The UPLB Freedom Park was transformed into an open theater on May 4 as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) performed before thousands of audience from UPLB and nearby communities.
Entitled “Symphonic Sunsets at Makiling,” the concert was held open-air and free to the public.
For more than two hours, the PPO, considered as the country’s best and is acclaimed in Asia-Pacific, performed two sets of repertoire, under the baton of conductors Maestro Herminigildo Ranera and Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura.
Maestro Ranera led the orchestra in their rendition of popular numbers – Overture on Philippine Folksongs (by George Bernard Green), selections from Les Miserables (arr. Bob Lowden), Terre e Luna (arr. Pipo Cifra), Eraserheads Suite (Ryan Cayabyab), and Bohemian Rhapsody/Queen (Freddie Mercury/Ranera [transcribed for orchestra]).
For his part, Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura spearheaded PPO’s classical music numbers – Overture to La Gazza Ladra (by Gioacchino Rossini), Annen Polka and Emperor Waltz (Johann Strauss, Jr.), My Fair Lady Selection (Frederick Lowe), and Danzon No. 2 (Arturo Marquez).
PPO’s rendition of the university’s official hymn, the UP Naming Mahal (Nicanor Abelardo/ arr. Edwin Lumanug), sealed the concert.
PPO is one of the resident companies of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
In his message before the concert proper, Arsenio J. Lizaso, president of CCP, articulated the center’s aim to bring PPO to the provinces.
“Art does not only belong to the people in Metro Manila, we have to take them to the provinces,” he said.
UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, initiated the holding of the concert in UPLB.
“Sinisikap po natin na buhayin muli ang kultura sa ating unibersidad,” said President Concepcion.
“Ang mga gawaing kultural ang isa sa mga pinagkaiba ng buhay ng isang akademiko sa loob ng unibersidad. Isa sa mga aktibidad o gawain na kultural ay musika,” he added.
“Ito ay isang ginintuang sandali upang tumigil, magpahinga, at kumuha ng panibagong lakas mula sa pakikinig sa mga nakawiwiling tugtugin ngayong gabi,” President Concepcion said. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)