Culture and the Arts Entertainment

PPO opens 39th season, featuring French-born pianist

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Monique Duphil. Photo © the CCP-PPO

THE Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) opens on Friday its 36th season featuring French-born pianist Monique Duphil at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theater.

Conducted by PPO music director Yoshikazu Fukumura, the season opener begins at 8 pm.

Duphil has been praised by critics for her “flawless technique, power, and a sound, lively musical imagination.”

Duphil performs Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major, a piece that was written by the composer for one of Duphil’s very own teachers, the celebrated Marguerite Long. Ravel dedicated this concerto to Long and on the first page of the score are the words “A Marguerite Long.”

The CCP said Duphil “considers Long as one of her most important teachers for many years.” She was 9 years old when she started studying with Long.

Long, who is regarded as France’s foremost woman pianist during the first half of the 20th century, premiered Ravel’s Concerto in G major in 1932 to great acclaim. Her debut of the piece has been regaled as “legendary” by music historians.

Ravel’s Concerto in G Major has been described as a “splendid orchestration, which tempts the listener to experience this work as a brilliant, and almost self-sufficient, demonstration of sheer musical color, reflects the composer’s interest in jazz, evidenced by trombone glissandi and similar effects,” the CCP said.

Duphil’s Friday’s performance will be her second at the CCP. She performed with the PPO and conducted piano master classes in 2017.

French-born Duphil made her Paris debut with orchestra at age 15, performing Felix Mendelssohn’s G-minor piano concerto with the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.

She was launched on the world’s stages after earning prizes in four international competitions —including the Chopin Competition in Warsaw — and has since performed in more than 50 countries across five continents.

Duphil entered the Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris at age 10 and studied with Jean Doyen, Marguerite Long, and Joseph Calvet. She won a premier prix in piano at 15 and graduated the following year with a grand prix in professional chamber music.

She later earned an artist diploma from the Musikhochschule of Stuttgart, Germany.

Duphil’s United States debut was performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, substituting on just a few hours’ notice for cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. Duphil was honored to be reengaged by conductor Eugene Ormandy and appeared with him four more times, performing two concertos on each occasion.

Duphil has been the featured soloist with numerous symphony orchestras, among them The Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, Warsaw, Bern, MünchnerSymphoniker, Paris Orchestre Lamoureux, Caracas, Mexico, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Seoul, Tokyo Metropolitan, Sapporo, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Brisbane Symphony Orchestra, and all Australian ABC orchestras.

She has worked with a long list of outstanding conductors, including Maxim Shostakovich, Charles Dutoit, Gerard Schwarz, and Yoshikazu Fukumura.

A distinguished chamber musician, Duphil has partnered with renowned artists including Pierre Fournier, Cho-Liang Lin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Ruggiero Ricci, and Henryk Szerying, as well as the Musikverein Quartet, the Salzburg Mozarteum Trio, and the Vienna, St. Petersburg, Haydn, Chester, and American string quartets.

Duphil served on the faculty of the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts before her appointment to the faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1992.

The PPO’s 2018-2019 season, also marks the orchestra’s 45th founding anniversary.

For more information, please call the CCP Box Office (832-3704), TicketWorld (891-9999) or visit


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Ibarra C. Mateo
A journalist since 1983, Ibarra C. Mateo is also an editor, a researcher, and a communication consultant.

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