Pianist Cecile Licad joins Tupelo Symphony Orchestra for performance

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

One of the most celebrated piano composers, Franz Liszt, will be celebrated at this weekend’s Tupelo Symphony Orchestra performance.
The soloist, renowned pianist Cecile Licad, is joining the symphony for the event.
“This is the first time I’ll be performing with the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra,” Licad said in a phone interview with the Daily Journal. “I’m excited about it.”
Licad, a native of the Philippines, began her piano studies at 3 and made her debut as a soloist with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra at age 7.
She won international recognition as one of the youngest musicians to ever receive the prestigious Leventritt Competition Gold Medal, which launched her career.
Licad has performed all over the world.
She will perform Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major and Totentanz: Paraphrase on Dies Irae with the orchestra.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “It really is a moment thing – it’s not like you can plan everything. I feel with his work you have to be very spontaneous in feeling, like do what you feel at the moment.”
It’s also a challenge.
“Nowadays, where people base (your performance) on CDs, and how CDs can be all perfect, you just kind of have to play your heart out with this kind of music and wish for all the best and pray.”
Another important aspect of the performance is finding a way to let her personality shine through the music.
“You have to play well, but you have to put an expression of yourself,” she said. “For me, it’s important that I give expression and happiness and joy in what I’m doing.”
Licad has another busy year of touring ahead of her, but she’s excited about what the Liszt show has to offer this weekend.
“I can never guarantee what happens – that’s the exciting part,” she said. “I just get into the music.”
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

• On stage
What: Tupelo Symphony Orchestra featuring soloist Cecile Licad presents “Liszt Spectacular”
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Link Centre Concert Hall
Cost: $25/adult advance ticket, $10/student advance ticket
Info: (662) 842-8433, tupelosymphony.com

• There will be a dinner served before the concert at the Link Centre Reception Hall. The menu includes a garden salad, chicken and gnocchi soup, a pasta bar with sauces, accoutrements and additions, and tiramisu. It’s $35/person, with wine available for purchase. To make reservations call (662) 690-4011.