Pork Belly Films

John Florencio

At the age of 5, John exhibited a keen ear for harmony, improvisation and transposition on the piano. There was little question to him that his life was to be dedicated to a career in music. He moved with his family to the US in 1987 where he continued his musical studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He was highly influenced by his teachers at the Conservatory to champion the works of lesser-known composers such as Roger Sessions, Bob Helps and William Schuman. In 1990, he was selected by the Oakland Youth Orchestra to play in their tour of Austria and Germany. He recorded live at the ORF (Österreicher Ründfunk) the works of San Francisco composers Libby Larsen “Collage: Boogie” and Olly Wilson’s “Lumina” in front of 1,500 spectators.

 

In 1997, he co-founded the San Francisco Academy for the Performing Arts with renowned pedagogue Richard Nickol, where he also maintained a private teaching studio. For the next ten years, he was to be instrumental in the professionalization of now famous Broadway actors by teaching musicianship, harmony and sight-reading. His work with Nickol has led to opportunities in the musical theater circuits in New York and Los Angeles. In 2004, he directed the critically acclaimed San Francisco Playhouse’s production of “The Fantasticks” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting it Together”. In the 2005-2006 season, he played many concerts with famous singers Sam Harris, Connie Francis as well as renowned Filipino singer Martin Nievera. He also holds the credit for directing the West Coast premiere of “Songs for a New World.”

John Florencio, performing in a scene from Graham's Tales.

In 2006, John started working as musical director for West End actress and singer Stephanie Reese (“Miss Saigon”, “The King and I”), playing in many cities across the US, Asia, Russia and Europe. Their successful collaboration culminated with a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York for Gawad Kalinga USA, in which they raised over $70,000 to aid in the construction of villages in the Philippines for the poor and the marginalized. As UNICEF artists, they continue to travel to play gala events and concerts across Germany and Austria.

 

In 2008, John settled in Paris where he was appointed musical director of “Pinoy Jam Paris”, a collective of young musicians and songwriters. He oversees the creation of contemporary Filipino music to a mainstream audience and often plays concerts for numerous Philippine Embassy-sponsored events in Europe. He envisions remounting a piano studio so he can continue his work to explore new trends in musical theater and in performance art.

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