Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) is the nation's leading symphony orchestra and a resident company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (the CCP), located on Manila's shoreline. The PPO's Music Director/Principal Conductor is Olivier Ochanine (Term to start January 2010).
Inaugurated on May 15, 1973, as the CCP Philharmonic, the new orchestra was initially intended to accompany artists performing at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Its first music director was Luis Valencia, with Julian Quirit serving as concertmaster.
Six years later Imelda Marcos, then First Lady of the Philippines, asked Oscar Yatco to reorganize the ensemble, and in 1982 the "Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra" took its present name and adopted a new vision: to become a world-class symphony orchestra comparable with the finest.
The PPO keeps a busy schedule year-round, its main concert season (September to April) supplemented by regular performances at the San Agustin International Music Festival, by special concerts, and by community outreach activities.
The PPO has performed with such renowned conductors as Mendi Rodan, Piero Gamba, Yaacov Bergman, and Nicholas Koch. It has also collaborated with leading Filipino and foreign musicians, including Cecile Licad, Martin Nievera, Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez, Van Cliburn, Renata Tebaldi, Judith Engel, Anthony Camden, Freestyle, and David Benoit.
Overseas, the PPO has successfully toured Europe, and in 2002 it participated in Asia Orchestra Week at Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. The orchestra gave a 2004 Charity Royal Command Concert at Bangkok's National Theater at the invitation of Princess Galyani Vadhana, elder sister of the King of Thailand. This was a project of the Fund for Classical Music Promotion, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships to young musicians to further study music, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Philippines in Bangkok and the Ministry of Culture of Thailand.
This year, after an exhaustive two-year search process, the PPO and the Cultural Center of the Philippines selected Olivier Ochanine as the PPO's next Principal Conductor and Music Director to start January 2010.