PHOTO CREDIT: Victor Santiago Asuncion

US-based Filipino pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion is on a mission to give back to the Philippines through the FilAm Music Foundation.

The world-renowned pianist recently flew to Manila to join the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in its January 30 season finale dubbed “The Titan” where Asuncion performed with the MSO for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, under the baton of Prof. Marlon Chen, guest conductor.

Between his appearances in concert halls all over the world, recording sessions, and guesting on television and radio shows, Asuncion has made it his mission to promote fellow Filipino classical musicians through giving scholarships and performance opportunities.

As the founder and artistic and board director of FilAm Music Foundation which he started in 2018, Asuncion champions Filipino music artistry in the United States.

Asuncion writes The FilAm Music Foundation story on its Facebook page as a journey that began in 1993 when he first moved to the U.S. to continue his studies at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford. Unfortunately, his scholarship was delayed and he had to depend on the kindness of the family of Drs. Bienvenido and Anita Jongco who took him in and rallied friends to support his studies.

Over the years more people generously gave to help Asuncion and he notes a few of them in the story: Sandra and Tom Jordan, Marsha and John Evans, Howard and Anne Gottlieb, Andrea O. Veneracion, Ms. Rita Sloan, Dr. Ariel Porcalla.

“And I’m barely scratching the surface with these names. So it’s time to give back,” writes Asuncion.

The FilAm Music Foundation “is a direct result of my experiences as a Filipino student and professional musician living in the United States. While other cultures are clearly well-represented in the classical music field, there is a dearth of Filipino representation, even if there is a huge talent pool waiting to be tapped,” says Asuncion of his reasons for setting the organization.

The FilAm Music Foundation will focus on identifying upcoming Filipino talent and providing them with opportunities to advance their career. In addition, the foundation will promote the new generation musicians, as well as established Filipino classical musicians, through collaboration with existing concert series, as well as presenting its own concert season. These concerts will be free of charge as part of the foundation‘s service to the community. The foundation will exist solely on grants and the generosity of its donors.

The FilAm Music Foundation Call for Support: “As a 501(c)(3) entity, your generous donation will help the foundation accomplish its tasks of promoting the Filipino classical musician. During this inaugural season, a series of concerts have been planned in New York City, Evanston and Chicago. In addition, an advisory committee of esteemed musicians has been formed to identify young talent and assist them in their pursuit of a musical education and career.”

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