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French-American born Olivier Ochanine has been the principal conductor and music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) since April 2010. He took the helm of PPO at the age of 30, the youngest music director in the history of the renowned orchestra group.
The Parisian born conductor never expected that he would be invited to lead the PPO.
“I go wherever I find opportunities in music. People are people, and I believe that the appreciation of music is universal. I have a lot of Filipino friends in LA, so I already knew that Filipinos have a deep passion for music. I knew that conducting for the PPO would be a wonderful experience for me,” says Ochanine.
Ochanine has an undergraduate degree in Flute Performance. He later finished his master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Southern California. With just barely a year to go in helming the PPO, Ochanine endeavors to push more Filipinos to watch performances at the CCP, so that they may develop a love for music and the arts.
“I learned so many things as the musical director of the PPO. This is my first job as a music director, I learned to communicate effectively, I learned to be more useful. It has been a fantastic experience for me, I couldn't have come to a better country.”
A renowned music company
“When I began my term with the orchestra, I made a commitment to the group and myself that the PPO would perform in Carnegie Hall - the most prestigious performance venue in the world. The journey was tough, but in the end, everything turned out well,” says Ochanine.
The performance, Ochanine explains, will bring about great pride and joy not only to the orchestra, but to Filipinos here and abroad. Celebrated violinist Diomedes Saraza and pianist Cecile Licad will join the orchestra in New York.
Cecile Licad has performed with the world’s best orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the London Symphony. Diomedes Saraza recently graduated from the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, and is currently pursuing further studies at Yale University in Cambridge.
“The uniqueness and prestige of performing at Carnegie Hall will definitely bring pride to every Filipino around the globe,” says Ochanine. “It's a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the great talents of the Filipino artist.”
The concert at Carnegie Hall will be part of the historic US tour of the PPO this June. The PPO will be the first Filipino orchestra to ever perform at the hallowed Carnegie Hall. Ochanine tells us that he couldn't imagine a more perfect way of ending his stint as the musical director of PPO.
“Carnegie Hall is a veritable haven of excellence, it’s a place where musicians could only dream of performing at,” says Ochanine. “I am very proud that my first career appearance at Carnegie Hall will be shared with my PPO family.”
As a bonus to this momentous event in Philippine musical arts history, the proceeds of the June 18 performance of the PPO at the Carnegie Hall will go to a housing project of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Tacloban.
PPO's tour is supported by the PLDT Smart Foundation, PLDT Alpha Enterprise and SMART Infinity.
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