Thursday, January 21, 2010

CCP Sets Stage for First Philippine Guitar Fest

Philippine International Guitar Festival 2010The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and The Guitar Friends will hold the First Philippine International Guitar Festival 2010 from January 28 to 31 at the CCP in Pasay City. With the objective of promoting the Classical Guitar, the festival offers exciting musical performances by outstanding guitarists from the Philippines and abroad.

Maestro Jose Valdez, who is considered to be one of the best guitar teachers in the country, is the director of the Festival. Maestro Valdez, who has 35 years of teaching experience, is a lecturer and professor at the University of the Philippines, Philippine Women’s University, St. Scholastica’s College, Philippine National University, La Concordia College and St. Paul University. He is a pioneer of all major guitar courses in most schools in the Philippines. The CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Arts ranks him as one of the pioneers of classical guitar in the country.

Among those performing in the Festival are Mr. Steve Lin, Mr. Michael Dadap, Mr. Jose Valdez, Mr. Perfecto de Castro, Mr. Sixto Roxas, Mr. Kasilag Guitar Trio, Tabs, UP Guitar Orchestra, Fundacion Centro Flamenco and the winners of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists 2009 Guitar Category. More artists and groups, including the Manila Symphony Orchestra, are expected to be added to the list of performers in the Festival. One of the highlights of the Festival will be the concert by a Spanish guitar soloist to be brought in by Instituto Cervantes.

Mr. Steve Lin is a renowned international artist who has concertized throughout the US, Italy, the Philippines and Taiwan. An award winning guitarist and a recording artist, Mr. Lin teaches guitar at the San Jose State University and Northern California School of Music. He has a master’s degree from Yale School of Music and is completing his doctorate at the New England Conservatory under Eliot Fiske.

Mr. Michael Dadap has been artistic/music director and conductor of The Children’s Orchestra Society since 1984. He studied at UP, the Mannes College of Music and the Juilliard School. As a conductor, he has conducted and collaborated with some of the world’s most renowned concert artists. As an accomplished classical guitarist, he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1974 and has since performed in numerous concerts internationally.

Mr. Sixto “Butch” Roxas is a highly respected guitarist currently helping reestablish as well as playing for the UST Jazz Orchestra together with conductor/saxophonist Mr. Tots Tolentino. He studied at the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston and took guitar courses in various institutions abroad such as the Schola Cantorum in Paris and in Barcelona, Spain with Maestro Josep Henriquez under a grant from the Agencia EspaƱola. He is a faculty member of the UST Conservatory of Music.

Mr. Perfecto de Castro is hailed as one of the best Filipino guitarists. A graduate of PWU School of Music, he studied with Maestro Jose Valdez. The Laudarra, or the Ten String Classical Guitar, is Castro’s instrument of choice. He has collaborated with composers all over the world to add to the repertoire of the Ten String Guitar. He is a founding member of the Kasilag Guitar Quartet.

Fundacion Centro Flamenco is an organization dedicated to the promotion of the art of flamenco music and dance.

The Guitar Friends, which is spearheading the Festival, is composed of guitar aficionados of varying levels of expertise in guitar performance brought together by their love for guitar and their association with Maestro Jose Valdez, the Festival director. The Guitar Friends support the Guitar Immersion Program of Maestro Valdez and conducts activities such as campus concerts and master classes.

The 1st Philippine International Guitar Festival 2010 will offer master classes and lectures on topics such as “Building a Performing Career,” “Flamenco,” “A Guitarist’s Pain,” “Jazz Improvisation,” “Ensemble Playing” and “Musicality, Intelligence and Technique.” The Festival will also feature booths and displays by guitar makers and manufacturers.

The 1st Philippine International Guitar Festival 2010 is sponsored by CCP, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), SMART Communications, Inc., and Rudolf Lietz, Inc.

For details, call (63917) 526-6377, (63920) 498-2720, (63915) 921-3440, e-mail or visit


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