MSO’s season finale

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United States-based Filipino pianist Victor Asuncion will share the stage with MSO as guest soloist under the baton of Marlon Chen as guest conductor.

The Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) presents its season finale concert, “The Titan,” on 30 January, 8 p.m., at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Main Theater, featuring rarely-performed pieces, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 “Titan” and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major.

Joining in this stellar collaboration is internationally-awarded youth orchestra, the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra

United States-based Filipino pianist Victor Asuncion will share the stage with MSO as guest soloist under the baton of Marlon Chen as guest conductor.

Asuncion, hailed by The Washington Post for his “poised and imaginative playing,” has performed in concert halls around the world as a recitalist and concerto soloist. He played his orchestral debut at the age of 18 with the Manila Chamber Orchestra and had his New York recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in 1999. He has worked with conductors including Sergio Esmilla, Enrique Batiz, Mei Ann Chen, Zeev Dorman, Arthur Weisber, Corrick Brown, David Loebel, Leon Fleisher, Michael Stern, Jordan Tang, and Bobby McFerrin. He has also performed with esteemed artists such as Lynn Harrel, Zuill Bailey, Andres Diaz, Antonio Meneses, Joshua Roman, Cho-Liang Yan and many others. He was on the chamber music faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and was also the pianist for the Garth Newel Piano Quartet for three seasons.

Asuncion’s recordings include the complete sonatas of L. van Beethoven with cellist Tobias Werner, sonatas by Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff with cellist Joseph Johnson, and the Rachmaninoff sonata with the cellist Evan Drachman. He is also featured in the award-winning recording “Songs My Father Taught Me” with Lynn Harrell, produced by Louise Frank and WFMT-Chicago.

Chen’s dynamic charisma and artistic versatility have seen him conduct opera, ballet, symphonic works and chamber orchestras to sold-out concert halls across four continents.

He currently holds positions as principal guest conductor of Shenyang Symphony Orchestra, Sichuan Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hildalgo and resident conductor of Aperio Ensemble in Houston, Texas. Previously, he was an associate conductor of Baltic Sea Philharmonic, an assistant conductor of MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig and an assistant conductor of Orchestre de Paris. Chen appears as guest conductor on both sides of the Atlantic with many of the world’s finest orchestras including Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, MAV Orchestra Hungary, English School of Opera Festival Orchestra London, Bulgarian State Opera, Moldova Chamber Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Houston Symphony, Bolivian Festival Orchestra, Singapore International Music Festival Orchestra, Baltic Sea Philharmonic and MDR Orchestra of Leipzig, Philharmonique de Radio France and Symphonic orchestra of Natal, Brazil. He is also a composer and arranger.

Chen has performed his own works with the major orchestras he has conducted, commissioned works from composers and has conducted more than 50 premieres of contemporary compositions. His recent film projects include recording for Netflix on the award winning show Sense8 and Babylon Berlin with director Tom Tykwer.

Joining in this stellar collaboration is internationally-awarded youth orchestra, the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. They won the first prize at the 12th Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival held at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria and went on to perform in concerts in Venice, Florence and Rome. In 2017, they won second place in the same competition and went to have concerts in famous concert venues in Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and Munich. The group was formed in 2014 as the youth orchestra project of the MSO Foundation, Inc. They are composed of advanced students from the MSO Music Academy and qualified young string players from all over the Philippines.

Chen’s dynamic charisma and artistic versatility have seen him conduct opera, ballet, symphonic works and chamber orchestras to sold-out concert halls across four continents.

MSO’s new concertmaster and violin prodigy, Diomedes Saraza Jr., also joins MSO in the season finale concert. Saraza made his concert debut in 2003 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines entitled “The Gift” and was awarded as the “Best Performance of 2003” by The Manila Bulletin. In 2005, he moved to New York and was awarded a full scholarship to pursue his violin studies at the Mannes School of Music Preparatory Division under the tutelage of Dr. Chin Kim. He was also a graduate of Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School and a recipient of President Obama’s Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. He has worked and performed with prestigious orchestras both in local and international stages.

Tickets are now available at www.ticketworld.com.ph or call 891-9999. For more information, call 523-5712 or email marketing@manilasymphony.com for group discounts.

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