Founded in 1926, the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is one of Asia’s first symphony orchestras. The orchestra was established by Viennese conductor Dr. Alexander Lippay who led the group until his death in 1939, after which Dr. Herbert Zipper succeeded him as conductor for the next 30 years.

        In the 1970s, various conductors led the orchestra including Oscar Yatco, Helen Quach, and Regalado Jose. In 2001, it was reorganized by Prof. Basilio Manalo who appointed Prof. Arturo Molina to succeed him.

        At present, the MSO is composed of around 60 musicians and has performed in all major concert venues in the Metro and throughout the country. Many of the members of the MSO are professional musicians who, in addition to their leadership roles in the orchestra, are also active participants in the cultural life of the country as soloists, music educators, music arrangers, chamber music performers, entrepreneurs, bandmasters, and choir conductors.

        In 2014, to continue its legacy of musical excellence, MSO founded the MSO Music Academy and the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO). They regularly hold lessons, masterclasses, and music camps to hone the talents of promising young musicians.

        MSO’s mission is to enrich the Filipino’s vibrant cultural life through fine orchestral music and to enable more people to experience the power of music. MSO aims to perform within the highest international standards and present music in a fresh, spirited, and entertaining way.

MARLON CHEN

MUSIC DIRECTOR AND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR

In June 2019, Marlon Chen was appointed as Manila Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director and Principal Conductor. He likewise continues his positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Hildalgo and Resident Conductor of the Aperio Ensemble in Houston, Texas. Previously he was an Associate Conductor of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, an Assistant Conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig and an Assistant Conductor with the Orchestre de Paris. Marlon Chen appears as guest conductor on both sides of the Atlantic with many of the world’s finest orchestras including Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, National Orchestra d’ile de France, MAV Orchestra Hungary, English School of Opera Festival Orchestra London, Bulgarian State Opera, Moldova Chamber Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, Bolivian Festival Orchestra, Singapore International Music Festival Orchestra, the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and the MDR Orchestra of Leipzig, Philharmonique de Radio France, and the Symphonic Orchestra of Natal, Brazil. A Taiwanese-American, Marlon Chen is fluent in English, French, Italian, Spanish and Chinese and currently resides in Houston, Texas.

DIOMEDES SARAZA JR.

CONCERT MASTER

Born to a family of musicians, Mr. Saraza started playing the violin at the age of three with his father. Mr. Saraza gained attention and became a prominent violinist in the Philippines after winning first place at the National Music Competition for Young Artists in 2002. He was also the concertmaster of PREDIS Children Orchestra, member of PREDIS chamber orchestra, and  became the youngest member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra at age 13. Mr. Saraza received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in 2015. During his time at the Juilliard School, Mr. Saraza was the recipient of the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship, Ruth Katzman Scholarship, Juilliard Alumni scholarship and the C.V. Starr Scholarship.  In 2015, Mr. Saraza was accepted to pursue Master of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. During his time in Yale, Mr. Saraza was the concertmaster of Yale Philharmonia, violin faculty of Yale secondary lesson division,, and was the first Filipino recipient of Yale’s highly esteemed awards called the Broadus Erle Prize 2016 for being the best violinist of the year and the Alumni Association Prize 2017 for high scholastic achievement and community work outside Yale University. Mr. Saraza’s concert engagement include a historical performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Olivier Ochanine and the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in New York’s  Carnegie Hall. Mr. Saraza toured Korea and Russia with Sejong Soloists and performed in venues such as Busan Cultural Center, Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall of Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic Society, Arnold Kats State Concert hall, and Tchaikovsky Concert hall in Russia. Saraza was accepted at the Perlman Music Program, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Bowdoin International Music Festival. Mr. Saraza also received guidance and has worked with major classical figures such as Glen Dicterow, Cho-liang Lin, Sarah Chang, Itzhak Perlman, Vadim Repin, Christian Tetzlaff, David Finckel, Joseph Kalichstein, and members of the Emerson Quartet, Brentano Quartet, Ying Quartet, Orion Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Miro String Quartet, and Shanghai Quartet.

