Lydia Walton Ignacio, first prize winner of the national Tchaikovsky Piano Competition held in the Philippines, attended the University of Santo Tomas, where she represented the school in numerous recitals, including a performance with the national and famed Manila Symphony Orchestra during the Far East National Music Conference.
The Music Foundation of the Philippines awarded Ms. Ignacio a grant to study abroad, while she simultaneously received a scholarship from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, where she studied with renowned concert artists and teachers, Miecyszlaw Munz and Leon Fleisher. In due course she received not only her M.M. Degree but also the Artist Deploma as well as the Lillian Gutman Memorial Prize, for excellence in piano performance.
Critical acclaim has come from many quarters: Daniel Webster, music critic with the Philadelphia Inquirer, commenting on a rare recording by Russo/ Ignacio (capra 1204- now CRSCD9561) wrote: “The Cowell is the most immediately appealing, with witty curls and succinct ideas that disappear like coouds. The Rochberg music receives a careful performance with the 12-tone structure plain in the foreground.” The Manila Times said that Ms. Ignacio “gave an inspired rendition of the Tchaikovsky Concerto” and called her “a talent of considerable promise.” The Philadelphia critic John Kounios found her “superb throughout…her accompaniment was virtually flawless and always tasteful.”
Miss Ignacio has taught and accompanied repertoire classes at the Peabody Institute, University of Maryland, University of Pennsylvania, and the Combs College of Music. She has performed as soloist, chamber music member throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed numerous world premiere performances and recordings with such labels as VOX, Candede, Capra, Crystal, Contemporary Recording Studios and Contemporary Record Society Inc. Her more than 29 commercial recordings with distinguished members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, faculty members of Temple University, Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, have gained world wide recognition. Among these and other recordings, with composer/ clarinetist, John Russo, this joint union has established Ms. Ignacio among the leading pianist of our time. As a duo with John Russo, they have performed together throughout the entire United States and throughout the globe.
Among the world premiere recordings Ignacio and Russo have contributed to the discography are, Clarinet Sonata by Felix Mendelssohn; Three Romances, Op. 94, Robert Schumann; Sonata in Bb, Johann Baptist Wanhall; (music from), Songs Without Words, Felix Mendelssohn; Six German Songs, Op. 103, Ludwig Spohr; Pastoral, Elliott Carter; Sonata No. 1 & No. 2, Francois Devienne; Larghetto for Clarinet Viola and Piano, John Russo; Clarinet Sonata, Paul Hindemith; Theme & Variations, Gioachino Rossini; Concertino, Gaetano Donizetti; Caprice Improvisation, Eugene Bozza; Trio for Piano Clarinet & Cello, Vincent D’Indy; Clarinet Sonata No. 1, No.2, and No. 3, Max Reger; Clarinet Sonata, (ORS 79330 new release CRSCD8949), Leonard Bernstein; Concertante, Norman Dello Joio; Flight of the Bumblebee, Rimsky-Korsakov; Aria Jacques Ibert; Dialogues, George Rochberg; Six Casual Developments, Three Ostinati with Chorales, Henry Cowell; Fantasie, Gioacchino Rossini; Solo De Concours, Henri Rabaud; Concert Piece, Felix Mendelssohn; Kleines Konzert, Alfred Uhl; Sonatina for Clarinet & Piano, Gordon Jacob; Four Short Pieces, Howard Ferguson; Alla Gitana, Paul Dukas; Variations II for Oboe, clarinet and Piano, John Russo; Five Piano Pieces, Peter Mennin; Sonata No. 1, Sonata No. 7, Xavier LeFevre. This is only a portion of commercially recorded LP’s/CD’s/Cassettes found among the listings on the CONTEMPORARY RECORD SOCIETY – WEB SITE including Ms. Ignacio.
HIGH PERFORMANCE REVIEW has stated about the recording of Five Pieces by Peter Mennin, “…Lydia Walton Ignacio plays the athletic rhythms and long singing lines with authority and projects the work well.”
ELLIOT CARTER, referring to their recording of his Pastoral (orion 77275 – reissue CRS CD9255) wrote, “I am very pleased with their performance. They make the work come alive with their imaginative interpretation. Their fine playing makes their recordings very worthwhile.”
PHILADELPHIA TRIBUNE – “…Husband and wife, Russo and Ignacio complimented one another’s talent in duo performances of Six Casual Developments by Cowell….”
LOS ANGELES TIMES – “Ignacio’s excellent work…”