Alfonso ‘Coke’ Bolipata is one of the country’s leading musicians; he’s a seasoned performer, teacher, writer, and administrator of a community school for music and the arts. He has been widely recognized for his performances and efforts in cultural development and was a recipient of the 2000 TOYM Award (Ten Outstanding Young Men), the Katha Award for his recording Pelikula, the 2001 Aliw Award Best Instrumentalist for his performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, the 2002 Gawad ng Maynila Award, a National Book Award (Book Design) in 1997 for his children’s book Water in the Ring of Fire, and the NCCA Alab ng Haraya Award.
A child prodigy, Coke comes from a family of musicians and received his first violin lessons at the age of eight from master musician Oscar C Yatco as a scholar of Stella G Brimo. His lessons continued with Basilio Manalo and Rizalina Buenaventura. At age twelve, he won First Prize in the National Music Competitions for Young Artists, subsequently leaving to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. His teachers include Dorothy Delay, Jascha Brodsky, Felix Galimir, and James Buswell. He was a member of Alexander Schneider’s New York String Orchestra and an original member of the New World Symphony in Miami under Michael Tilson Tomas.
THE MASTERS: Alfonso “Coke” Bolipata