Maestro Grzegorz Nowak took the podium of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in Manila to open the Orchestra’s 39th season on September 15. Entitled “Roman Carnival,” the concert opened with Hector Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture with Grieg’s celebrated Piano Concerto in A-minor and soloist Mark Bebbington to follow. After the intermission, the audience was treated to another Roman musical delicacy, Ottorino Respighi’s Pini di Roma, a great opportunity for any orchestra and its leader to shine.

Local Philippine press seems to be very excited with the rollout of concerts to be conducted by Nowak in the coming months. The great Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman will be the guest soloist next February in Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto and will perform with a chamber ensemble in two other, separate concerts. That concert will open with the Overture from Moniuszko’s Bajka [Fairy Tale] and close with Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony.

Other highlights of Nowak and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra this year include the October 13 concert (Dvořak’s Cello Concerto and Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony), a “Russian Masters” November 17 concert (with works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev), and the December 8 “Ode to Joy” concert with Beethoven’s Ninth and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 on offer.

The year 2024 will open with the January 12 concert with Brahms (Piano Concerto No. 1) and Tchaikovsky (Symphony No. 4) and will be followed by a semi-staged opera performance of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale on March 8. Grzegorz Nowak’s and the PPO’s first season will conclude with “Fête Française” on April 18 with music by Saint-Saëns and Ravel as well as a work commissioned from a Filipino composer.

[Sources: press release,]

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