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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cecile Licad Concert

World-renowned Filipina classical pianist Cecile Licad will perform on Feb. 24 at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to help raise a “stand-by fund” to readily extend assistance to the victims of recurrent calamities in the Philippines.

Funfare’s Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre, said that the project, called Handang Tumulong Disaster Relief Fund, is set up by Filipino community leaders in New York and New Jersey, in cooperation with the Philippine Consulate General, according to Consul General Cecilia Rebong.

The Filipino-American community’s creme de la creme, as well as New York’s classical music aficionados, are expected to troop to the Philippine Center and donate $50, $100 and $200.

“It’s really heartwarming to note that one of our most prized Filipino international artists like Cecile immediately said yes to this noble project,” Edmund quoted Rebong as saying. “Our purpose is to be prepared when the need for an emergency financial aid arises, especially during calamities or disasters back home.”

Cecile will play Philippine pieces and Chopin. A one-time protege of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Cecile burst onto the international music scene long before Lea Salonga, Charice, Arnel Pineda and Lani Misalucha got noticed by the mainstream. She was called “a pianist’s pianist” by The New Yorker magazine. Her artistry is a blend of daring musical instinct and superb training.

Edmund gave the following facts about Cecile for the benefit of the present generation:

Born in Manila, Cecile began her piano studies at age three with her mother, Rosario Licad, and later studied with the highly regarded Rosario Picazo. At seven, she made her debut as soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Philippines. She went on to study with Rudolf Serkin at the Curtis Institute of Music.

As one of the youngest musicians to receive the prestigious Leventritt Gold Medal in 1981, Cecile has performed around the globe and has won international recognition. She also has appeared regularly with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, to name a few.

She has made recordings for Sony and recently released a new CD of works by Ravel (Le tombeau de Couperin, Gaspard de la Nuit, and Sonatine) on the MusicMasters label and a CD of works by Gottschalk on the Naxos label.

She was featured as a guest artist on Feb. 12 and 13 at The Post-Standard Classics Series: Romeo & Juliet at John H. Mulroy Civic Center in Syracuse, N.Y.; and on Jan. 31 at an all-Chopin recital in Ohio Wesleyan University’s Gray Chapel in Delaware, Ohio.

Added Edmund, “Cecile has never stopped performing across the United States
and abroad with other acclaimed musicians. She continues to promote Filipino talent wherever she goes.”



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