Musician Roster

Strings

Noreen Anne Yambao

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated: UST, St. Paul University Manila

 

Notable Performances: Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival 2017 and 2018, Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: UST Symphonic Orchestra, PREDIS Chamber Orchestra

 

Principal Teachers: Prof. Arturo Molina, Prof. Jeffrey Solares, Prof. Gina Medina-Perez

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: UP College of Music Extension Program 2008-2012; Pundaquit Virtuosi, Casa San Miguel 2009-2011

Sara Maria Gonzales

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances:

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Hazel Saclayan

Instrument: Viola

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Paul University Manila

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers: Joy Allan Dela Cruz

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  

June Philippe Ong

Instrument: Viola

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: 

Alfonso Encina Jr.

Instrument:  Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated:  St. Scholastica’s College Manila

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Palo Ambassador Orchestra, PREDIS, Philippine Suzuki Association

 

Principal Teachers: Prof. Jeffrey Solares, Denise Santos Huang, Noel Martin

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: 2019 World Suzuki Convention Australia; 2007 Asia Suzuki Conference; 2018 Asian Region Suzuki Conference; 2015 Suzuki Violin Book 1 Training; 2017 Suzuki Violin Book 2 Training; 2018 Suzuki Violin Seminar; 2017 Korea Suzuki Association Summer Camp

Arnold Josue

Instrument:  Cello

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: UST Conservatory of Music Faculty

 

Principal Teachers: Wifredo Pasamba, Nenato Lucas

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Angelita Moris

Instrument:  Cello

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Scholastica’s College

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Mirabilia Dei Foundation Faculty; PREDIS Faculty

 

Principal Teachers: Prof. Giancarlo Gonzales, Prof. Antonio Josef Inacay, Prof. Arnold Josue, Ed Pasamba, Rodolfo Palma

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Kodaly Seminar (2008&2010); Seminar Workshop for Music Teachers 2009; Cebu International Chamber Music Festival 2013; Pipe Organ Summer Workshop (2014&2015); Cultures in Harmony Workshop 2014; 7th Asian Region Suzuki Conference 2018; Certificate of Merit Award 2018; Master Classes

Daniella Caballero

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival 2017&2018

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: UST Symphony Orchestra, Angono Chamber Orchestra, Manila String Machine, PREDIS Chamber Orchestra 2012-2014

 

Principal Teachers: Prof. Jeffrey Solares, Sara Maria Gonzales

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Korea Suzuki Summer Camp 2017; Korea Suzuki Winter Camp 2019; Philippine Suzuki Association Teacher Seminar 2018

Diomedes Saraza Jr.

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: 

Paul John Layug

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Scholastica’s College

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Concert Master at “Alang Dios Kapampangan Sarzula”, Banaue International Music Competition

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Mirabilia Dei Foundation; PREDIS

 

Principal Teachers: Rodlfo Parlma, Jareena Inacay Texon, Denise Santos Huang, Noel Martin, Ivan Saraza

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Cultures and Harmony Workshop; 7th Asian Region Suzuki Conference 2018

Raphael Espada

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: 

Katherina Hernandez

Instrument: Violin

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Scholastica’s College

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Southeast Asian Performance and Tour

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Philippine Suzuki Association

 

Principal Teachers:  Prof. Arturo Molina

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Master Classes of Juan Munoz, Prof. Sergio, Esmilla Jr., Joseph Esmilla; Teacher Training

John Paolo Anorico

Instrument: Cello

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Scholastica’s College

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Bamboo Organ Festival 2018 and 2019, SCL Festival 2017 and 2018

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Manila Baroque Ensemble, Angono Chamber Orchestra, Manila String Machine

 

Principal Teachers: Givseppe Diestro, Antonin Josef Inacay

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Suzuki Cello Teacher Training 2017; Master Classes

Michael Jefferson Valdez

Instrument: Viola

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, 2018 New Year Concert Hiroshima Japan UST Symphonic Orchestra, Soloist Saugapulo Caudon City Musical Project Anniversary Concert

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: San Beda College Alabang Symphony Orchestra

 

Principal Teachers: Joy Allan Dela Cruz, Jorge Joy Sebaban, Crisaucti Macazo, Crisaucti Macazo

