Berta Rojas Helps to Bring New Audiences to Listen to Great Classical Music

For lovers of classical guitar, Berta Rojas Live! In Manila is the only place to go. Berta Rojas is a world renowned classical guitarist and Paraguay’s tourism ambassador. She is a master guitarist who displays outstanding technical and musical virtuosity.Berta Rojas Live in Manila (1)

Berta Rojas Live In Manila is brought to you by Independent Philippine Art Ventures, Inc. (IPAV) in cooperation with Arts Council of Cebu Foundation, Inc. in the following dates & venues:

15 May 2014, 8 pm – Meralco Theater, Ortigas, Pasig City
17 May 2014, 8 pm – Marcelo Fernan Hall, Lahug, Cebu City

We are honored to be invited at the concert’s press conference where we personally talk to Berta Rojas via Skype. But it’s not only because of technology which helped us bridge the geographical distance of Philippines and Paraguay, as Berta Rojas has said in the interview, the music made us closer. We in the media admire her patriotism.Berta Rojas Live in Manila (6)

It’s a very inspiring afternoon that we’re able to speak to one of the greatest classical guitar icons of all time, Berta Rojas. We are served with delicious French cuisine in the very cozy Richmonde Hotel. Richmonde Hotel’s partnership with the Independent Philippine Art Ventures, Inc. (IPAV gave way to bring Berta Rojas music and her talent to the Filipino people. They are supportive of events like this that promotes culture and the arts.

Independent Philippine Art Ventures, Inc. (IPAV)

Berta Rojas Live in Manila (3)

Mr. Viking Logarta

The Independent Philippine Art Ventures, Inc. (IPAV) is a multi-media arts company that directly promotes Filipino classical musicians. “The company was organized late last year (2013) to promote classical arts and music focused on classical guitar. Its founding incorporators are actually musicians and music lovers,” opens Mr. Viking Logarta. He is spearheading the IPAV group, the man behind Berta Rojas’ concert who’s an artist/guitarist himself.

IPAV also held mini concerts in Conspiracy Garden Café. They produced Monching Carpio’s debut CD launch which was also supported by the Ayala Museum and PAL. They also brought French classical guitarist Judicaël Perroy in partnership with Alliance Français de Manille on Feb 2014.

“This Berta Rojas concert has been the most ambitious and challenging so far. As classical music wanes worldwide, we thought of inviting Berta to inspire us with her work in her native Paraguay. She’s been all over her cities and country side teaching children and performing with other artist as she brought back the love of classical guitar in her country.”

They first met Berta Rojas during the Taipei International Guitar Festival and Competition in Aug 2012, Logarta continues to narrate.

Press Conference with Berta Rojas

“Music became an expression and connection of my inner self, it communicates beauty within me,” tells Berta Rojas as she has ample of good instincts, positive views and good teachings about the classical genre. We’re all uplifted by her wisdom and artistry.

Berta Rojas Live in Manila (4)

There’s no stopping IPAV and Berta Rojas to remediate the universal classical music crisis. What is the real essence of Berta Rojas performing in the Philippines?

May this article encourage us to hopefully enhance the culture in all of us as classical music evolves to a new kind of musical domain where appreciation, sustainability and musicianship meet.

Music as an instrument of change

Berta Rojas shares about Paraguay’s phenomenal large market for classical guitars. She speaks about a project – to bring kids the music of Paraguay. They travelled the country side to teach young children of Paraguay its music which will help them develop their culture. Berta Rojas plays “Salsa Roja” by Vincent Lindsey-Clark, video below by BertaRojasGuitar.

“We have been touring the country side for four years now or 5 years maybe. We have seen more than 26,000 kids in Paraguay, speaking to them about having a dream or a goal in life and work hard to achieve them. We helped them develop their talent and nurture it with good discipline for them to be the best professional that they can.”

“It became an inspiration for all of us. We continue to teach more and more kids because these projects brought us good results,” recounts Berta Rojas as she tells us their journey to over more than 20 cities in Paraguay. “I truly believe that with music, we can speak about many things especially to younger generations and that can become an instrument of change.”

Music was truly a medium for children to enhance their skills, spark their imagination and encourage them to limitless creativity. To foster a community or nurture a home for people who can appreciate its classical music is a way to raise every nation’s culture and arts. I believe we can also do it here in the Philippines. Just like what Kenneth Guilmartin has said “Music learning supports all learning.”

She educates us about how they increase the level of musical education in Paraguay, how music has become a way to call the attention of the world and how to raise the level of musicianship in Paraguay.

To acquire inspiration from music heroes

She also talked about her discovery of the music of Agustin Barrios, the Paraguayan classical guitarist and composer. “I started music by following the same path as my other siblings. Even from a young age, they noticed me having a certain talent for music and a very good listening skill for music which motivated them to tell my parents that I should learn to play an instrument. I studied piano for 9 years while I’m also studying guitar, but I chose to focus in guitar because I can feel that I can communicate very well with it.”

“During those days, there’s a classical guitar competition in Paraguay featuring the music of Agustin Barrios. I learned it and I practiced very hard,” avers Berta Rojas when she wants to achieve and learn the techniques of Agustin Barrios whom she knew was an important to Paraguay’s history of classical guitar. Berta Rojas plays La Catedral by Agustín Barrios, video below by BertaRojasGuitar.

