusiastic response of the audience, the PPO played an encore with Filipino classic love ballad “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal.”

The benefit concert will be turning over proceeds to the housing project of the Philippine Disaster Relief Corporation.

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