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New York/New Jersey Chapter Presents Concert

The American Liszt Society NY/NJ Chapter (Gila Goldstein, founder/president, David Witten, vice-president), and Yamaha Artist Services Inc., presented JOVIANNEY EMANUEL CRUZ in a concert on Thursday, October 7 at the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York. The concert included

HAYDN: Sonata in F Major, Hob. XVI:23
ALBENIZ: "Granada y Asturias" from Suite Española
CHOPIN: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
COPLAND: El Salon Mexico (transcribed by Leonard Bernstein)
LISZT: Sonata in B minor

JOVIANNEY EMMANUEL CRUZ is the most internationally awarded Filipino concert pianist. He was a prizewinner in the Jose Iturbi (Valencia), the Pilar Bayona (Zaragoza), the Concurs Internacional Maria Canals (Barcelona), and the Jaen International Piano Competitions in Spain, the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York, the Rina Sala Gallo International Piano Competition in Milan, and the International Competition for Piano and Orchestra in Sicily. He has also won First Prize in the Bergen Philharmonic Solo Competition, the Haddonfield Symphony Solo Competition, the Queens Symphony Soloists Competition, the New York State Music Teachers Association, and the Five Towns, Great Neck, and Port Washington Piano Competitions.

Mr. Cruz has performed as soloist with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, Manhattan Philharmonia, Queens Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Maracaibo Symphony, Orquesta Municipal de Valencia, Philharmonic Orchestra of the State of Oradea, Uni-Orchester Säarbrucken, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Orquesta Filharmonica de Gran Canaria, National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerously with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also amassed a long string of solo recitals and chamber music collaborations, and constantly conducts master classes all over the world.

A former child prodigy, Mr. Cruz began his piano studies at the age of three with his mother, Lourdes L. Villanueva-Cruz. At age 6, he was invited to give a command performance at the Malacañang Palace and at age 10, he made his orchestral debut with the Philippine Youth Orchestra after winning First Prize in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists. He was granted full scholarships by the Young Artists Foundation of the Philippines, the Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, England, and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he was a pupil of the eminent piano pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky. At the Manhattan School of Music, Mr. Cruz was a winner of both the Preparatory and College Divisions Concerto Competitions and a recipient of the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, the Elva Van Gelder, and the Anne-Marie McDermott Memorial Scholarships. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance, and was awarded the Harold Bauer Award, the most coveted given to a pianist with the highest honors at the Manhattan School of Music.

His participation in music festivals in the United States, Spain, Germany, and Croatia, has given Mr. Cruz critical acclaim. Audiences and music critics alike describe his solo recitals as "sublime", "colourful", and "fantastic", and his performance of Samuel Barber's Piano Concerto was praised as "…technically impeccable." The New Straits Times called his rendition of Mozart at the International Piano Festival Malaysia ". . . thrilling performance of an exquisite interpretation…showed his artistry, his finesse, and his sensitivity as a pianist. He made the piano sing from the first note to the last, every nuance and every phrase beautifully executed." Mr. Cruz also received rave reviews as the featured soloist in the Toyota Classics 2006.

As a mentor, Mr. Cruz has produced prize-winning students, while as an artistic director and concert producer, he is one of the pioneers for the renaissance of Classical Music awareness in the Philippines. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of OPUSFEST 2006: The First International Piano Festival Philippines, OPUSFEST 2008: The International Piano & Chamber Music Festival Philippines, The Ultimate Pianist Competition: The Lourdes L.Villanueva-Cruz Memorial Award, and the recently concluded OPUSFEST CEBU 2010. He was formerly a Founding Trustee and the Artistic Director of FILFEST in its first two seasons of concerts held at the Insular Life Theater.

Mr. Cruz holds the distinction to be the first and only Filipino to be invited as a Juror in the 1st ASEAN International Chopin Piano Competition in Kuala Lumpur, and twice as an Adjudicator in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival in its 62 years o f existence. In 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos conferred on Mr. Cruz The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for his contribution to the Arts. The Philippine Star has labeled Mr. Cruz as "The Magnificent Cruz" and the Philippine Daily Inquirer has dubbed him as "…one of the greatest pianists the country has ever produced!"