GERARD SALONGA is a multi-awarded musical director, conductor, and arranger. He has worked with some of Asia’s brightest musical artists, including Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez, Wang Leehom, Hins Cheung, Elisa Chan, Leung Kin-Fung, Wu Tong, Shenyang, and Cecile Licad. Born in Manila, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Ateneo De Manila University, and in 1998 graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, studying piano with legendary jazz pedagogue Ray Santisi, arranging with Grammy-winner Richard Evans, and conducting with David Callahan and George Monseur.
Upon his return to the Philippines, he very quickly became recognized as one of the most in-demand and versatile musicians in Manila’s music scene, earning himself the Aliw Award for Best Musical Director in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2008, and was inducted into the Aliw Hall of Fame in 2010. Gerard has led Manila’s professional stagings of the musicals Carousel, Baby, They’re Playing Our Song, Dreamgirls, West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, and Little Women, the last two earning him consecutive Philstage (Gawad Buhay) awards for Best Musical Direction in 2010 and 2011. He served as music director of FILharmoniKA (Manila) for six years, and has conducted every major orchestra in the Philippines, as well as the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, the Mostly Philharmonic Orchestra (Seoul, Korea), and is a frequent guest conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. In June 2012 Gerard arranged a special musical number performed by Coco Lee and the HK Phil for the gala performance celebrating the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. Also in 2012 he began his work as music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, a professional symphony orchestra maintained by Philippine broadcast giant ABS-CBN. An in-demand arranger of Symphonic Pops as well, his arrangements and orchestrations have been performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras.
In November 2013, Gerard made his debut with the Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, conducting Les Miserables and Miss Saigon creators Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Do You Hear The People Sing? at the Shanghai Grand Theatre. The concert, fully supported by Boublil and Schönberg, kicked off its Asia-Pacific tour in Shanghai and starred Michael Ball, Lea Salonga, Amanda Harrison, David Harris, and Marie Zamora. Gerard made his Taipei debut last March, conducting the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra and National Taiwan University Chorus.
In 2012 Gerard was honored by the President of the Philippines as one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), the Philippines’ highest civilian award to achievers under the age of 40.
He is married to accomplished violinist Divina Francisco, and they make their home in Manila with their children Antonio and Carmen. Gerard dedicates every performance to God, and to every fellow Filipino musician.