Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Philippine Madrigal Singers Cap Tour with European Gran Prix; Hold Record for Winning Tilt Twice

The Philippine Madrigal Singers has yet again triumphed as it bested four others in the 19th European Gran Prix for Choral Music in Arezzo, Italy at 10 pm Rome time, on August 27th, 2007. The 23-strong chamber choir, including choirmaster Mark Anthony Carpio, overwhelmed the four top choirs in the world’s most prestigious and respected choral competition.

The obvious crowd favorite in their trademark seated crescent position, the University of the Philippines-based Madz distinguished their inimitable musical prowess from the other competitors by demonstrating their interpretational versatility with John August Pamintuan’s Pater Noster, Claude Le Jeune’s Revoici venir du printemps, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s Jagdlied, Z. Randall Stroope’s We Beheld Once Again the Stars (Riveder le Stelle), and former Madz singer Nilo Alcala II’s Kaisa-isa Niyan. Known in the international choral world for creating a distinctive sound specific to a musical genre, the Madz’s interpretation of contemporary, French madrigal, Romantic and folk pieces, as well as the exposition of their ability to sing these in Latin, French, German, Italian, and Filipino have proven to the international jury that they are, inarguably, the best choir in the world. Again.

In 1997, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, under the helm of their founder, National Artist for Music Andrea O. Veneracion, took home the Gran Prix then held in Tours, France. The victory in Arezzo now makes the Madz the only choir in the world to have won the Gran Prix twice in its entire history. The most awarded choir in Asia now holds one more historical record.

The European Gran Prix is held every year in six revolving locations. These are Arezzo and Gorizia in Italy, Debrecen in Hungary, Tolosa in Spain, Tours in France, and Varna in Bulgaria. Each location produces its own international competition of which a grand prize winner is named. These winners then represent the respective locations in the European Gran Prix the following year. The Taipei Chamber Singers (Taipei, Taiwan) won the Bela Bartok International Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary; Cantemus (Nyíregyhàza, Hungary) won the Concorso Cesare Augusto (C.A.) Seghizzi in Gorizia, Italy; Schola Cantorum Coralina (Havana, Cuba) won the Concorso Polifónico Guido d'Arezzo in Arezzo, Italy; and Children's Choir Vesna (Moscow, Russia) won the Concurso Coral de Tolosa, Spain. The Madz won the Florilège Vocal de Tours in Tours, France. The International May Choir Competition in Varna, Bulgaria is held every two years. Varna did not have a competition last year, and was therefore not represented in this year's Grand Prix. (Photos courtesy of J. Bollozos, official photos to be posted soon)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Madz Headlines Asian Fest

The Philippine Madrigal Singers opened the much-awaited Festival Mnoho barev Asie (Many Colours of Asia), an exposition of Asian culture, with a performance at the Municipal Library concert hall in Prague on 8 June 2007. The Asian Diplomatic Missions in Prague-sponsored event will run from 8 June to 4 July, and also features a screening of Mario J. de los Reyes' internationally awarded film, Magnifico.

The Madz's performance was facilitated by the Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic, H.E. Carmelita Salas, Mr. Washington Sycip, and the Philippine Embassy in Prague.

Madz Performs in Prague Palace; A First in Czech Republic

The Philippine Madrigal Singers performed for the first time in the Czech Republic at the Lubowvicz Palace on June 6, 2007. Graced by the Philippine Ambassador to the Czech Republic, H.E. Carmelita Salas, the concert was attended by Prague's international diplomatic corps in celebration of the 109th Independence Day of the Republic of the Philippines. The concert heralded the Madz's goodwill tour of the Czech Republic facilitated by the Philippine Embassy in Prague.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Madz on the Radio in Berlin

The Philippine Madrigal Singers are the special guest artists of the internationally renowned Radio MultiKulti RBB in Berlin, Germany. The live interview and performance will be aired on 16 June 2007 at 12:00 NN local time (16 June 2007 6:00 PM Manila Time).

