TUPELO – Music is an international language, and pianist Cecile Licad has earned applause around the globe.
A native of the Philippines, Licad will open the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra’s season on Saturday at Link Centre Concert Hall.
“Good is not a word to use for her,” said Dr. Noel Garcia, a Houston physician who helped arrange Licad’s performance. “Such a person comes along once a generation.”
The concert will be presented by TSO and the Philippine Society of Tupelo and Friends.
She has performed with symphonies in Boston, New York, Tokyo, London and beyond. During her Tupelo visit, it’ll just be Licad, TSO’s Steinway concert grand piano and the audience.
Garcia, also a native of the Philippines, saw Licad’s February performance at the University of Memphis. He decided it was time to bring her to Northeast Mississippi.
“We raised the money,” Garcia said. “Doctors I know helped, and a lot music lovers.”
Deedee Cantrall, a Tupelo resident and a native of the Philippines, said Elvis Presley might have helped make the concert possible.
Cantrall lives on Elvis Presley Boulevard, which Licad’s manager noticed in an e-mail.
“He said she doesn’t usually perform in small cities, but it is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. They got excited,” Cantrall said. “Her manager said she is a fan.”
Don’t expect any Elvis tunes during her concert. Licad will perform Beethoven’s sonata, “Pathetique.”
“It’s really a difficult piece,” Garcia said, “and an extra difficult piece to play well.”
She’ll also perform two works by Franz Liszt and two by a Filipino composer.
“When I see people like her, people who do so well, it inspires me to do what I can do as well as I can,” Garcia said. “I can never play like her, but at least I can watch. I can listen. She is amazing.”
The Philippine Cultural Society and Friends under the auspices of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra will sponsor a solo recital of world-renowned concert pianist Cecile Licad at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Link Centre. Tickets are $20/advance, $25/at the door. (662) 842-8433.
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal