Philanthropy

Cecile Licad Returns to Manila In All-Chopin Concert For Charity

The one-night only concert will benefit two charities close to the pianist's heart.
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If Nedy Tantoco could bring in acclaimed classical pianist Cecile Licad to perform in Manila every year, she would, says Chips Guevara of Childhope Philippines.

Fortunately for us this year, Licad will be returning to the stage to enchant audiences on a Steinway piano. The musician is lining up an all-Chopin piano concert on November 27, 7 p.m., at the Manila Polo Club.

The concert, called “Cecile Licad: I Love Chopin,” is co-produced by Tantoco, chairman & chief executive officer at Rustan Commercial Corp. and the SSI Group, who currently serves as Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra Society Inc. (PPOSI) president, Chips Guevara, and his mother Amelita Guevara.

Chips Guevara presently sits as vice chairman of Childhope Philippines Foundation, one of the beneficiaries of Licad’s concert. The non-profit organization has helped care for over 10,000 street children since 1989. Founder and executive director Teresita Silva and her team have addressed the problem of mendicancy by providing health services, education, and value formation for displaced youths.

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The other beneficiary is Tantoco’s PPOSI, which was established by the late Senator Edgardo Angara for the benefit of the members of the Philippine Harmonic Orchestra. 

The concert itself will be special since Licad will be playing an all-Chopin repertoire that consists of the 12 Etudes, which is rarely ever played all in one sitting.

“The beauty of solo piano is that the audience gets to hear the intricacies of her interpretation more clearly,” Chips tells us. The intimate affair comes will feature a souvenir program with program notes written by Licad herself, along with a personal account of the pianist written by Amelita Guevara.

Licad was discovered at the age of 13, and granted a scholarship at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she trained under three masters: Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski. At the age of 19, Licad was awarded the prestigious Leventritt Gold Medal. She has since performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and National Symphony. Those who haven’t had the privilege of hearing her perform live can pick up her most recent album, “Anthology of American Piano Music Volume 2: Music of the Night - American Nocturnes.”

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Tantoco and the Guevaras have a special shared history with Licad. As the descendant of legendary composer Francisco Buencamino, Licad is a member of the musically-inclined clan. Amelita was president of the family’s Buencamino Music Foundation and has worked closely with her for a number of concerts, says Chips.

The most recent one organized by the foundation was held in 2015. Tantoco, on the other hand, has also produced several of Licad’s concerts; the most recent one was last year’s “Cecile Licad: Chopin in the Key of C” for the benefit of the San Pablo Apostol Parish Church in Tondo, Manila. You could imagine the excitement between the two parties in working together to bring this musical sensation back in time for the holiday season.

After the recital, Licad will embark on an outreach program that will visit five locations. 

Seats are available at P30,000, P10,000, and P5,000. Contact Chips Guevara at 0917.810.3245 or 502.09683 for seat reservations.

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Hannah Lazatin
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Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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