Renowned Filipino pianist staged a concert in Vienna’s Mozartshaus

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The Philippine-Austrian Cultural and Educational Society (PACES) organized on June 7, 2024, at 2 p.m. a stunning piano concert at the prestigious Mozartshaus Concert Hall in Vienna’s first district. The concert was staged due to Ambassador Evangelina Arroyo Bernas’ generous idea. Dr. Jane Abaya, the President of PACES, had extended invitations to prominent guests from Vienna’s Austrian and Filipino communities.

The event star was the incredibly talented Dr. Raul Sunico, whose mesmerizing performance captivated the audience from start to finish.

Dr. Sunico showcased his impeccable skills by playing a repertoire that included pieces by renowned composers such as Chopin, Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner, and even some Spanish compositions.

The Filipino audience, in particular, was thrilled to hear Dr. Sunico’s rendition of Ernani Cuenco’s classic “Bato sa Buhangin” and his own arrangement of the patriotic anthem “Bayan Ko”.

The concert reached its crescendo with Dr. Sunico’s breathtaking performance of George Gershwin’s iconic piece “Rhapsody in Blue,” leaving the audience in awe of his unparalleled talent.

Dr. Raul Sunico is a distinguished Filipino pianist known for his exceptional talent and contributions to classical music. He has had an illustrious career both as a performer and as an academic. Sunico has performed internationally, showcasing his virtuosity in various prestigious venues and with numerous orchestras.

He is also a respected educator, having served as the Dean of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music and President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). Sunico is celebrated for his versatile repertoire, including Western classical and Filipino compositions, highlighting his global commitment to promoting Philippine music.

Following the concert, a reception was held where guests were treated to a delectable spread of authentic Filipino cuisine.

The event served as a platform to showcase the cultural exchange between the Philippines and Austria and strengthen the bonds between the two communities.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Jane Abaya, the President of PACES, elaborated on the objectives of the Philippine-Austrian Cultural and Educational Society.  

One of the primary objectives of PACES is to promote intercultural exchange between Austria and the Philippines. PACES seeks to broaden perspectives, strengthen relationships, and encourage mutual learning by facilitating interactions and partnerships between individuals from these two countries. PACES aims to bridge the gap between these two distinct societies through cultural events, educational programs, and networking opportunities.

Furthermore, PACES is committed to supporting science as a vehicle for progress and development. Recognizing the importance of innovation and technology in driving societal advancements, PACES advocates for the study of science and technology as a means to address global challenges and improve quality of life. PACES aims to empower individuals to make meaningful contributions to their communities and beyond by promoting scientific education, research, and collaboration.

In pursuit of its objectives, PACES has launched the “PACES STEM SCHOLARSHIP” program, which provides full scholarships to deserving students in the Philippines pursuing degrees in the scientific fields. Through this initiative, “PACES STEM SCHOLARSHIP” supports the education of future scientists and innovators, fosters intercultural dialogue, and strengthens the bilateral relationship between Austria and the Philippines. “PACES STEM SCHOLARSHIP” lays the foundation for a brighter and more interconnected future by investing in the next generation of scientific leaders.

Overall, it is dedicated to supporting education initiatives in science and technology and helping provide opportunities for deserving students to pursue their academic and professional aspirations. By promoting cultural exchange, supporting scientific progress, and empowering students through scholarships, PACES is making a meaningful impact on the communities of the Philippines and Austria. Dr. Jane Abaya and the team hope that the objectives of PACES will continue to guide their efforts in promoting learning, collaboration, and mutual understanding between diverse cultures and communities.

Success of the concert

The success of the concert served as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the PACES team in bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to celebrate the beauty of music and art.

Overall, the PACES piano concert at the Vienna Mozartshaus Concert Hall was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on everyone in attendance. It was a night filled with music, culture, and camaraderie, highlighting the power of art to transcend borders and unite people from across the globe.

Visit the website of PACES for more information: https://paces-stem.org

  • text/pictures: hector pascua
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