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Lawrence Palad

Instrument: Double Bass

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Summa Cum Laude Music Youth Festival in Vienna Austria 2017 and 2018

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Angono Chamber Orchestra, Regional Lead School for the Arts in Angono

 

Principal Teachers: Delfin Calderon, Rommel Cruz, Jiovanni Tabada

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: Master Class of Kurt Muroki

Rey Sunglao

Instrument: Double Bass

 

School Studied/Graduated: St. Scholastica’s College

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Asian Youth Orchestra 2016&2017 (Asia-US-Europe); Lucerna Festival 2017, Switzerland; Young Euro Classic 2019, Berlin Germany; Merano Music Festival 2017, Italy; Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival 2018, Vienna

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Asian Youth Orchestra, Mirabilia Dei Foundation Inc.

 

Principal Teachers: Rommel Cruz, David Sheets

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Masterclass with Giovannie Tabada

Wind

Arvin Jan Medrano

Instrument: Oboe

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Tehakovski Symphony No. 4 in Tokyo Opera Hall

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: UP Orchestra, UP Symphonic Band

 

Principal Teachers: Jose Rommel Grageva

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Philippine Youth Symphonic Band, Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra and Wind Ensemble

Christopher Ryan Abugan

Instrument: Clarinet

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Mahler’s Symphony

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Citizen’s Brigadde Band of Dasmarinias, Summer Music Workshop, Luminosa Wind Workshop, Luminosa Wood Wind Quintet

 

Principal Teachers: Victorino San Antonio, Larry Bercelos, Randolf Lopez

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Southeast Asian Youth Orchestra & Wind Ensemble-Intensive Clarinet Workshop 2005&2007; Summer Music Camp Philippine Youth Symphonic Board

Jean Galway Silangcruz

Instrument: Flute

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, UST Series, Les Miserables Manila

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: UST Symphonic Orchestra

 

Principal Teachers: Gary Silangcruz, David Jerome Johnson

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Flutopia I & II

Noel Singcuenco

Instrument:  Basson

 

School Studied/Graduated:  University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, UP College of Music Faculty Recital

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Clarion Chamber Ensemble

 

Principal Teachers: Severino Ramirez

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Makiling Symphonic Board Workshop; PYO; MYSO; AYO

Randolf Lopez

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances:

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Roy Resurreccion

Instrument:  OBOE/ French Horn

 

School Studied/Graduated:  University of Manila

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, Swan of Tounela and Ravel’s Piano Concert in G Major

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Quezon City Symphonic Band, Sto. Nino De Pandacan Chamber Orchestra, Archangel Choir

 

Principal Teachers: Ludovico Mendoza, Reynato Resurreccion Jr.

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Brass

Jovina Francisco

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Adrian Sison

Instrument: Trumpet

 

School Studied/Graduated: University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization: Binangonan Youth Band

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Benigno Ramirez Jr.

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Celso De Leon Jr.

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Cloyd Agtarap

Instrument:  Tuba

 

School Studied/Graduated:  University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China,

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Quezon City Symphonic Board, Banda Pula Original Malibon City

 

Principal Teachers: Cornelo Ramos, Jon dela Peret

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:

Edgardo Villanueva

Instrument:  Trombone, Baritone, Eliphonium

 

School Studied/Graduated:  Polytechnic University of the Philippines

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China,

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Banda Dos Taytay Rizal, Manila City Band

 

Principal Teachers: Maestro L.D San Pedro, Dr. F. Feliciano, Prof. L. Lodes

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars:  Pasambad Seminars

Jeremia Sosa

Instrument: Trumpet

 

School Studied/Graduated:  University of Santo Tomas

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China, AYO

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:  Tomasian Brass Quintet

 

Principal Teachers: Ruger Llado

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: ASEAN Workshop; AYO

Michael Estrella

Instrument:

 

School Studied/Graduated:

 

Notable Performances: Belt and Road in Chenyang China

 

Affiliation with Performing Groups or Organization:

 

Principal Teachers:

 

Training/ Certifications/ Seminars: