First concert features pianist Pia Dino-Balasico, playwright-singer Rody Vera
“Resist!—Anthems of Struggle and Triumph” will be the fiery opening salvo of the 2019 Abelardo Hall Concert Series. The four-month-old University of the Philippines Symphony Orchestra (UPSO) will make its Abelardo Hall debut on February 23 at 7:00 PM, together with the UP Madrigal Singers, pianist Pia Dino-Balasico, and playwright-singer Rody Vera. They will perform under the baton of UPSO musical director Prof. Josefino Chino Toledo.
The concert repertoire will sweep through works inspired by historic protests, revelry and rejoicing—from the aftermath of the French Revolution to 18th and 19th century independence movements. A highlight will be Filipino protest music remembering the 49th anniversary of defiant student mass actions known as the First Quarter Storm (FQS), which were ignited in the UP Diliman campus before spreading nationwide from January to March 1970. The featured composers include Ludwig Van Beethhoven, Johannes Brahms, Giuseppe Verdi, Jan Sibelius, Ramon Santos, Juan Hernandez, and Chino Toledo.
UPSO is composed of 65 accomplished musicians recruited from the UP community. With funding from the University of the Philippines System, the orchestra will have several performances every year as the newest pillar of a vibrant cultural scene in the university.
The Abelardo Hall Concert Series, launched in 2018 by the UP College of Music under dean Verne de la Peña, has been enlivening the community north of Metro Manila through year-round, high-caliber productions held in 54-year-old Abelardo Hall Auditorium (AHA), a 500-seat venue known for its outstanding acoustic environment.
For the first of its two concert seasons in 2019, AHA will feature UPSO again in “Faith, Hope and Devotion: Lenten Reflections in Music” on April 11. Also lined up are “Viva La Diva,” a special tribute to Maestra Fides Cuyugan-Asencio on March 23; and “Abelardo Rocks,” showcasing young indie bands nurtured in the UP College of Music. Tickets to any of the concerts are available at P500 and P250, with a 50% discount for students and 20% discount for senior citizens.