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Filipino cello prodigy Damodar Das Castillo won first prize in category B (age 11-13) of the International Competition for Young Musicians held in Talinn, Estonia held in April 2019.
Only 11 years old, Damodar won First Prize in Category B (age 11-13) for his rendition of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major, and awarded a Diploma for Eminent Style and Best Performance of a Virtuoso Piece at the Young Musician Tallinn 2019 International Competition for Pianists, Violinists and Cellists. The comptition was held at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater, Tallinn, Estonia.
The Filipino cello prodigy, who also played as the youngest member and soloist for the award-winning Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra last year in Vienna, shined among 15 other contestants from different parts of Europe in the preliminary round to secure a spot in the finals.
The Philippine Embassy in Vienna reported that Damodar is supported in his studies and his participation in competitions by Mr. Ernesto T. Echauz, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Insurance Co. Inc., a company from the Philippines. The young prodigy has been making waves among Vienna’s Filipino community, mainly through exposure in Embassy-led events, such as the 2018 Philippine National Day celebration. He recently performed for Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. during the latter’s visit in Vienna for the Ministerial Segment of the 32nd Session of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs in March.
Before his formal studies, he already appeared in a recital in the cello class of professor Barnara Herzl in Salzburg.
MSJO conductor Jeffrey Solares noted that the cello prodigy behaved like any other normal child, but “when it comes to music, he is very mature, he knows what he wants and he knows how to express it to me when I accompany him with the orchestra.”
- Hector Pascua, philippine-press.com