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A TRIBUTE TO
CARMENCITA LOZADA

A GREAT FILIPINO VIOLIN VIRTUOSO
Orquidia Valenzuela
The Netherlands
December 2007



CARMENCITA LOZADA brought pride and joy to the Filipinos and to the international musical community through her violin virtuosity.

For more than 40 years, she gave concerts in various cities of Europe, North America, Asia and even in countries where the Philippines had no diplomatic relations during that time, and of course in her native land.

European critics acclaimed her as "a passionate violinist" .... "with the devil of a violinist in her blood."

Carmencita Lozada
(+ August 15, 2006)
Photo: Munting Nayon Concert,
The Netherlands-June 1997
In her teens, Ms. Lozada won a prize in the International Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy. Again she entered the same competition and again she won, holding the distinction of the only Filipino to win the tough Paganini competition twice.

Recitification:
Source Teresita Selby-Lozada (sister of the late Carmencita Lozada)
NY, January 30, 2011

It was never claimed that Carmencita Lozada was awarded the first prize at the Paganini competition in Italy.

She was a prizewinner in both the 1956 and 1961 competitions.

At the 1956 competition there was a judging controversy. When it was resolved, two groups of prizewinners emerged. The first group consisted of a first and second place prizewinner.

Similarly, the second group consisted of another first and second place prizewinner Carmencita Lozada belonged to the second group and was awarded second place.

In the 1961 competition, the second prize was unanimously awarded to Carmencita Lozada.


Rectification is in response to comment sent by Gustaf(January 25, 2011)

After that, she resided in Vienna, The Hague and later in Siegen, Germany, giving concerts till the 90's. She continued to give violin lessons till her death.

In the Netherlands, she gave a number of concerts from the mid-60's till the 70's. She again played in 1997 for Kiwanis Club at Concertgebouw in Amsterdam for the Foster Parents' International project in Baguio City.

In 1994, as its cultural project, she was presented in a concert by Samahan, an all-Filipino migrant organization.

To give aspiring young Dutch-Filipino musicians a "push" she volunteered to perform in a musical matinee presented by Munting Nayon in 1997, which featured several young music students.

Though she established residence in Europe when she was 17, at heart she remained a Filipino. She made regular visits to the Philippines to give concerts.

Ms. Lozada, as her musical legacy to the Filipinos, collected the original tapes of her international live concerts and recordings of her radio broadcasts, and travelled for two years from her residence in Siegen, Germany to Vienna and The Hague for the re-mastering of the tapes and to Manila for the recording.

The Heritage Recordings is a 20-CD album which brings to life the musical career of Ms. Lozada who left the Philippines at the age of 17 years for Vienna for further education and since then resided in Europe. Heritage is an accumulation of her many recordings that started in the 50's in the crude studio of her late uncle Jose Lorenzo to the sophisticated studios in Hamburg, Hannover, Amsterdam, Cologne, Baden-Baden, Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw, as well as her live concerts in various parts of the world.

Fifteen CDs were released and launched in March 2005 in Manila. The original plan of Ms. Lozada was to have a total of 28 CDs for her "Heritage Recordings."

In July 2006, she flew to Manila to supervise the release of the five CDs to complete the 20-CD album. But, despite her strong will and determination she did not live to finish the five CDs. On the 15th of the following month she passed away. She succumbed to cancer after a 10-year battle. Until her end came she was mentally alert, giving instructions regarding her collection.

CAMPAIGN: POSTHUMOUS NATIONAL ARTIST AWARD FOR CARMENCITA LOZADA

After her death on August 15, 2006, long-time friends who are aware not only of her immense talent but her generosity in helping and sharing her talent with young aspiring musicians, and many others who have been to her concerts or heard her play, started a campaign for the Philippine government to give her a posthumous award as a national artist.

"SIGNATURE" CAMPAIGN: POSTHUMOUS AWARD FOR CARMENCITA LOZADA as a NATIONAL ARTIST by the PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT


Carmencita Lozada rightfully deserved the posthumous award as a national artist for her immeasurable contribution to the cultural heritage of the Filipino people and in engraving the Philippines in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world through her music.

The campaign-letter for a Posthumous National Artist Award for Carmencita Lozada is ongoing. Filipinos and other nationalities who want to join the campaign are welcome. Simply add your name to the list. (see Carmencita Lozada Campaign Letter.)

`HERITAGE RECORDINGS' OF CARMENCITA LOZADA LAUNCHED

"The harvest of an odyssey that spans over 50 years," was how Carmencita Lozada described the Heritage Recordings during the launching at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila on March 5, 2005. An additional five CDs are still due for release, making the collection a total of 20 volumes.