“It changed me because it makes me very proud about him as a national hero. He taught me to learn play the guitar, goes deeper into music and taught me to connect with my national identity.

As a songwriter, he captured the essence of Paraguay’s music and the whole Latin America. Agustin Barrios travelled and captured the rhythm of these different places. Part of his teachings was how he makes the entire Latin America a part of his guitar which I also wanted to share to my audience. It is being proud of my roots as Paraguayan and as Latin American.”

Berta Rojas has recorded “Intimate Barrios,” her heartfelt tribute to the great Paraguayan composer, which has been Gramophone Magazine’s one of the Best Latin Recordings of Agustin Barrios’ music. She also released a DVD entitled “Paraguay According to Barrios,” a retrace of the Maestro’s musical steps. It includes 8 video clips which take the viewer on a tour of Paraguay accompanied by Barrios’ music.

Appreciation for classical music

I’ve given a chance to ask my own question! For people who don’t really appreciate classical music, how do you think classical music will be easier to appreciate and how do you think is an influential musician/artist like you can help the Philippines to enhance and patronize its classic?

She first greeted with a compassionate message for the Philippines’ fast recovery in all the challenges that it had been. “I was very impressed when I was in festival competition in Taiwan and I heard Monching Carpio performing, a very good artist, that you Filipinos must be proud of. The love for classical guitar really connects us,” answers Berta Rojas as she expresses her desire to establish connection between the Philippines and Paraguay which will eventually bring Filipino artists also in Paraguay.

“It is about being exposed to a genre, to start to appreciate. Nobody care about what they don’t know. We really need to listen more of the classical music in order to be familiar with the repertoire and to like it. But I also believed that when you blend the popular music into the classical then you do this sort of crossover. You also help audiences to bring them closer to the classical music. I believe that it helps a little bit to reach out to more people,” enjoins Berta Rojas as she recounts his classical collaborations to other music genres.

As I have learned from her, music education really helps awareness and appreciation to classical music.

Berta Rojas: A Message for the Filipinos

“I’m really looking forward to visit the Philippines and I’m very sure that it will be another home away from home for me. I’ve met wonderful people from the Philippines already and I’m very sure that it’s again an opportunity to make new friends, thanks to music. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to come and play for you, share Latin-American music and the music of Paraguay. And of course, I will also be playing something for the Philippines,” ends the guitarist extraordinaire and Paraguay’s pride Berta Rojas as she invites everyone to support her upcoming Manila concert.

“It’s an honor to be my country’s spokesperson. With my conversations to people about music, I’m always able to tell others my beautiful country’s rich history and liveliness it has to share. Paraguay is a well-kept secret of South America and its music is a passport to international recognition.”

Come, watch and support Berta Rojas and the Filipino classical artists. For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891.9999.

With Performances by Monching Carpio and Triple Fret

Berta Rojas Live in Manila

Triple Fret and Monching Carpio

Special guests for the Manila concert are Ramoncito Carpio, the country’s most internationally awarded classic guitarist and Triple Fret, an all-women classical-contemporary guitar trio composed of Marga Abejo, Jenny de Vera, and Iqui Vinculado. Triple Fret play classical and more accessible pieces.

Monching Carpio

Monching Carpio

“Hopefully you can invite more people to watch the concert and support the classical guitar community because we have a lot of very promising Filipino young guitarists,” states Monching Carpio who started to play guitar at the age of 12. He decided to study guitar formally at age 17 at University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music, has earned Bachelor’s degree under the tutelage of Prof. Lester Demetillo, took Master of Music degree at Philippine Women’s University (PWU) School of Music under the guidance of Prof. Benchito Cariño and currently pursuing his doctorate in music with Dr. Angelito Agcaoili in the same school.

Triple Fret

Triple Fret: Jenny de Vera, Iqui Vinculado and Marga Abejo

Triple Fret has captivated the hearts of music lovers and has brought the appreciation of the classical guitar all over the country with their refreshing brand of music. Each member has received training in the premiere music schools of the country, namely the University of the Philippines College of Music and the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music.

Triple Fret is now busy recording their upcoming album entitles “Guitara Filipina.” It will be launched on 30 May 2014 at the Ayala Museum, 7 pm. They will also be touring Europe on June and July of this year as they will be performing for an international guitar festival in Guadalajara.

Berta Rojas’ Guitar Master Class

BERTA ROJAS, one the world’s  most outstanding female classical guitarists, known for her impeccable technique and innate musical mastery, will conduct a special MASTER CLASS on May 14, 2014 from 3-6 p.m. at Cedar Room, Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, the official residence of Rojas in Manila.

The master class will be open, free of charge, to six students and enthusiasts that qualify in a transparent and competitive process.

In a master class, open to a public audience, the student plays a chosen piece before a virtuoso. The latter evaluates technique, style, interpretation, posture. It is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the student. Berta Rojas will spend 30 minutes with each participant.

For further inquiries, please write Monching Carpio at monchingcarpio@gmail.com or ipavinc@gmail.com.

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