Meet Ruth Joana Livioco-Tumpalan, the Filipina violinist who bagged 1st place at the 2019 American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition.
The award-winning Filipina violinist competed against musicians from 17 countries and emerged as one of the 1st place winners under the College Students and Professional Musicians Category of the competition held in June.
The Pinay violin artist also bagged the 2nd place at the 2019 New York International Concours where she received the New York State Assembly Award. She also earned an Honorable Mention accolade from the 2019 Concert Artists International Competition.
Ruth Tumpalan shared with Good News Pilipinas that her achievements are not hers alone but for the entire Filipino nation.
“I’d like to celebrate with fellow Filipinos. I consider these wins a victory of the Filipino people,” the award-winning Filipino violinist said.
These victories led to Ruth Tumpalan being featured as a performer at New York City’s prestigious Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
“Performing at Carnegie Hall was a beautiful experience. I was feeling a little anxious to perform on a stage where legendary violinists – such as Jasha Heifetz – have performed, but I felt comfortable as soon as I started playing. The sound was incredible and I had the time of my life enjoying my music in one of the world’s best concert halls,” Tumpalan shared in her essay on Fil-Am Net.
The New York-based Pinay music artist from Manila started playing the violin at age 11 while she and her siblings were homeschooled until high school. At age 15, she became a violinist for the Manila Symphony Orchestra where she played for 10 years.
Ruth Livioco-Tumpalan graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with Cum Laude honors in Violin Performance. Tumpalan moved to the U.S. in 2015 after receiving a full scholarship from the University of Massachusetts.
The UP alumna completed her master’s degree in Violin Performance with well-renowned pedagogue, Elizabeth Chang, at the University of Massachusetts where she also became part of UMass Graduate Quartet and led the Opus One (a conductor-less orchestra) as concertmaster in some occasions.
She also had the privilege to take solo and chamber masterclasses from the world’s renowned musicians such as Christoph Poppen, members of the Juilliard String Quartet, Gilles Vonsattel, and more.
In the Philippines, Ruth Tumpalan served as Assistant Concertmaster of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) and earned national and international grants to attend and perform in various music festivals in Asian cities such as Beijing, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, and more.
Tumpalan has been featured as a soloist for the PPO and the Manila Symphony’s performances and shared the stage with artists such as Alban Gerhardt, Jaime Laredo, Michael Buble, Wang Jian, Cecil Licad, and Ryan Cayabyab, among others.
“Music is my passion, and the violin my ‘yellow sun.’ It feels like an extension of my arms. It makes so many kinds of colors and sounds. It is like the extra voice that can express feelings more than I can ever do just by myself. The stage became my world,” Ruth Tumpalan wrote in her essay.
Ruth Livioco-Tumpalan is married to her husband, Cyd Tumpalan, a percussionist of the Hong Kong Disneyland Marching Band. She is also a regular faculty at the Lindeblad School of Music in New Jersey.
“It’s been an exciting journey, realizing the great heights that music has brought me to. I am glad that I am doing something that inspires people. I look forward to what else music has in store for me,” said the Pinay music artist and educator.
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