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Dr. Charisse Baldoria
Dr. Charisse Baldoria
Praised by the Philippine Star as “formidable,” with “intelligent pianism at its best,” Charisse Baldoria is an international prizewinning Filipino pianist, pedagogue, and scholar whose repertoire ranges from the traditional classics to Hispanic and Southeast Asian music. At home as a soloist and collaborative musician, she also incorporates dance, poetry, and the visual arts in some of her concerts.
Dr. Baldoria has performed in five continents and won prizes and awards in international and national competitions, such as the San Antonio International and Hilton Head Island International Piano Competitions, as well as numerous prizes in her native Philippines. She was also among the top 12 pianists of the prestigious Sydney International Piano Competition.
In her recent programs and research she negotiates with her Filipino identity, juxtaposing the indigenous with the colonial, performing music from and inspired by Southeast Asia and Spain, of which the Philippines was a colony for 333 years. She gave a recital at the International Festival of Spanish Keyboard Music (FIMTE) in Almería, Spain, a series of concerts and lectures sponsored by Spain's Ministry of Culture and the Instituto Cervantes, and concerts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has given presentations at the College Music Society (CMS) International Conferences in Spain and Argentina, and the CMS Northeast Conference in Vermont. Awarded a grant by the Cuban Research Institute, Dr. Baldoria did research at Florida International University's Díaz Ayala Collection, the world's most comprehensive Cuban music collection. Her explorations have also taken her to Cuba.
In her recent concert “Evocación: Visions of Spain, Cuba, and Southeast Asia,” she performed with dancer Julie Petry, performance artist Hunter Fine, and artist Lisa Corine von Koch, juxtaposing pieces from Albéniz’ Iberia and music inspired by the Southeast Asian gong ensemble, with live drawing and with poetry by Federico García Lorca and Rainer Maria Rilke. As she prepares future programs, she experiments with new ways of performing music.
Gifted with perfect pitch, Charisse learned to play the piano by ear at age four. She begged her parents to buy a piano, and when it was delivered, sat down and taught herself how to play, learning complete songs on her own. She started formal lessons later with Filipino pedagogue Nita Abrogar Quinto, winning numerous competitions since she was eight. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of the Philippines. She also worked as a professional composer-arranger of songs and commercials.
A Fulbright scholarship brought her to the United States where she studied with Logan Skelton, finishing her master’s and doctorate at the University of Michigan. She is currently a professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania where she directs the piano area.
She is also a serious photography hobbyist and traveler. She has gone hang-gliding in Rio, skydiving in Pennsylvania, and scuba-diving in the Tubbataha reefs. Otherwise, she lives a quiet life with her husband in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.