You can listen to the Madz on live stream via http://www.multikulti.de/_/mukulive.ram or check out the MultiKulti website at www.multikulti.de

Monday, June 11, 2007

Madz at Oslo Embassy Inauguration and National Day Celebration

The Philippine Madrigal Singers had a command performance for the diplomatic corp as the Philippines inaugurated her first embassy in Norway's capital, Oslo. Attended and highly lauded by both Ambassador of the Philippines to Norway, H.E. Victoria S. Bataclan, and Norway's Secretary General of the Foreign Ministry, Sven E. Svedman, the event took place at the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel on 4 June 2007.

The Madz serenaded Oslo's resident ambassadors and invited guests with a repertoire of international pieces, including Norway's Ave Maris Stella. According to Ambassador Bataclan, the ocassion of the first official National Day of the Philippines in Norway and the Madz's performances at both the Philippine Embassy and the Oslo University (where the Nobel Prize Ceremonies used to take place) have made the Filipino community proud and happy.

Philippine Madrigal Singers Are Special Guests to Independence Day Celebrations at Drammen, Norway

The Madz were invited to the early Philippine Independence Day celebrations in Drammen on 2 June 2007. The considerable growth of the Filipino community in the area has prompted for the celebrations at the Mjondalen Samfunnshuset, spearheaded by the Sacred Heart Filipino Chaplaincy-St. Laurentis Chapter.

Drammen is thirty kilometers southwest of the capital, Oslo.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Another Standing Ovation in Oslo

The Philippine Madrigal Singers commanded another standing ovation after their concert at the Universitetets Aula in Oslo, Norway on 1 June 2007. Organized by the Filipino Working Group in Oslo in cooperation with the Embassy of the Philippines and Western Union Bank, the program was graced by Ambassador Victoria Bataclan and Consuls Jun and Flerida Mayo.

Jean Langerud represents the Filipino Working Group in Oslo.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Standing Ovation for the Madz in Helsinki

The Philippine Madrigal Singers was given a standing ovation after a concert at the Helsingin Kenservatorion (Helsinki Conservatory) on 30 May 2007.

Put up by the Finnish-Filipino Association, headed by Tessie Ruutu, the evening performance was attended by the internationally reknowned Tapiola Choir, as well as the supportive Filipino community and local Finns.

Blog Added Feature: Video Exchange

As an added feature( and to make this site as accessible as possible under the nomadic circumstances of a traveling choir), we've put in videos of members of the Madz as they greet their friends and families back in the Philippines or elsewhere. Consequently, viewers to this site will be able to upload videos for the Madz members by attaching it to their emails and sending it to the address on the top-right hand side of this page (we will, however, edit the videos to our hearts content).

Thanks for supporting our blog!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lahti Folks are First Audience of Madz Euro Tour

The Philippine Madrigal Singers opened their 2007 European Concert Tour with an evening performance at the Lahti Music Institute on 29 May 2007.

Sponsored by the Finnish+Filipino Association in cooperation with the Helmi Bank, the one and a half hour concert took place in Lahti, Finland, 99 Kms. north of the capital, Helsinki.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Madz Performs and Bids Adieu in Della Strada Church Performance

The Philippine Madrigal Singers made their final performance at the Santa Maria Della Strada Church in Loyola Heights, before they leave for a four month tour of Europe and North America. After the thursday service, the Madz will fly to Helsinki, Finland through Hongkong, Frankfurt and Copenhagen on Saturday, May 26th.

The Church is a long-time supporter of the group and one of Madz founder Andrea O. Veneracion's favorite.

To the right is a video of the Madz's final day in Manila (Thank you, Onessimus and Clothesline).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Madz Takes Five at Makiling

The Madz took a five-day working retreat at the Executive House of the National Arts Center in Los Banos, Laguna. From May 15th to the 20th, the singers spent rehearsals in a secluded area on one of the lush and tropical slopes of Mt. Makiling. The activities reflect the importance of having the members spend as much time as possible to focus on perfecting choral interpretations and strengthening teamwork and interpersonal relations--all essential before the group embarks on a four-month tour of Europe and North America.

On the final day before the conclusion of activities, members of the Quezon City-based dance company, AirDance, came to visit for a much anticipated artistic exchange. As the Madz sang their pieces, the AirDancers shared their improvisational choreography, dancing in front of and around the trademark seated semi-circle.

The practice of spending a week on Mt. Makiling is quickly becoming a traditional yearly activity for the Philippine Madrigal Singers.

(Video and photo by Joey Quintana of UPLB)