 
CD Launching
 
Heritage Recordings is Ms. Lozada's story as a violinist.....a collection of her recorded years of performances in various music capitals of the world, including the Philippines. It brings to life the musical career of Ms. Lozada who left the Philippines at the age of 17 years for Vienna for further education. It is an accumulation of her many recordings that started in the crude but effectual studio in Sta. Mesa of the late Mr. Jose Lorenzo in the 50s, to the sophisticated studios in Europe. In the CDs were her live performances in various concert halls, as well as recordings of her numerous radio broadcasts.

Ms. Lozada spent two years, travelling from her residence in Siegen, Germany, to Vienna and The Hague several times and also to the Philippines to realize the project. When the original tapes were being re-mastered by Josef Kamykowski of Vienna and Frits de Boer of The Hague they were so fragile they had to handle them carefully.

The CD-volume is filled with the well-known works of foreign composers which Ms. Lozada played in her international concerts or recorded during the last 50 years - that of Ravel, Mozart, Brahms, Schubert, Bach, Stravinsky, Tschaikovsky, Paganini, Bartok and many others.

Foreign music composed and dedicated to her and she herself premiered are in the Heritage. Fantasia Filipina for violin and orchestra, inspired by the Philippine sounds and rhythm was composed by the noted German composer Wolfgang Hofmann. The music was recorded for radio broadcast by the Southwest German Radio in Saarbruecken, Germany.

The music composed for her by Filipino musicians and also dedicated to her are included - Lucrecia R. Kasilag (Intermezzo for Violin and Piano, Ostinato for Violin and Piano, Violin Concerto No. 1 for Violin and Orchestra, Sonata for Violin and Organ), Lucino Sacramento (Capriccio Sarcastico for Violin and Piano, In Dreams for Violin and Piano), Antonio J. Molina (Ilang-Ilang for Violin and Piano), Eliseo Pajaro (Variations on a Fugue for Violin and Piano) and Ramon P. Santos (Abot Tanaw for Violin Solo).

Also in the CD-volume are those Ms. Lozada premiered - Lucrecia R. Kasilag's Violin Concerto No. 1 and Fantasy on a 4-Note-Theme for 3 Violins, Lucino Sacramento's Violin Concerto No. 2 in D Major and Alfredo Buenaventura's Violin Concerto in E Minor.

Carmencita signs CD covers at the launching of "Heritage Recordings"

Other Philippine compositions included are Felipe de Leon's Konzertstucke for Violin and Orchestra and Rodolfo Cornejo's Fantasy on a Philippine Air.

Referring to the music of the above composers in her CD collection, Ms. Lozada said, "These are treasures which are being given renewed focus and made to breathe again - but I understand - they are still seldom heard or performed in our land."

Ms. Lozada recalled the pains and hard work, including her long distance driving or travel by plane and train for her concerts. In those years when there were no diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the communist countries and travel by Filipinos to these countries was banned by the Philippine government, she was chosen for ten concerts by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and other symphony orchestras in Poland as the soloist. She recalled it was in this country that she experienced the coldest winter in her life.

Again, she was chosen to be the soloist for the Sibelius Centennial Celebration in Birminghan, England to be held in the Great Hall. Her performance was given a very good review by the British press and her photographs appeared prominently. So wide was the coverage that at the airport she was immediately recognized and greeted warmly by the British Immigration personnel.

Carmencita Lozada addressing guests at the launching of her "Heritage Collections Recordings" CDs
Another recording in the Heritage was her Khatchaturian Concerto which she was commissioned to record in Hannover. The conductor of the orchestra did not know her but when he announced her name, there was a loud applause from the audience.

In presenting the Heritage Recordings, Ms. Lozada told the audience that much as she wanted, the collection does not contain the complete 10 violin sonatas of Beethoven that she played for three evenings. The recording was lost in the course of time. She vividly remembered how hard she worked to prepare for the concert. Her long hours of toil and sacrifice, rehearsing in a vacant factory, paid off. The concert was a great success.

Ms. Lozada started playing violin at a very early age under the guidance of her pianist mother Felisa and a pianist uncle Conrado Raymundo Santos. She was 10 years old when she received her first professional fee as a violinist. Her uncle Conrado appointed her the concert master of his small pick-up orchestra that he was to conduct for the high mass for Pasig's town fiesta. She played the Haydn Mass.

