Mu­sic in the city

Tempo - - News - Jullie Y. Daza

“MU­SIC hath charms to soothe the sav­age beast, to soften rocks, or bend a knot­ted oak.” Or, in our present cir­cum­stances, to smooth away the stress and strain – and ca­coph­ony – of city life.

Ironic that only in the city do we find a place and oc­ca­sion for con­certs and recitals.

Al­most as if there’s a sea­son for such melo­di­ous­ness in the big city, fol­low­ing the pow­er­house con­cert of pi­anist In­grid San­ta­maria a fort­night ago, two mu­si­cians who are most ac­tive and ded­i­cated in in­ter­pret­ing and prop­a­gat­ing the charms of mu­sic will per­form sep­a­rately in the next sev­eral days in Makati. Pi­anist Mariel Ilu­so­rio and Friends, i.e., her cham­ber mu­sic al­lies, get ro­man­tic with Chopin Dreams on Sept. 21 at Ayala Mu­seum. On Sept. 23, vi­o­lin­ist Chino Gu­tier­rez will dis­play a spec­ta­cle of in­tri­cate bow­ing and fin­ger­ing tech­niques for his farewell con­cert at BDO Fran­cisco San­ti­ago Hall be­fore he leaves to be­gin his schol­ar­ship in Univer­si­tat Mozar­teum in Salzburg, Aus­tria.

Mariel and her vi­o­lin­ist-hus­band, Juan Muñoz, have been lead­ing the charge to pop­u­lar­ize cham­ber mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly among stu­dents who are too of­ten in­tim­i­dated by the im­mense de­mands of sym­phonic mu­sic re­quir­ing huge orches­tras, spa­cious halls, and mag­nan­i­mous bud­gets. Which is why the high­light of next Wed­nes­day’s in­ti­mate con­cert will be two re­cently dis­cov­ered concertos for pi­ano and strings, tran­scribed by the com­poser him­self, “the poet of the pi­ano.” When Mariel is not busy tu­tor­ing her lit­tle girl who plays pi­ano, flute, and vi­o­lin, she is teach­ing other young peo­ple, the best chance for her to spot promis­ing tal­ents. To “string” along with her in Chopin Dreams are Juan and their friends Michael Var­gas, Mhaze Lim, and Gian­carlo Gon­za­les.

Chino, whose brain has been wired, un­fairly, for mu­sic, math, and lan­guages, was a scholar at Philip­pine Sci­ence High. Now, after a chain of mu­si­cal cham­pi­onships he’ll be im­mersed in Mozart’s birth­place, the re­ward for pass­ing an au­di­tion re­served for 200 as­pi­rants from around the world, of whom only four would be cho­sen. Four be­came three, and the one who is ours will play for us his au­di­tion piece, Ernest Chaus­son’s best-known com­po­si­tion, Poeme. Chino’s vi­o­lin was ac­quired “on loan” from a pri­vate group who prize the value of in­vest­ing in art on be­half of a na­tion’s soul.

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