By Roy Mabasa
Eighteen Filipino delegates who are students or graduates of major music schools in the country will have the opportunity to study under the tutelage of five eminent guest concert pianists and pedagogues from Italy, the United States, the Philippines, and France at the 2018 Manila International Piano Masterclass Festival (MIPMF) from August 4 to 11.
Organized by renowned Filipino concert pianist, artistic director, and educator Jovianney Emmanuel Cruz, the MIPMF is the first piano festival in the country set in a 19th-century European salon-style environment, which is described as live, intimate performances of serious art music in residences for an exclusive audience.
Primarily focused on the art of piano performance, the intensive music camp seeks to give more young Filipino classical pianists the opportunity to study under the tutelage of highly acclaimed musicians from Europe and the United States without having to travel abroad, while also supporting the continuing development of cultural exchanges between Europe and the Philippines.
A 1996 Ten Outstanding Young Men awardee for the arts, Cruz was trained at Chetham’s School of Music in England and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, where he completed his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance. He is one of the country’s pioneers of the renaissance of classical music awareness. He was inspired by his participation as an artist-faculty in the Paris International Summer Sessions held at the Conservatoire Maurice Ravel in 2017.
Joining Cruz in leading private one-on-one lessons, masterclasses, and performance revues, as well as performing in private recitals are five of the world’s most distinguished piano virtuosos, namely:
Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri (France and Italy) – a famed international piano pedagogue, Maestro Delle-Vigne Fabbri has been teaching at the prestigious École Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot” in France for over 40 years, and was appointed professor extraordinaire at the Chapelle Musicale “Reine Elisabeth” in Belgium and honorary professor at the Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida. He is also the founder and artistic director of the International Certificate for Piano Artists, an international pedagogical program organized in collaboration with numerous foreign institutions.
Dr. Roberta Rust (United States) – Rust has performed in prestigious venues all over the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Rio de Janeiro’s Sala Cecilia Meireles, Washington’s Corcoran Gallery, and Seoul’s KNUA Hall. She is the head of the piano department at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Florida. She obtained her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and her Doctorate from the University of Miami, and also studied at the Peabody Conservatory. She earned performer’s certificates in piano and German Lieder from the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Chiara Cipelli (Italy) – Cipelli graduated with highest honors at the Conservatorio G. Nicolini in Piacenza, Italy and later, at the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg in Germany. She continued her studies under the tutelage of Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri at the École Normale de Musique de Paris “Alfred Cortot” in France, where she earned her Diplôme Superieur de Piano. She is currently professor of piano at the Scuola Civica di Musica C. Monteverdi and the Instituto Superiore Studi Musicali di Reggio Emilia in Italy, and also holds master classes in Italy, Spain, France, and Belgium.
Dr. Adam Kent (United States) – Kent is the director of Cultural Outreach at the Burgos International Music Festival and teaches at the Cursos de Verano of the Fundacion Princesa de Asturias in Spain. For his advocacy and specialization in Spanish music, Dr. Kent was bestowed the Orden al Mérito Civil by the government of Spain. He obtained his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music in New York and completed his Doctor of Musical Arts from Julliard.
Elodie Vignon (France) – an artist-in-residence of the Foundation Bell’Arte, Vignon completed two Master’s degrees in Piano Performance and Chamber Music (with distinction) and has performed as a soloist in festivals and music halls all over the world, including those in Paris, Brussels, Madeira, Vilnius, and Moscow. She recently released her first CD recording entitled “Complete Etudes for Piano” by Claude Debussy.
In a statement issued on Friday, Cruz said the visiting artists represent the three main Schools of Thought on piano performance, which would offer positive and holistic training to the developing pianist.
“Aside from the Schools of Thought and the technical aspects of playing the piano, a pianist’s development ought to include advocating the theoretical and historical values of the instrument they have come to love. The 19th century was a time when art and music were a way of life, and when the pursuit of beauty was more the priority than the pursuit of perfection,” Cruz explained.
For the entire duration of the event, the visiting virtuosos will mentor the 18 Filipino delegates who are students or graduates of Philippine High School for the Arts, the Philippine Women’s University, Silliman University, St. Scholastica’s College, the University of the Philippines, and the University of Santo Tomas.
The 2018 MIPMF is a collaboration between Cruz and the embassies of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Netherlands and France.