Founded in 1926, the MSO is one of Asia’s oldest symphony orchestras. Disbanded in 1989, it was reinstated in 2001 by its longtime concertmaster, Prof. Basillio Manalo, with members coming from the training program he started with Sr. Mary Placid Abejo, OSB, known as the Philippines Research for Developing Instrumental Soloist (PREDIS). The present MSO is composed of around 64 musicians under the music direction of Prof. Arturo Molina and is now based at the St. Scholastica’s Collage School of Music. Many of the members of the orchestra are music educators, bandmasters, and chamber musicians. A significant part of the orchestra is composed of the young musicians enrolled in the different colleges and conservatory of music in Metro Manila. Many have been winners in the National Music Competitors for Young Artist (NAMCYA) and have represented the country in various international music festivals and workshops.
For it’s 2009 concert season, the MSO collaborated with several top caliber artist such as Leventritt–winning piansit Lydia Artymiw, Julliard-trained violinist Diomedes Saraza Jr., Aliw- awardee pianist Mary Ann Espina, European-trained violinist Jareena Inacay, and guest conductor Prof. Christoph Poppen. Their “Opera Extravaganza” concert featuring sopranos Camille Lopez Molina and Margarita Gomez Gianelli was dubbed as the “Vocal Event if the Year” by Daily Inquirer’s music critic Pablo Tariman. Their collaborations with the Ballet of the Phillipines in 2008 for Delibes “Copellia” and in 2009 for Tschaikovsky’s “ Nutcracker” and the past “Rockestra” Concerts ( Various Rock Bands playing with the Orchestra ) has proven the versatility of this ensemble in genre and repertoire.
To learn more about MSO, please visit their website at http://www.manilasymphony.com/