Licad acknowledges patron Imelda in concert

By Ivy Lisa F. Mendoza

Posted at Jun 30 2013 01:50 PM | Updated as of Jun 30 2013 09:50 PM

Licad acknowledges patron Imelda in concert 1Cecile Licad, Gerald Salonga and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra during curtain call at their concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines on Saturday. Photo by Patrick Uy

MANILA -- It was only the second time that the Steinway piano, given by the late renowned American pianist Van Cliburn as a wedding gift to Irene Marcos Araneta in 1983, left the Araneta residence – and on both occasions, it was for Cecile Licad.

Performing Saturday night to a full house at the Cultural Center of the Philippines amid the strong rains and winds brought about by typhoon Gorio in a show called "The Pianist’s Pianist," Licad thanked Araneta for lending her the Steinway before playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, her first of three encore numbers of the night, which she dedicated to Cliburn who passed away February of this year. Cliburn’s 1958 recording of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was the first album by a classical artist to sell more than 1 million copies.

"The Pianist’s Pianist" featured Licad and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of music director Gerard Salonga. Licad and Salonga have collaborated a least thrice in the past, including on ‘’The Legends and the Classics’’ staged last year which also featured international star Lea Salonga and prima ballerina Lisa Macuja Elizalde.

According to Pablo Tariman, Licad’s close friend, the first time the renowned Filipina pianist used the said Steinway in a public performance was at the Glorietta concert last May where she also played with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

"Irene felt Cecile needed a more responsive piano so she gladly lent the Steinway. Irene is herself a musician so she knows when Cecile needs not just a good piano but an excellent one. Cecile was using the regular CCP pianos in the past," Tariman said.

The night was also a rare occasion for Licad to see her former patroness, former first lady Imelda R. Marcos, who came to see the concert with daughter Irene. It can be recalled that Licad was Mrs. Marcos’ favorite piano prodigy. Licad publicly acknowledged Mrs. Marcos’ presence during the show.

Licad acknowledges patron Imelda in concert 2Former first lady Imelda Marcos talks with Rosario Buencamino Licad after the concert of Cecile Licad and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra at the CCP on Saturday. Photo by Ivy Lisa Mendoza

After the show, Mrs. Marcos talked briefly to Licad’s 83-year old mother, Rosario Buencamino Licad, who came to the show with her children and grandchildren. Mrs. Licad is largely credited for her daughter’s success, as written in the book "My Daughter Cecile."

"I chose Cecile’s first teacher, Miss Rosario Picazo, and it was the right decision, for it was she who gave Cecile the right foundation. A teacher can make or unmake a gifted child; she can nurture or ruin a talent or she can inspire or turn off a gifted child….Once you are given a gifted child, you have the obligation to nurture that talent in the very best way you can. There is no perfect formula. Just remember patience, understanding, discipline, concentration, focus, a a fighting spirit when things go wrong, and with it, yes, lots of humility."

The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra performed Overture to Egmon, Op.84 (Beethoven), Tasso, Lamento e Trionfo (Liszt) and Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, S. 124 (Lizst). It accompanied Licad in Danse Macbre, Op. 40 (Saint Saens), and in Totentanz, S. 126 (Lizst).

Licad also played two solo encore numbers by American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk.