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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jan 30, 2010

Gerald Salonga complements sister Lea

GERARD SALONGA used to be known as Lea Salonga's brother but he has now definitely made it on his own as one of the country's most accomplished and versatile musical directors-conductors-arrangers. A summa cum laude graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, major in contemporary writing and production, was there ever a time he felt insecure because of Lea's stature? "You can't help but feel insecure having a sister who's an achiever since the time I was born," he says. "How do I measure up to her? It's good we have parents who made me feel well loved so I grew up not feeling insecure. But now, there's no professional jealousy or rivalry between us because I'm not a theatre actor like her. We complement each other, with me as musical director and conductor of her concerts."

Gerard made his professional conducting debut when he was only 23 with the Rep production of "Carousel". He has won the Aliw best musical director awards in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008 so he was elevated this year to the Aliw Hall of Fame. The City of Manila also honored him with the Parangal Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award. In 2008, he made his debut with the Hongkong Philharmonic Orchestra and last year, with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. Last month, he conducted the opening ceremony of an exhibit for the 100th anniversary of famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and more recently, a night of memorable film scores with Chinese singer Elisa Chan as vocalist.

Gerard also arranges songs for ABS-CBN, the latest being "Nariyan Ka" for "May Bukas Pa" and Gary V's version of "Kung Tayo'y Magkakalayo". He's also the artistic director and chief conductor of FILhamoniKA, now fast becoming known as the country's finest professional orchestra. Gerard will lead its first symphonic season at the PhilAM Life Theatre, UN Avenue, Manila, and will compose and conduct the orchestral score for the country's first 3-D animated film, "RPG". The FILharmoniKA symphonic inaugural gala will be held on February 19, 8 PM, produced by Ambient Media Productions, featuring the music of Gershwin, Brahms, Dvorak, and other classic composers. Get your tickets from TicketWorld.