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The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the Philippines versatile orchestras, both in its breadth of repertoire styles and its flexibility of size as a full symphony or chamber orchestra. Founded in 1998, MPO has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras inthe country through over a decade of well-applauded live performances, records, tours and innovative programs of bringing the orchestra closer to the communities. The strong backbone of MPO is its solid passion for music.

Backed by the finest talents, the group has admirably proven the principle that music is a gift for all and not just for the chosen few. What, with number of successful concerts in the portfolio and the competitive track records of its members, both locally and internationally. The MPO creates the bridge between the orchestra and the audience by participating in music-related activities – from corporate events to stage musicales to special personal events.

To date, MPO has more than 500 concerts and has partnered with more than 100 known companies from various industries. Manila Philharmonic Orchestra takes pride in the resounding success of its 2003-2004 Season Concert Series that was followed by its 2004-2005 Season Concert Series featuring top-caliber local and international artists such as pianists Cecile Licad, Ingrid Sala Santa Maria, Aileen Chanco, Raul Sunico ; well-known violinists Anastasia Chebotareva, Alexander Tumescu and Oscar Yatco ; conductors Eduardo Browne, Mark Kadin, Dmitri Liss just to name a few. Adding to its distinguished roster is the triumphant concert with Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli. It was once in a lifetime privilege for MPO to be the chosen orchestra to perform with him in Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra has also become active in the local musical theater scene. MPO was privileged to be part of the Philippine productions of The Wedding Singer, Sound of Music, King and I and Cinderella which were staged at the Resorts World from 2011 to 2013.

In 2014, MPO was honored to have been showcased as the orchestra to accompany the cast of the highly acclaimed Noli Me Tangere, The Opera at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Top billing this grand production were world-renowned musical stars Sal Malaki, Rachelle Gerodias, Antoni Mendezona, Andrew Fernando, Jonathan Velasco, Noel Azcona and many others.

The following year (2015), MPO was back at the Newport Performing Arts Theater for Bituing Walang Ningning.: The Musical. This was the first ever venture of Viva Entertainment and Resorts World in bringing iconic Philippine films to the theater stage. The musical featured the talents of Cris Villonco, Mark Bautista, Mechu, Lauchengco-Yulo, Ronnie Liang and lead star Monica Cuenco. Directed by Freddie Cruz, the production celebrated the music of the ‘80s and the inspiring compositions of Willy Cruz like Mahawi Man ang Ulap, Sana’y Maghintay ang Walang Hanggan, Pangarap na Bituin, Magandang Gabi, Kamusta Ka and of course Bituing Walang Ningning.

This year, MPO is once again proud to be part of Resorts World Manila’s seventh major stage production - the Broadway musical ANNIE. The well-loved family musical opens on September 30, 2016 and is backed by the country’s best homegrown actors and new little stars.

On the classical concert side, a major career highlight for the MPO was its participation in the 2013 Asia Orchestra Week held in Tokyo, Japan. The MPO was specially handpicked by the Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestra of Japan and The Southern Sinfonia of New Zealand. A festival of classical music, this concert celebrated the rich cultural diversity that the Asia-Pacific region has to offer.

Prior to the orchestra’s travel to Japan, the MPO staged a successful send-off concert at the CCP entitled “Journey: A Classical Concert” as its way of thanking its supporters and sponsors here in the Philippines. The audience was treated to a preview of the repertoire in the Asia Orchestra Week. The program included pieces by Redentor Romero, Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninov.

MPO continues its mission to adhere to the orchestra's tradition of excellence to primarily educate and inculcate skills and knowledge in music-making and produce future musicians. The group has partnered with charitable institutions such as Cerebral Palsy, Gawad Kalinga, Bantay Bata and CENTEX. Another great project is "From the Streets to Concert Halls" which gives scholarships to MPO kids. The orchestra also assisted the fund-raising concert of San Pablo Apostol Parish in Tondo, Manila on December 2013 for its parish re-construction.

In the years to come, the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra will continually embark on a journey to make a difference in the music industry. MPO will thrive and will battle many challenges – creating new realities for our musicians, our communities and most of all, our music.

A Music Major graduate in French Horn from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, Rodel F. Colmenar made his name as the Founder and Music Director of the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).

He honed his French Horn playing under Filipino teacher, Leopoldo Lopez, Andre Van Driesse of Belgium and Timothy Brown of London. He was a prizewinner of numerous music competitions and held the principal post in the ASEAN Music Workshops held in Manila, Singapore and Thailand. He served as guest for the Kuala Lumpur Symphony Orchestra, the Penang State Orchestra of Malaysia, and the Twilite Orchestra of Indonesia and other orchestras in the Philippines. For 15 years, he held the principal position of the horn section of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a conductor, he was significantly involved in the Kurt Masur Conducting Workshop in Detmold, Germany, and in the master classes of French Conductor Jean Sebastian Bereau and Pierro Gamba of Italy.

In 1998, he founded the MPO which marked the start of his conducting career. As a conductor, he collaborated with several outstanding local and foreign classical artists such as French pianist Alexandre Tharaud, French soprano Corrigne Sertillagnes, Romanian violinist Alexandru Tomescu, Korean tenor Greg Yoon, Filipino pianist Cecile Licad, Russian violinist Anastasia Chebotareva, French violinist Nemanja Radulovi and well-known Filipino singers like Lea Salonga, Martin Nievera, Gary Valenciano, Regine Velasquez, Lani Misalucha, Tanya Manalang and Mig Ayesa just to name a few. This prestigious roster would not be complete without mentioning that the MPO also accompanied the famous Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli in a series of concerts here in Manila and in other Asian countries.

In 2000 to 2002, Maestro Rodel handled the baton as one of the resident conductors of the only corporate-supported orchestra in the country at that time, the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra.

In recent years, Colmenar conducted the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra in various musical plays such as The Wedding Singer, Sound of Music, King and I, Cinderella, Bituin Walang Ningning which were staged from 2011 to 2015 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila. Another important milestone in his profession as a conductor was the participation of the MPO in the Asia Orchestra Week held in Tokyo, Japan last October, 2013. The Association of Japanese Symphony Orchestras especially handpicked the MPO to represent the Philippines in this prestigious event.

For 2014, Maestro Rodel Colmenar, together with the MPO, still continues to provide musical inspiration for different major concerts, corporate events and productions. Perhaps the most significant career highlight for Colmenar in 2014, was the successful run of "Noli Me Tangere – The Opera" at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. This production, which is an operatic adaptation of Dr. Jose Rizal's famous novel, featured the work of Felipe de Leon and the original libretto by Guillermo Tolentino. Showcased in this historic project were world-class talents like Sal Malaki, Rachel Gerodias, Antoni Medezona and many more.

In spite of all his achievements, Rodel Colmenar has remained grounded and has become more focused in his life goal of contributing to the good of the society and to the country, as a whole. A concrete proof of this was his past project, wherein school children coming from poor families were chosen and were trained through the mentorship of MPO musician-volunteers. Colmenar continues to hope that he will be able to enrich children's lives by turning them into quality musicians, to open new doors of opportunities for them and to empower them with the knowledge and the tools that they need to secure a better future.

At the end of the day, Maestro Rodel Colmenar does not only see himself as a conductor that provides inspiration to audiences through the beauty and power of great music. Rather, he finds greater responsibility in knowing that he is now in a better position to awaken the possibility in other people.Ultimately, he looks forward to realizing his visions to support young artists, to use his music as a catalystfor change and to extend the legacy that he has worked hard for, for the next generation of musicians.

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