By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – Once again, international virtuoso Cecile Licad has proven her mesmerizing, often-times breath-taking power as a pianist in a concert at the Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie on Thursday evening of January 18, 2018. Her program lasted for one hour and forty minutes and opened with the neglected masterworks of American piano literature in Elie Siegmeister’s Piano Sonata 1, aptly starting in fast energy and moving towards lusty and fun mood.
Cecile played for Carnegie’s Key Pianists series, a concept by pianist Terry Eder, for New Yorkers to have a chance to watch fine musicians render their significant repertoire in Carnegie.
Watching and hearing Cecile playing perfectly the rapturious works of Franz Liszt (Sonata in B Minor, Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds, and Mephisto Waltz No. 1), and Edward Macdowell (Woodland Sketches, Op. 51) was simply unbelievable. The captivated audience packing the Weill Hall gave her endless standing ovations prior to the intermission and in the finale.
“It was beautiful beyond words,” said musical director and guitarist Michael Dadap. “Absolutely amazing. She is a genius,” said an enthralled Jerry Sibal of the JS Productions.
Philippine-born Cecile began her piano studies when she was three years old with her mother Rosario as her teacher. She debuted as a soloist at age seven with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Philippines. At 19, she received her first international award, the Leventritt Gold Medal and since then launched a luminous career as a pianist. Cecile’s genius had been nurtured at the Curtis Institute of Music by three of the greatest performers and teachers: Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin, and Mieczylaw Horszowski. (With photos from Edwin Josue)