Recently, the Coyiutos returned from Hong Kong, and herewith, James updates aficionados on its 43rd Arts Festival, this having featured the Staatskapelle Dresden Orchestra under Conductor Christian Thielemann.
The orchestra celebrated its 460th jubilee last September 2008. Founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548, it is one of the world’s oldest orchestras. Previous directors in the last 100 years have included no less than famous composer Maria von Weber and the titan Richard Wagner.
In the orchestra’s long history, Sir Colin Davis was the first and only Conductor Laureate. Since the 2012-13 season with Christian Thielemann as Principal Conductor, the Dresden Orchestra has toured major US, European and Asian cities, made a debut at the Salzburg Easter Festival, tendered works of Wagner and Richard Strauss in various concerts and opera performances.
At the Concert Hall of the HK Cultural Center, the Coyiutos last month heard the Dresden Orchestra interpret Strauss’ Metamorphosen Study for 23 Solo Strings, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. The next evening, the program consisted of Liszt’s Orpheus, Symphonic Poem No. 4, Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) consisting of six parts or sections, and Wagner’s Siegfried —Idyll for Orchestra.
Hong Kong seems ahead of the Philippines in musical events. Its current 43rd Arts Festival is presenting around 1,500 of the world’s best artists in 137 performances, and is organizing over 200 arts and cultural activities. With the avid musical interest of the Coyiuto family and the continued dedication of the mother-daughter-performers, the Philippine musical scene raises its bar.
Meanwhile, the book Front Pages of Philippine History by Jose “Pepe” Rodriguez, launched last year, was described by Nobel Prize Winner in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa as “instructive” and “entertaining,” further commenting that “the author’s investigation of how writers and journalists have reported significant events in the last 200 years produced many surprises.”
The history book has been highly-lauded by Teodoro Locsin Jr., Carmen Gurrero Napkil,
Vergel Santos, historian Jose Arcilla, SJ, among other writers.
Shortly after having been launched, Pepe’s book was presented in Spain where four million Filipinos reside in Madrid and in Mexico. The Philippines has indelible historical relations with Spain, its colonizer for over 300 years. A thriving trade with it via Acapulco, Mexico, from where ships loaded with Spanish goods transported these to Manila, returned to Acapulco with Philippine goods, intended for Spain. The Spanish influence on Philippine cuisine, its language, arts and culture are way too many to cite.
Rodriguez is now based in Manila and his conversance with Philippine history was augmented during his directorship for decades of the Spanish news agency EFE and the Instituto Cervantes. He is married to the Filipino portrait painter Lulu Coching, daughter of National Artist Francisco Coching.