UP ARCO is Philippine representative to international music festivals in Europe

The UP String Orchestra, known to many as UP ARCO, has been invited to represent the Philippines for the first time in two acclaimed international music festivals in Europe.

From July 2 to 6, UP ARCO will be in Hungary for the Budapest Music Festival.

This will be followed by a trip to neighbor country Slovakia for the 7th International Youth Music Festival I slated for July 9 to 12 in Bratislava.

Budapest, where UP ARCO will join other young musicians for a four-day festival, is described as a city that enchants, impresses and fascinates, and whose beauty no visitor can resist. Photo by Alice Morta

The unique experience is an opportunity for UP ARCO not only to learn from other young talented musicians but also to perform in historical and cultural edifices in these cities of great musical traditions.

After its stint in Eastern Europe, the group will be in Milan and Genoa in Italy to hold concerts for the Filipino community. The all-Filipino repertoire will include, among others, compositions by National Artists Antonino Buenaventura, Felipe Padilla de Leon and Antonino Molina.

In Bratislava, UP ARCO will compete with children’s, youth and adult choirs and orchestras from around the world. The tower with the replica of the Hungarian crown (left) is of St. Martin’s Cathedral where the group will hold its festival opening concert. Photo by Alice Morta

UP ARCO is composed of Julienne Bonacua, Junyeong Cho, Stephen John Cruz, Dan Bi Oh, Vince Arnel Placido, Othelo Tron Salatan, Anna Janine Samaniego (concert master), Luisito R. Santos and Ye Yun Yi, on the violin; Pamela Lee Almeda, Hwan Hee Kim, Christine Laron, Lovely Masaquel, Emlyn Ponce, on the viola; Patrick John Espanto, Celyn Ponce, on the cello; and Jerome Aldrian Naval on the double bass.

Its director and conductor is Prof. Edna Marcil Martinez while the head of the delegation is Prof. Rubén Defeo.

In 2012, UP ARCO participated in the Festival International Musique Universitaire in Belfort, France. It was the first time that a Philippine orchestra performed in the festival’s concert stage.