After obtaining her Bachelor in Music degree from the Philippine Women's University at the age of 17 years, she enrolled at the Vienna Academy for Music and the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg. She paid tribute to her mentors in her early years, Professor Luis Valencia and Dean Lucrecia Kasilag for their concern for her until she "independently walked the path of music."

Ms. Lozada said her Heritage Recordings of international violin repertoire and Philippine compositions was her offering to her countrymen. The CD-volume is a treasure and her act was unprecedented. As an international concert violinist she attained world fame and her repertoire is so vast that it is impossible to include them all in the 20 CDs.

Although her music career had been mostly abroad, Ms. Lozada believed music has no boundaries, "The spirit may be rooted some place, and in this instance, my instance, the Filipino spirit prevails." She expressed her high esteem for Philippine music with her words, "If, with this present collection, appreciation and love for our violin compositions would be stirred, then, this collection would have rendered a hope - for service and significance. ......I would be most happy when I could feel that I have contributed even a bit to the expression of the Filipino soul here and anywhere."

 
Carmencita with Dr. Raul Sunico
 
Among those present during the CD launching were Metropolitan Museum of Manila Director Victorino Manalo; UP President Dr. Ramon P. Santos, who recognized the significance of the CD-collection; and UST dean of Music Dr. Raul Sunico. Ms. Lozada chose the Athenaeum String Quartet to play during the launching.

The CD collection was realized through the sponsorship of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the tedious task of launching was attended by Dr. Ramon P. Santos. Others who were involved in the work were Prof. Felipe de Leon Jr., Ms. Maurie Borromeo, Ms. Monica Santos, Ms. Agnes Estanislao, Mr. Bert Robledo and Ms. Lourdes de Leon Gregorio.

After Ms. Lozada's death, her sister, Teresita Selby continues to shuttle from the U.S. where she resides, to Manila, to continue the work left unfinished. The five CDs are due for release early next year. Ms. Selby is also supervising the recording of eight additional CDs, making the Heritage Recordings a collection-album of 28 CDs.

The works and memorabilia of Carmencita Lozada are now on display in the CL Library, the lifetime dream of a great violin virtuoso who gave glory to her country and joy and pleasure to lovers of music all over the world. Her sister converted Ms. Lozada's condominium in Pasig, Metro Manila, into a library.

ANECDOTES AND MY MEMORIES OF CARMENCITA LOZADA

I am one of the people who came to know and share precious years with Carmencita Lozada. I consider myself lucky to be a long-time friend of this world-renown concert violinist. What I would like to share with the readers are not about her concerts but my memories and anecdotes about Carmencita as a determined, strong-willed and humane person.

It was at a party of the Philippine Embassy in 1966 that I first met Carmencita. In the mid-60's, Carmencita and Conchita Gaston, an operatic singer who married a Dutch, made their residence in the Netherlands. The concerts of Carmencita were mostly in Europe and north America.
Left Photo: Carmencita Lozada with Prof. Ricardo Odnopossoff in Salzburg
Right Photo: Carmencita with Conchita Gaston

The Philippine ambassador took the opportunity to present and feature these two international artists in many of his official functions where diplomats and prominent Dutch were invited. Carmencita gladly accepted whenever her schedule allowed, proudly including the works of Filipino composers in her repertoire when she played.

In the 60's there were only around 50 Filipinos, including the embassy staff, in the Netherlands. The same faces were seen at the embassy parties and gatherings and even at parties hosted by Filipinos. It was inevitable that Carmencita and I would meet.

Maybe because we were almost of the same age, or maybe it was Carmencita's mother who was the catalyst. She told me that her mother was convinced "she (I) is a good person because she comes from Aklan." Her parents hailed from this province. It was the beginning of our friendship.

She was aware my interest in violin was limited to light classical compositions. But, I began to appreciate violin concerts after attending a number of her concerts. It was funny and humiliating for us that during her concert in Leiden or it must have been in Delft, Eddie, my husband and an official of the embassy slept contentedly, and another snored. I do not remember if Carmencita played Khachaturian's Concerto, a Mozart or Dvorak piece. All I can recall was we never heard the piece played before, much more on violin, and an introduction to heavy classics was too soon for everyone of us.

Carmencita had a strenuous schedule which she followed strictly, rehearsing 18 hours daily, and maybe more when she had an upcoming concert.

Her few intimate friends understood that her tight schedule prevented her from seeing or visiting them. But, they knew that Carmencita, who was by nature a very private person, was a steadfast, kind and generous person who valued their friendship.

