By: Bernice Go and Christine Marie Lim Magpile
“Joy, beautiful spark of divinity!” begins the poem, which Beethoven set to the famous tune we now all know as “Ode to Joy.” Commemorating Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th Birth Anniversary, the UP Symphony Orchestra will hold a concert entitled, “Canticles of Joy” on December 7, 2019, Saturday, 7:00 p.m., at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP College of Music.
Just like the “Ode to Joy” that captures the celebration of life, jubilation, and hope, the UP Symphony Orchestra will perform the joy of the Christmas season with the complete, monumental Beethoven Symphony No. 9 as well as the works of Sergei Prokofiev and Nilo Alcala.
The concert will also feature distinguished performers: Angeli Benipayo (soprano), Michelle Mariposa (mezzo-soprano), Malvin Macasaet (tenor), and Jeconiah Retullah (baritone). Prestigious choral groups from the University of the Philippines will also perform at the concert such as the UP Madrigal Singers, UP Concert Chorus, UP Singing Ambassadors, UP Staff Chorale, and Chorus classes from the UP College of Music.
As part of the UP Symphony Orchestra’s Balik UP Artista Project, which features an accomplished UP alumni in a concert, renowned and multi-awarded composer Nilo Alcala will join the UPSO for the “Canticles of Joy” and have a Philippine premiere of his work, The Magi’s Journey that paints a sonic version of their journey, filled with challenges and difficulties but ultimately ending in glorious, emotional amazement.
Tagged as the orchestra ng bayan (orchestra for the people), the UP Symphony Orchestra (UPSO), embodies the university’s commitment to excellence. It is comprised of students, faculty, and staff from three different constituent units, UP Diliman, UP Manila, and UP Los Baños. The orchestra is led by international composer-conductor Maestro Josefino Chino Toledo, professor and chair of Department of Composition and Theory, UP College of Music.
The 9th Symphony can be considered Beethoven’s magnum opus as he triumphs over his deafness. Let us join the UP Symphony Orchestra and watch the “Canticles of Joy” that resonates Beethoven’s music of hope and joy.