Classical music soared to new heights at the recent gala concert presented by the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines. Conductor Dr. Ernest Hoetzl, known as the Austrian Ambassador of Music, won the admiration and affection of the audience, with its interestingly varied repertoire performed by The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Well-loved pieces of Mozart, Brahms and Strauss filled the resplendent Lobby Lounge of the Makati Shangri-la.

The Steering Committee was headed by JSSP President Olga Severino Martel, supported by JSSP Chairman Fortune Ledesma, Chairpersons were Agnes Huibonhua, Virginia Lane and Betty Chua.  Working Committee members were Reto Klauser, Helmut Gaisberger, Lin Liboro, Lilibeth Campos, Alice Samson, Nympha Valencia, Cherina Genomal, Ditas Posadas, Nini Layug, Marissa Fenton, Annabelle Adriano and Fanny Blanco. Lexus Manila was the major sponsor of the event.  Other sponsors were San Miguel Corporation, CATS Motors, The Cultural Center of the Philippines, William Kho & Bloomwoods Flower Shop.

This yearly event is co-presented by the Makati Shangri-la with the support of its General Manager Reto Klauser, for the benefit of Makati Shangri-la’s EMBRACE project, for the treatment of a young burn victim; and for the Cultural Center of the Philippines Young Artists Scholarship Program, which has been supported by the JSSP for many years.  (Do visit my website: and view more articles at:


Conductor Dr. Ernest Hoetzl, with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra at the Johann Strauss Gala Concert 2012
Dr. Ernest Hoetzl, JSSP President Olga Martel, JSSP Chairman Monaco Consul General Fortune Ledesma, Ambassador Wilhelm Donko of Austria
Gerry Lane, Virginia Lane, Johnny Litton, Amelie Brusset and Nes Jardin
H.E. Ambassador Menashe Bar-On of Israel, Margie Floirendo, Madame Esther Bar and Consul Agnes Huibonhua
Reto Klauser, General Manger of Makati Shangri-la, The Lady HB, Marivic Vazquez, Olga Martel and Jose Mari Trenas
Jojo Zabarte, Lilibeth Campos, Consul Evie Costa and Patty Jalbuena

Gerry Lane of Lane Movers, Inc., Jenna Shannon, Stephen Shannon and Royal Consul of Denmark Erik Nielsen
Raul Sunico, CCP President, Gilda Salonga, Mabel Abano, Nini Layug and Marife Furber