When she was not busy which was very seldom, Carmencita invited her friends to her home. A stickler for accuracy and precision, everything had been set in order when guests arrived. She had ordered from her next-door Chinese restaurant her preferred dishes and the pastries and cakes from a nearby well-known bakeshop. She politely refused their offer to bring something they cooked, although cooking was the last thing Carmencita would do even if she had time to spare. It was not her forte.

Carmencita cherished the time she spent with her friends. A year before she passed away, she asked me, "do you remember when we watched the first landing on the moon in your flat near the beach in The Hague? We stayed late that night, glued to TV Channel NED 1."

There were only two TV channels that time and to get NED 2, TV owners had to pay extra. Excited we watched Neil Amstrong and heard him say, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." That was July 20, 1969, the "eagle has landed." Mankind reached the moon.
Carmencita (2nd -Left) with Philippine Embassy staff The Hague - The Netherlands, 1967

Carmencita rehearsed day and night for her concerts. To avoid her neighbours' complaints in The Hague, she rented the small extension of an old house which was without heating. When she transferred to Germany, she rehearsed in a vacant factory.

She travelled by plane and endured long distance driving. She laughed as she narrated an incident that happened to her in an autobahn (freeway) in Germany. She was driving and there was a lorry ahead which was moving too slow for her. She lost her patience and tried to overtake it. It was a reckless decision that could have resulted in an accident which naturally irked the driver. He honked at her and stopped. A giant stepped out of the lorry.

"Huminto rin ako at lumabas ng kotse papunta sa kanya (I got off my car too, to walk towards him)," she said.

When the driver saw the woman who came out of the beetle, he climbed back to his vehicle, scratching and shaking his head and most probably smiling.

She was frank but had a sense of humour. In our younger days, Eddie asked her if she plans to get married. She laughed and answered, "who is that man who will have the patience listening to my violin 18 hours a day?"

Thirty nine years later, Eddie again asked, "now who's beside you when you sleep?" Her quick response was, "Katabi ko ang violin ko pag tulog, (my violin is beside me when I sleep)." Indeed, violin was the love of her life, it was her life. When she drove to her concerts she did not trust putting her violin in the car trunk. It was laid carefully on the seat behind her.

The 60's till the 80's was the height of her career. Her concerts took her to many cities in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It was practical that she transferred her residence to Germany where she later taught in a music college.

She lived most of her life away from her native land but "my Filipino spirit prevails," she told friends. She often flew to the Philippines to give concerts or play for an audience. She did not hesitate to show the prowess of Filipino musicians and accepted requests to perform whether it was a select group or an international audience.

She recalled that one time in Manila while playing before an exclusive audience, she was irritated when the hostess, the wife of a high-ranking and prominent politician, signalled her to cut short the piece she was playing. "How do you cut your playing ..... she does not understand music" she said.

Whenever she was in her homeland, she gave seminars and lectures to young music students and aspiring musicians. She was deeply touched when they literally begged her to come back to the country and give seminars. She was saddened to witness their helplessness. It gave her so much happiness to impart her skills and share her experiences with them. But, at the same time, she expected seriousness and discipline from her students.

One time in Germany, a student who received private lesson from her was clumsily playing. She blew her top and told the young man, "go home and come back after you have practiced."

She was always full of ideas. In early 1997 she broached the subject of presenting young generation of Filipino-Dutch music students in a concert. If Munting Nayon will organize this, she said, she will supervise the musical and she will even play. She wanted also to include professional artists who will sing Filipino compositions. The musical should be an encouragement for the youth and a showcase of Philippine culture.

We did not expect such a generous offer - young amateurs performing with an international concert violinist - the opportunity of a lifetime - we did not hesitate to say yes.

Irma Galias, a professional pianist, was given the charge of selecting and training the young participants. Carmencita travelled hours from Siegen, Germany to supervise the rehearsals, prepared the programme and inspected the place where the matinee will be held. Once or twice she lost her temper during rehearsals, when a young participant was late and another who obviously did not practice the piece. A perfectionist, she rehearsed the pieces she was to play with Irma.
Carmencita and Irma Galias with performing young talents at Munting Nayon Concert, The Hague-The Netherlands - June 1997

MN's Music Matinee of June 1997 in celebration of the Philippines' independence, featured young music students and two professional Filipino singers Alyss Andico and Berny Qubing, She was beaming with pride as she watched and listened to the young aspiring musicians and as the professionals performed.

She played in the opening and finale of the program A. Molina's Ilang-Ilang and E. Vallejo's Habanera Filipina, R. Cornejo's Fantasie on a Visayan, L. R. Kasilag's Variations on Bahay Kubo theme and P. Sarate's Habanera from Carmen.

