Biography

 JOVIANNEY EMMANUEL CRUZ is an internationally awarded Filipino concert pianist. He was a prizewinner in the Jose Iturbi (Valencia), the Pilar Bayona (Zaragoza), the Concurs Internacional Maria Canals (Barcelona), and the Jaen International Piano Competitions in Spain, the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York, the Rina Sala Gallo International Piano Competition in Milan, and the International Competition for Piano and Orchestra in Sicily. He has also won First Prize in the Bergen Philharmonic Solo Competition, the Haddonfield Symphony Solo Competition, the Queens Symphony Soloists Competition, the New York State Music Teachers Association, and the Five Towns, Great Neck, and Port Washington Piano Competitions. He has performed as soloist with the Manila Symphony Orchestra, the Manhattan Philharmonia, the Queens Symphony, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Maracaibo Symphony, the Orquesta Municipal de Valencia, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the State of Oradea, the Uni-Orchester Säarbrucken, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, the Orquesta Filharmonica de Gran Canaria, the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia, the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, and numerously with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.

A former child prodigy, Mr. Cruz began his piano studies at the age of three with his mother, Lourdes L. Villanueva-Cruz. At age 6, he was invited to give a command performance at the Malacañang Palace and at age 10, he made his orchestral debut with the Philippine Youth Orchestra after winning First Prize in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists. He was granted full scholarships by the Young Artists Foundation of the Philippines, the Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England, and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he was a pupil of the piano pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky. At MSM, Mr. Cruz was a winner of both the Preparatory and College Divisions Concerto Competitions and a recipient of the Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation, the Elva Van Gelder, and the Anne-Marie McDermott Memorial Scholarships. He received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance, and was awarded the Harold Bauer Award, the most coveted given to a pianist with the highest honors at the Manhattan School of Music.

His participation in music festivals in the United States, Spain, Germany, and Croatia, has given Mr. Cruz critical acclaim. The New Straits Times called his rendition of Mozart at the International Piano Festival Malaysia “…a thrilling performance of an exquisite interpretation…showed his artistry, his finesse, and his sensitivity as a pianist. He made the piano sing from the first note to the last, every nuance and every phrase beautifully executed.” Mr. Cruz also received rave reviews as the featured soloist in the Toyota Classics 2006. The Philippine Star has labeled him as “The Magnificent Cruz” and the Philippine Daily Inquirer has proclaimed him as “…one of the greatest pianists the country has ever produced!”

As a mentor, Mr. Cruz has produced prize-winning students, and constantly gives master classes all over the world. As an artistic director and concert producer, he is one of the pioneers for the renaissance of Classical Music awareness in the Philippines. He is the Founder & Artistic Director of OPUSFEST: The International Piano & Chamber Music Festival Philippines, The Ultimate Pianist Competition: The Lourdes L. Villanueva-Cruz Memorial Award, and was formerly a Founding Trustee & the Artistic Director of FILFEST in its first two seasons of concerts held at the Insular Life Theater. Mr. Cruz holds the distinction to be the first & only Filipino to be invited as a Juror in the 1st ASEAN International Chopin Piano Competition in Kuala Lumpur, and thrice as an Adjudicator in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival in its 63 years of existence.  He was recently chosen as one of twelve international Artists to inaugurate the Solomon Gadles Mikowsky Recital Hall in New York, and the first Filipino to perform at the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts in Virginia. In 1996, President Fidel V. Ramos conferred on Mr. Cruz The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for his contribution to the Arts.



Photo Credit: Menchit Ongpin

 

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