• Spanish conductor leads February PPO concert series


    Continuing its 35th concert season, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra held its sixth concert on February 16 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

    Dubbed “Romancing the Classics,” the resident orchestra company of the CCP performed Bedrich Smetana’s Die Moldau (Vltava) No. 2 from “Má vlast (My Country)” and Manuel De Falla’s Interlude and Spanish Dance from “La Vida Breve,” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. Op. 47.

    David Gomez Ramirez

    Smetana celebrated the history and legends of his people in Má vlast, a six-symphonic-poem orchestral masterpiece composed between 1874 and 1879. The Die Moldau (Vltava) is the second and best known of the symphonic poems.

    “La Vida Breve” is a two-act opera created by Manuel de Falla. Interlude and Spanish Dance, which are featured in Act 2, have been popular at concerts of Spanish music.

    Composer Shostakovich created Symphony No. 5 in 1937 after Joseph Stalin reacted negatively to his “Lady Macbeth” opera, condemning his music to be banned from the stage throughout Soviet Union. Composed for the 20th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution, it premiered on November 21, 1937 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg, Russia).

    The PPO performed these masterpieces under the baton of guest conductor David Gómez Ramírez.

    Born in Seville (Spain) in 1977, Ramírez is one of the most promising young conductors and composers in Spain.

    He studied Piano, Trumpet, Musicology, Composition and Orchestra & Chorus Conducting at Superior Music Conservatory in Seville and Valencia. He studied conducting with maestro Enrique Garcia Asensio, Pedro Morales, George Pehlivanian, among others.

    He debuted with the Russian Symphony Orchestra Young Virtuosos of Moscow State Conservatory Tckaikowsky.

    Since 2007, he has been the director of the Lira Saguntina Symphony Orchestra in Valencia, as well as the director of the Conservatory of Music “Joaquin Rodrigo” in Sagunto, Valencia. He is also the resident conductor in Seville and Coutances (France) Orchestre.

    As a composer, Gomez has a wide musical compositions from chamber music to large orchestral formations. His accolades include first prize awards in National Composition Competitions in Alicante, Cordoba and Murcia, the “First Music Award” from the Excellency in Cultural Arts and Sciences Association, and the “Giraldillo de Oro,” the highest award given by the Excellency in Cultural Arts and Sciences Association “Popular Ateneo de Sevilla,” an institution recognized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture of Spain.


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