GERARD SALONGA is a multiawarded musical director, conductor, and arranger. He has worked with some of Asia’s brightest musical artists, including Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez, Wang Leehom, Elisa Chan, Hins Cheung, 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 made part of 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 the Philippine Philharmonic, Bangkok Symphony and the Mostly Philharmonic Orchestra (Seoul). In June of 2012 he began his work as founding music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, a professional symphony orchestra maintained by Philippine broadcast giant ABS-CBN. The orchestra’s first two years have earned critical acclaim for the for the quality of classical concert performances, educational and outreach initiatives, and commitment to the performance of Philippine music. An in-demand arranger of Symphonic Pops as well, his arrangements have been performed by the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras.
Last November, 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 will be making his Taipei debut when the concert opens there this March.
Gerard composed the orchestral score for RPG Metanoia, the Philippines’ first 3D animated feature film. His work on the Station IDs of The Filipino Channel in 2004 and 2005 earned him the Promax World Silver awards for both years, and in 2011 was musical director and music arranger/producer for The Kitchen Musical, a musical drama series which aired throughout Asia on the AXN network.
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 violinist Divina Francisco, and they make their home in Manila with their children Antonio and Carmen. Gerard is proud to be a part of this important fundraising event for the HK Phil, whom he considers to be one of the finest symphony orchestras in Asia.