A master, classical music and the mall

Luis A. Quibranza III

“THE reverberation, it wasn’t the piano I was hearing anymore,” shared the artist with over decades of experience under her belt. In the middle of her performance, she stood up and re-positioned the microphones away from the baby grand piano. She knew what she wanted, and she got it.

All in the name of art.

If anything, the scene was inspiring; how a passion for the finest details of music still burned inside of her.

Cebu was treated to a night of music last Aug.5 at The Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu. Special guest was renowned concert pianist Leonor Kilayko.

Kilayko, raised in Talisay, Negros Occidental, pursued a Bachelor of Music degree in St. Scholastica’s College, Manila and sought her postgraduate studies at the Mannes School of Music in New York, under Russian pedagogue Olga Stroumillo. Kilayko completed the highest degree in performance granted to high caliber music graduates, Konzertexamen, at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Köln in Germany. She spent two decades playing around the world until she found herself back in the Philippines, to pass on her expertise to the next generation of Filipino pianists. She taught at the University of the Philippines College of Music and at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music.

The concert last Saturday night in Cebu, which was free and open to the public, gathered fans of classical music and the plain curious alike. Some took to the seats provided, others stood at the sides to catch what melodies the pianist had prepared.

Her repertoire: Pour le piano L. 95 by Claude Debussy, Variations in C minor, Wo080 by Ludwig Van Beethoven and Ballade No.1 in G minor, op.23 by Frederic Chopin.

There she was in her black dress, slow to enter the stage with some assistance. She sat in front of the instrument and played like anything and everything far from frail.

Kilayko was in town to promote the Piano Competition Leonor Kilayko, which aims to discover and support young Filipino pianists. The competition will be held at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium and Minihall, University of the Philippines College of Music on Aug. 28 to Sept. 8.

Before the performance that night, Kilayko claimed to have never played in a mall before. However a purist, the artist still performed with the thought of presenting the beauty of classical music to more ears in a venue most would never think they would hear it in.

Here’s to more events like this.