Three years earlier, she expressed her wish to the board of Samahan, an all-Filipino organization, to play before au audience, to uplift the morale of our countrymen amidst worsening situation in the country and to wake up budding young artists with her music. The organization presented her in a concert in The Hague in March 1994.

She was a generous woman and did not hesitate to accommodate anyone who asked help for charity or a just cause. When she was approached by Kiwanis of Amsterdam if she will consent to be presented in concert to take place in Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, for the children in Baguio, Carmencita agreed without hesitation.

Sometime in 2005 when she returned after the release of her 15-CD-album, she resolved to go back to Manila, not only to see the release of the remaining five CDs but to give lectures and maybe seminars to aspiring musicians.

She called me one day and told me that she wished she could again have a Philippine passport. By this time, her health was failing. The cancer she had fought for a number of years was at its advanced stage. With the help of Ambassador Romeo A. Arguelles, she got her wish.

Adamant, she tried every means to fight her battle, did Qi-Gong early in the morning in the woods near her house, and sought advice not only from medical specialists, but also from other knowledgeables in this field. She could not accept defeat. She was determined to win. Her mind was clear, always full of ideas. It was not unusual to hear her say, "may naisip ako, (I thought of something)," only to hear again after a day, "ang iniisip ko ngayon, (I am thinking now)." The idea was the same but rehashed or with additions.

December 2005, she called and said, "Ano kaya pumunta ako sa US. Ang ginaw, ano ang gagawin ko dito ("What if I go to the United States. It's cold, what will I do here)?" I knew that she had already made up her mind and all she wanted to hear was encouragement. My answer was if she believed she can stand flying and will not suffer too much discomforts in the plane, then she should go. She called again three weeks later, happily telling me that she was back from her vacation in the States. She left without telling her doctor.
Orquidia Valenzuela and Edna Nijo-Mijares visit Carmencita at her residence in Siegen-Germany. This must have been Carmencita's last photo, taken April 2006. The following August, she passed away in Manila.

She was restless and concerned because the last five CDs that will complete the 20 volumes of her Heritage Collections could not be released. She wanted to check and control them before their release. Also, she sincerely wanted to help the music students in the Manila.

All the airlines in Germany refused to issue her a ticket because of her physical condition. She needed a supply of oxygen during the flight. There was chance KLM would consent if her doctor will sign its medical form. But, its main office is in Amsterdam.

Through the help of a KLM agent in Amsterdam I was able to get for her the document which I immediately sent her. How she was able to convince her doctor to sign it was beyond me. She mailed the accomplished document by express to KLM Amsterdam.

After three days, not hearing from the KLM agency in Cologne, Germany, she called its main office. The lady who answered the phone was surprised, she used the internal line reserved only for KLM personnel. To make the story short, she told the employee she will call again before the office closed at 17:00. She did and was informed KLM agreed to fly her and not only that, the airline will supply the oxygen that she needed during the flight.

I picked up KLM's medical authorization for her from its agent in Amsterdam, Boone Njio willingly drove to Siegen and together with his wife Edna, we delivered it to her.

She was excited when she called, to tell me she was ready to fly to Manila. She was just waiting for her sister Tessie who will accompany her.

She called again,"nandito na ako sa condo ko sa Pasig, (I am here in my condo in Pasig)." She told me she was met by an ambulance upon arrival at the airport and taken to a hospital where she stayed for a few days to rest. Early each morning she went to Manila Bay. She was looking forward to the release of her remaining five CDs. I advised her to take it easy and said I will call her later. "Huwag mo akong tawagan, ako ang tatawag sa yo, may phone card ako, (Don't call me, I will call you, I have a phone card)." She was jubilant, she made it to the Philippines.

That was the last conversation we had. The next I got was the news about her death on August 15, 2006.

Now, as I listen to her CDs, memories of Carmencita Lozada, a sincere and affectionate friend, a woman of wisdom and courage, determined to fight her battle and survive, begin to come back.

See Also:
Write a Comment
raquel
Wed 16th March 2011
i woul like to say to the commet i just saw and i would like to ask this person ,i do not see your name in this competition, have you won any',because many great violinist and musicians have not!!! i do not think the playing and interpretation must be graded wether you win or not a competition.
 
Gustaf
Tue 25th January 2011
Sweden
Although an extremely capable violinist, Lozada never won the 1st prize at the Paganini competition. In 1956 she was awarded 4th prize (Görgy Pauk was the 1st prize winner) and in 1961 she was awarded 2nd prize (Emil Kamilarov won 1st prize).
 
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