Thursday, July 10, 2014

For love of Mozart and all things good and fine

Old woodblock print of the young Mozart

Artists (writers, musicians, painter, sculptors, multi-media artists) can still learn from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even centuries after he left this world at a youthful 35 going on 36.

My choice Mozart quote is this: "I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings."

It has been a total pleasure interviewing for verafiles.org these past weeks and days the main headliners of "Mostly Mozart 2014 Festival" and even the cultural heroes who work in the background . The site has been down for the past 72 hours. My editor Ellen Tordesillas, whose own blog site suffered the same fate, explained that the site crashed from the weight of spam materials that had been loaded into it. In other words, it has been hacked. Meanwhile, the site and Ka Ellen's blog are under repair and temporarily unavailable. I'm praying they will both be up by this afternoon or tomorrow.

What's admirable about Ka Ellen is she's cool about it, like this is a risk the organization faces each time it takes on its various advocacies in stopping human trafficking, upholding the rights of persons with disability, among many.

Cristine Coyiuto just being herself

I asked pianist Cristine Coyiuto what her thoughts were on classical music development in this country, how fine music can be heard above the din of K-pop (that's Korean pop) or even Ph-pop. She said, "Young people should be exposed to classical music in this country. In Europe, attending classical concerts and operas are part of their daily lives. Here, I think the love for classical music can start right at home. It is just a matter of exposure. Parents can help their children by letting them listen to classical music or bringing them to concerts. At home, my husband turns on the stereo every morning, so our daughter was already well exposed to good music at a very young age. By the time Caitlin turned six, she had already been to a full-length ballet, symphonic concert, recital and opera."

It helped that her husband James had a music room built in their home. In this room hangs an oil painting done by Manolo Lozada, brother of the violinist Carmencita. He recalled that Lozada started painting the family portrait when Caitlin was 14 years old. Thre years later in 2008, the artist presented the work to the family as a gift from the artist. Caitlin at the time was learning how to play the cello as her third instrument (she began with piano followed by the flute).

Mr. Coyiuto said "We breathe music every day, whether it is coming from her piano, or from a CD that is playing, or from watching musical performances, especially operas during meal time." Of this painting, he said, "I chastised Manolo for including the slippers plus all the stuff underneath the piano! Plus I told him to add more hair on my head! He tried! He's such an honest painter!"

It's said that the arts are a jealous mistress or lover. For some living and practicing art sometimes exacts a toll on the family. But Cristine said otherwise: "My husband James, my daughter Caitlin and I share a common love and passion for music. The three of us are fully supportive of one another. James is an ardent musicophile who collects CDs and prints of the composers, and supports us in every way he can. In spite of a busy household, I always try to find time to work on my music. The best part is playing and performing with my flutist daughter. There seems to be a special bond or feeling between us whenever we perform together. That is why the critics dubbed us 'the mother-daughter musical tandem.'"

Of Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang with whom she will perform alongside the Manila Symphony Orchestra tomorrow night at the Philippine Stock Exchange auditorium, she said, "I have heard so many good things about him, and I certainly look forward to working with him."

Mostly Mozart is a fund-raising production of the Manila Chamber Orchestra Foundation to benefit its young artists' development program. A number of tickets are still available at the MCO Foundation with tel. no. 750-0768 or cell phone 0920-954-0053.
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