Gerard Salonga is currently the Resident Conductor of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, a position he has held since January 2019. For two seasons, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra from 2016 to 2018 and was Music Director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra in Manila from 2012 to 2020. In January of 2021, Salonga began his term as the Music Director of the Orchestra Of The Filipino Youth (OFY). He has assisted and covered distinguished conductors such as Jaap van Zweden, Jun Märkl, Hans Graf, Yu Long, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mark Wigglesworth and Leonard Slatkin. He has also conducted the Philippine Philharmonic, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Kunming Nie-Er Symphony, Evergreen Symphony of Taiwan, South Denmark Philharmonic, Queensland Camerata, Orchestra Victoria, and the Bangkok, Singapore and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
His orchestral arrangements have been performed by orchestras such as the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Singapore Symphony, RTE Concert Orchestra, New York Pops, Guangzhou Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic. He has also collaborated as arranger/conductor with artists like Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez, Wang Leehom, Wu Tong, Tengku Irfan, Michael Ball, Blake, Il Divo, Danielle de Niese, Ksenija Sidorova, Shen Yang, Llŷr Williams James Ehnes, Jing Wang, Jan Lisiecki, and The Beach Boys.
In 2018, Salonga conducted the Sydney Symphony and TaikOz in the world premiere of Australian composer Lachlan Skipworth’s Breath Of Thunder (concerto for Taiko and orchestra) at the Sydney Opera House, which earned an APRA AMCOS (Australian art music) nomination for Performance Of The Year.
In 2019, he collaborated with pianist Cecile Licad and the Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester (South Denmark Philharmonic) on a new recording of the works of George Gershwin for piano and orchestra released on the Danacord label. In 2020 and 2021 he served as music producer for the MPO’s recordings of classical and new works for its YouTube channel MPOTV and was also the artistic adviser for MPO’s recent collaboration with the Malaysian Composers’ Collective, premiering new compositions by Malaysian composers. On stage with the MPO at the DFP, Gerard has conducted symphonic programmes, family, and film concerts including Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ratatouille.
As a conductor of musical theatre, he has led the orchestras for the Manila stagings of Carousel (1996), They’re Playing Our Song (2000), Dreamgirls (2003), Baby (2004), West Side Story (2008), Sweeney Todd (2009) and Little Women (2010). In 2019, he conducted Sweeney Todd for Atlantis Theatrical in Manila and in Singapore for Singapore Repertory Theatre. For his work in concerts and theatre, he is a four-time recipient of the Aliw Award for best musical director and twice winner of the Gawad Buhay Philstage Award.
In 2012, Salonga was honoured as one of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM), the Philippines’ highest civilian award to achievers under the age of 40. In 2021, he was named one of the recipients of the SUDI National Music Awards by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
2022 engagements include concerts in Manila, the UK and Singapore, along with continuing his work with the MPO and OFY.