IMG_4843
General Interest

Zambales youth orchestra wows in Vienna, Austria

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IMG_4846Vienna, Austria – Zambales-based youth string group Pundaquit Virtuosi  String Orchestra  of Casa San Miguel was warmly recognized  during their performance on June 13, before  members of the Filipino community and international diplomatic corps.  Aside from  playing original Filipino Music (OPM) and Philippine Folks Songs,  the group played typical  Austrian classical music like the Vienna Danube Waltz and Radetzky March.

The youth string group composed of 30 kids aged 11 to 23  has been receiving applause and compliments for their remarkable performances in Italy, Belgium and France.

Pundaquit Virtuosi is a string orchestra group composed predominantly of children from families of fishermen and farmers from local communities of Zambales, Pampanga and Bataan. The youth-composed team is founded by internationally-acclaimed violinist Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata who has also served as the group’s maestro and mentor.

Philippin Ambassador to Austria, Hon. Maria Cleofe Natividad with Maestro, Alfonso, "Coke" Bolipata, Musical director and founder of Pundaquit Virtuosi
Philippin Ambassador to Austria, Hon. Maria Cleofe Natividad with Maestro, Alfonso, “Coke” Bolipata, Musical director and founder of Pundaquit Virtuosi

“We are here to bring music to the Filipinos in the diaspora. Members of the youth string group are kids of OFWs. We want to show how the diaspora has changed for the past 26 years. We are  in Austria to bring our music at home to the Filipinos here,” Bolipata said.

Guest conductor Ruggero Barbieri, also principal conductor of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra commanded the programs in Austria with a selection of famous pieces from the classical repertoire and pieces from the traditional Filipino repertoire.

„It is always a very happy experience for me to work with these Kids. Inspite of the problems they have in their respective families, they give their best, they give their soul and heart in the name of music,“  Barbieri said.

The Italian conductor is very glad to accompany the Pundaquit Vituosi in Vienna.

Conductor Ruggero Barbieri with Embassy officials
Conductor Ruggero Barbieri with Embassy officials

“I am likewise very glad to be here in Austria since it is a kind of coming back to my roots. I studied music here long time ago,“ Barbieri explained.

Before the concert, the Philippine Embassy in Vienna, headed by Ambassadoe Maria Cleofe Natividad invited the Filipino community and international guests to a reception. Filipino foods and delicacies were served.

„I wish all of you dearest guests and friends a very nice evening as we all enjoy the performance of Pundaquit Virtuosi as they channel courage and compassion and true Filipino spirit through the universal medium of music,“ Ambassador Natividad said.

The Pundaquit Virtuosi performed at the Philippine Embassy in Vienna before the members of the Filipino community, and international diplomatic corps.

The Zambales pride is now on their way to Spain, Portugal  and Germany for their next performances.

  • Hector Pascua, ABS-CBN News, Vienna, Austria

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