Charisse Baldoria
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Charisse Baldoria

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
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A resident of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, pianist Charisse Baldoria’s performances and research have taken her to five continents, as well as around the Lehigh Valley, performing as soloist with the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, solo and collaborative recitals at ArtsQuest at SteelStacks (May/June 2012), Noble Art Pianos, Kirkland Village, and Moravian College; and chamber music with Satori and Cantatica. She is at home with both standard and exploratory repertoire, fascinated by cultural exchanges between East and West.

Since her doctoral presentation on the folk-inspired piano music of Bartók, Szymanowski, and Falla, she has focused on the Spanish empire, drawing relationships between Spain, Cuba, the Philippines, and dances like the habanera and flamenco. She has performed these programs in Spain, the United States, and Asia, giving, among others, a concert at the International Festival of Spanish Keyboard Music (FIMTE) in Almería, Spain; presentations at the College Music Society (CMS) International Conference in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid and in the CMS Northeast Conference in Vermont; concerts in Japan and Myanmar; and a series of concerts and lectures sponsored by Spain's Ministry of Culture and the Instituto Cervantes. Awarded a grant by the Cuban Research Institute, Dr. Baldoria also did research at Florida International University's Díaz Ayala Collection, the world's most comprehensive Cuban music collection. Her research has also taken her to Cuba. In her new programs, she also incorporates works from or inspired by gong music of Southeast Asia.

Dr. Baldoria has won the Fourth Prize in the San Antonio International Piano Competition, First Prize at the Society for Musical Arts Competition, was a two-time winner of the University of Michigan concerto competition, received awards at the Hilton Head and Ducrest international piano competitions, and finished among the top 12 in the world at the Sydney International Piano Competition. Back in the Philippines, she had won six First Prizes in national competitions.

A multifaceted musician, Dr. Baldoria has also composed and arranged songs for big corporations and institutions in the Philippines, such as Philippine Airlines, PLDT, Ajinomoto, and the Department of Energy. At Michigan, she studied electronic music composition with Evan Chambers and Erik Santos, presenting "Throb," a piece using pulsar audio and Philippine rhythms, at the Ann Arbor Electronic Music Microfestival.

Charisse learned to play the piano by ear at age four. She begged her parents to buy a piano, and when it was delivered, she tinkered on the keys and figured out how to play the nursery tune "Brother John" just moments later. Gifted with perfect pitch, she continued to play by ear and later started formal piano lessons at the University of the Philippines at seven, studying with Nita Abrogar Quinto.

Dr. Baldoria got her doctorate and master's from the University of Michigan where she studied with Logan Skelton under the Fulbright, Barbour and other scholarships. She has taught at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, the University of the Philippines, and Bethlehem’s new music school, the YOUniversity of Music and Arts.

An avid traveler, she has gone hang-gliding in Rio, skydiving in Pennsylvania, and cliff-jumping in the Australian rainforest. She travels with her DSLR, has an advanced scuba diver certification, and has taken up golf.