MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The search for the next conductor and music director of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra continues with its Concert Series VI, slated on February 24, 8 pm, at the CCP Live at Met Theater.
Maestro Haoran Li steps on the dais for the sixth installment of the PPO’s 38th concert season, dubbed Metamorphosis. The Chinese conductor was the assistant conductor of China Philharmonic Orchestra from 2019 to 2020, and the National Center for the Performing Arts Beijing, China in 2018. For the 2022 to 2023 season, he led concerts with La Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, Romanian Radio National Orchestra, Lasi Philharmonic Orchestra, Banatul Philharmonic Orchestra of Timioara, Beijing Symphony Orchestra, and the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.
Under Maestro Li’s baton, the PPO will perform Antonino Buenaventura’s By the Hillside, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto Op. 47, D minor, featuring violinist Diomedes Saraza Jr.
First place winner at the 2002 National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Violin Category, Saraza Jr. is currently the concertmaster of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. He plays on a 1972 French violin made by Eugene Guinot and Rene Morel, given by Standard Insurance Company.
He has performed with the PPO in their concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. His recent performances include a recital tour in New York, Chicago, and Wisconsin with pianist Victor Asuncion; with the International Sejong soloists for the 33rd Macao International Music Festival at the Macao Cultural Centre, and in New York City in 2017.
He was also the concertmaster of PREDIS Children Orchestra, member of PREDIS chamber orchestra, and became the youngest member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra at age 13. He received both Music degrees, both undergraduate and masters, from the Juilliard School. During his time at the Juilliard School, Saraza was the recipient of the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, Ruth Katzman Scholarship, Juilliard Alumni scholarship, and the C.V. Starr Scholarship. He also served as assistant concertmaster of Juilliard Orchestra and Juilliard Lab Orchestra.
In 2015, Saraza was accepted to pursue Master of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where he became the concertmaster of Yale Philharmonia, violin faculty of Yale secondary lesson division, and was the first Filipino recipient of Yale’s highly-esteemed Broadus Erle Prize 2016 for being the best violinist of the year and the Alumni Association Prize 2017 for high scholastic achievement and community work outside Yale University.
He was a graduate professor of St. Scholastica’s College and violin faculty of the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra, in cooperation with Standard Insurance’s Pursuit for Excellence program.