The Philippines is home to very talented musicians and artists. We have been proving to the world that Filipinos can compete worldwide and make a difference.
Just this April, 11 year old Pinoy cello prodigy, Damodar Das Castillo, won first prize in Category B at the Young Musician Talinn 2019 held in Estonia.
Currently under the tutelage of Prof.Barbara Leubke at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria, Dar -- as he is called by his friends and family, played his winning piece "Cello Concerto in C" during the final round of the competition together with a chamber orchestra.
Aside from the win, he was also awarded a diploma for eminent style and a diploma for the best performance of a virtuoso piece.
Dar was the youngest member and soloist of the multi-awarded Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO) which was also a recipient of the 2019 Ani ng Dangal Award by the National Commision for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). This was for winning first prize in the 12th Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria.
Chatting and playing with Dar who happens to love drawing and sketching just the same, is real fun. He showed me his drawings while we were about to watch a classical concert in CCP. Dar is adorable and you would consider him simple until he holds his bow and cello and begin playing -- he literally stuns everyone!
With Dar winning and his MSJO mates excelling and bringing home honor just the same in the field of classical music, I can proudly say that Filipino talent is indeed World Class!