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Our Musicians

Sara Maria Gonzales

Associate Concertmaster

Strings | Violin 2

Sara is the associate concertmaster of the Manila Symphony Orchestra and a senior faculty member of the MSO Music Academy and Project coordinator and faculty of the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra. She began her music studies first as a Suzuki piano student in the studio of Ms. Fe Reynes in Cebu City. Her musical talent was spotted by the concert pianist Dr. Ingrid Sala Santamaria and she was offered a scholarship to also study the violin in as part of the Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra Development Project (CYSODP) of the the Salvador and Pilar Sala Foundation, Inc. (SPSFI), a foundation dedicated to nurturing young Cebuano musical talent. She quickly excelled in her development as a violinist and she eventually won several awards as a participant in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1999, 2002, 2005 where she won First Prize in the String Quartet Category as a member of the Quarteto Espressivo and Third Prize in the Solo Violin Competitions Category C (College Level) and the First Prize for Solo Violin in 2008.

In 2006 she was featured soloist in the Cebu-based Peace Philharmonic Philippines Chamber Players where she played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E-minor. In 2007 she became a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra where she had the privilege to perform in Hongkong, People’s Republic of China and Japan. In 2014 she was also featured as soloist of the Manila Symphony Orchestra’s “Konzertfest” held at the CCP where she played Bruch’s Violin Concerto no. 1.

A dedicated educator, Sara is a trained Suzuki Violin teacher and has been invited to teach at the Philippine Suzuki Association (PSA) and Korea Suzuki Association (KSA) Music Camps. She teachers students from beginner to advanced levels, with several students winning prizes at various competitions both here and abroad. She was also instrumental to the success of the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO) in their local and international performances and competitions as trainer and organizer. 

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