San Diego Symphony Orchestra violinist Hernan Constantino, born and raised in the Philippines, was inspired to take violin lessons because of his father's love of the instrument. He began his studies when he was eight years old under the tutelage of the late Professor Luis Valencia. At age 11 he became a scholar of the Music Promotion Foundation of the Philippines, and at age 15, having recently joined the newly formed Cultural Center of the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra (now known as the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra), he won first prize in the National Young Artists Competition. He was invited to perform for the President and Mrs. Marcos, and he received invitations to perform in various television and radio shows between the ages of 15 and 19. At 19, he left the Philippines for the United States upon receiving a full scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts.
Mr. Constantino continued his violin studies under Dorothy DeLay, Hyo Kang and William DePasquale; chamber music under Joseph DePasquale and William DePasquale; and conducting under Joseph Primavera. He has worked with famous conductors such as Ricardo Muti, Eugene Ormandy and Klaus Tennstedt. In the summers of 1978 and 1979 he attended the Aspen Music Festival and played with the Festival Orchestra. He held the position of principal second violin for seven seasons and served as a substitute concertmaster for the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra. Mr. Constantino also held the position of concertmaster at the Trump Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. He was the violin and chamber music instructor at the New Jersey School of Music and a substitute violin teacher at Cherry Hill High School in New Jersey.
After moving to Portland Oregon in 1986, Mr. Constantino became a founding member of the New Oregon String Quartet, presenting contemporary and twentieth century music. He became a first violinist in the Portland Opera Orchestra, first violinist and soloist with the West Coast Chamber Orchestra and a substitute violinist with the Oregon Symphony. In 1988 he held the position of Interim Music Director of the Oregon State University-Corvallis Symphony in Corvallis Oregon as well as a violin professor of Oregon State University. He was also a founding member of the Metolious String Quartet, the quartet in residence at Oregon State University.
In 1990 Mr. Constantino won a position with the SDSO and in 1991 was assigned the position of Acting Associate Concertmaster. He is also a member of the San Diego Opera Orchestra and also played with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra (later called Orchestra Nova). He is currently the Concertmaster of the Oregon Coast Music Festival in Coos Bay, Oregon. For the 2009 Oregon Coast Music Festival, Mr. Constantino was invited to be the festival’s guest conductor. He appeared as staff conductor in the summer of 2008 with the Interlochen music camp.
GETTING TO KNOW HERNAN CONSTANTINO…
Q: How did you choose your instrument?
A: My father played the violin.
Q: What is your favorite travel destination?
A: My original home, the Philippines
Q: What are some favorite classical music periods?
A: Romantic and Classical periods
Q: What do you love most about San Diego (besides the weather)?
A: It’s a diverse community with various cultures and foods
Q: Where might you be found on a Saturday night if you’re not performing with the Symphony?
A: At home with my family
Q: The non-musical accomplishment you are most proud of is…?
A: My family