Filipino youth orchestra wins gold at Vienna music festival
The Manila Junior Symphony Orchestra’s (MSJO) winning streak continues after winning Gold in Category B Youth Orchestras at the Vienna-based World Youth Festival, which ran from 12 to 26 June.
The festival – which went live due to the pandemic – brought together some 140 orchestras from 33 countries participating with video inputs.
MSJO, under the direction of Jeffrey Solares, submitted a video of his 2019 performance at Youngsan Art Hall in Seoul, Korea, playing three movements from Dvorak’s Serenade in E.
“The technical level of the MSJO, the spirit, the precision of the whole are exemplary. I cannot imagine a better performance”, noted the member of the jury, professor Arthur Fagen, musical director of the opera of Atlanta.
The Silver Award for Category B Youth went to the Macau Pui Ching High School String Orchestra, while the Bronze Award went to the Canadian Chamber Cricket Orchestra and the ‘Orchestra of Joven Promusica of Spain.
Solares acknowledged the great help of Standard Insurance for their continued support as a main sponsor as well as all the parents, teachers and families who have supported the orchestra’s mission to discover and nurture Filipino youth and provide them with an opportunity. to shine on the world stage.
MSJO has already won first prize at the Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival 2018, also in Vienna.
Solares said that by providing the best environment for young musicians to hone their talents, you also get the best of them.
“We provide a good environment for serious study and at the same time encourage a deep respect and friendship among the students. We do not play favorites even if some talents stand out from the others,” he said.
Another key to a good performance is to provide young musicians with exposure to different activities throughout the year.
“They take care of recitals, music camps, chamber music and masterclasses, among others. We remain convinced that despite the pandemic, we can continue to make music in different ways and continue to make people happy with it. our music through various online platforms, ”Solares added.
The conductor also said that the pursuit of excellence is his main motivation among young aspiring artists.
“We are grateful that there are a few festivals and activities that we can continue to participate in and show the world the kind of talent that we have. We do not encourage musicians who are only looking for the traps of fame and the ‘ego trip,’ says Solares.
Since its inception in 2014, MSJO has organized public performances at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Museong Pambata, Ayala Museum, Corporate Center Auditorium Insular Life Tower, Filinvest Alabang and Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium, between other.
The World Youth Festival, established in 2013, aims to provide a platform for all kinds of orchestras and ensembles to perform, learn, compete, communicate and establish a deep friendship with other musicians, whatever their age, origin, religion and cultural origins.
Participants from 140 countries included symphony orchestras, chamber music orchestras, folk music orchestras, marching bands and marching bands, brass bands, percussion ensembles, jazz orchestras and ensembles of various types.
The festival is held annually in Vienna, with the support of the authorities of the Austrian Federal Government, the City Government of Vienna, the Provincial Government of Burgenland, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Haydn Foundation and the Liszt Cultural Center, among others.
Jury members include Fagen, Professor Helmut Zehetner, conductor Neil Varon and Mark Pogolski, music director of the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater in Munich.
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