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for: Kundiman songs
Nicanor Abelardo is a Filipino composer who composed over a hundred of Kundiman Songs especially before and during the World War II. Born in San Miguel de Mayumo (now is San Miguel, Bulacan in February 7, 1893, Nicanor Sta. Ana Abelardo was introduced to music when he was five years old, when his father taught him the solfeggio and the banduria. At the age of 8, he was able to compose his first work, a waltz entitled "Ang Unang Buko," which was dedicated to his grandmother. At the age of 13, he was already playing at saloons and cabarets in Manila. At age 15, he was already teaching in barrio schools in San Ildefonso and San Miguel Bulacan. All of these happened even before young Abelardo finally took up courses under Guy F. Harrison and Robert Schofield at the UP Conservatory of Music in 1916. By 1924, following a teacher s certificate in science and composition received in 1921, he was appointed head of the composition department at the Conservatory. Years later, he ran a boarding school for young musicians, and among his students were National Artist Antonino Buenaventura, Alfredo Lozano and Lucino Sacramento. In the field of composition he is known for his redefinition of the kundiman, bringing the genre to artsong status. Among his works were "Nasaan Ka Irog," "Magbalik Ka Hirang," and "Himutok." He died in 1934 at the age of 41, leaving a prolific collection of more than 140 works. As a composition major at the University of the Philippines, he also composed the melody for the university's official anthem, U.P. Naming Mahal. The building housing the College of Music in UP Diliman (Abelardo Hall) is named in his honor.
Levi Celerio Born: April 30, 1910 Birthplace: Tondo, Manila Died: April 2, 2002
Race: Asian Field: Composer
Levi Celerio is a Filipino composer and lyricist, born on April 30, 1910 in Tondo, Manila, Philippines. He received a free education to the Academy of Music in Manila and became the youngest affiliate of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. He was a creative songwriter, with more than 4,000 songs to his acclaim including Filipino folk, Christmas, and love songs that are popular pieces, which many consider to be immortal. Famous for being a lyricist, his songs treasure life; express nationalistic sentiments and complete grand philosophies. At one instance or another, no Filipino can miss the song or lyrics of Levi's Christmas songs namely Pasko na Naman, Ang Pasko ay Sumapit, and Misa de Gallo. He is probably best recognized for being a leaf-player, an achievement where he was place into the Guinness Book of World Records. He wrote a huge number of songs for local movies, which gained him the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Film Academy of the Philippines. He was awarded as National Artist of the Philippines for Music in 1997. He died on April 2, 2002.
Ryan Cayabyab Born: May 4, 1954 Birthplace: Manila
Race: Asian Field: Composer
Warmly known as Mr. C, born Raymundo Cipriano Pujante Cayabyab on May 4, 1954 in Manila, Philippines. Ryan's mother was an opera singer; she died when he was only 6, while his father fight to sustain him and his three siblings. His mother's wish was that no one of her children would make music as a line of work; knowing how tough life is for a musician with insufficient income. Ryan Cayabyab firstly took up Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. But at the same moment, he searched for an employment to sustain his studies, and sooner join with then-Senator Salvador Laurel as accompanist for the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) Chorale Ensemble. Noting his incomparable ability on the piano, the Senator presented him a scholarship that would allow Ryan to alter his course and hold learning in music. Cayabyab afterward graduated from the UP College of Music earning a Bachelor of Music, Major in Composition degree. Following that, he became a complete professor for the Department of Composition and Music Theory in the UP Diliman for about two decades. At the twist of the century, he was about to take his family and transfer abroad, but when presented by Danding Cojuangco, President of the San Miguel Corporation, a authority post that would give him full way in producing and performing new music that would carry out a new wave to the Philippine music scene, he acknowledged the proposal. Ryan Cayabyab is a prominent Filipino musician and the existing Executive and Artistic Director of the San Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts. His works vary from specially made fulllength ballets, theater musicals, choral pieces, a crowd set to unaccompanied chorus, and orchestral pieces, to salable recordings of popular composition, film scores and television specials. Now, he is presently in his 7th year as Executive and Artistic Director of the San Miguel Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Angel Matias Peña Born: April 22, 1921 Birthplace: Malabon
Race: Asian Field: Classical and Jazz Composer, Arranger, and Bass Player
Peña was born to a musical family on April 22, 1921. His mother, Rosario Velarde Matias, a schoolteacher, studied voice at the University of the Philippines and it was from her that he learned the solfeggio. His father, Gregorio Cid Peña, played the violin, and his grandfather was handy with the guitar. He grew up in Malabon which at that time was famous for its musicians and marching bands. His mother died when he was 11 years old. Although discouraged by his father, he studied musical theory and composition. Peña wrote his first original jazz composition just before the World War II erupted. When life returned to normal after the war, Peña became one of the most sought-after arrangers in Manila. He had also switched from guitar to bass, leading to writing orchestral background music for many musical ensembles and musical scores for film companies, most notably LVN Pictures. Peña's interest in classical composition grew intense and so in 1956, he formed a big band for the Upsilon Sigma Phi¶s traditional concert at the University of the Philippines where he composed ³Bagbagtulambing,´ a landmark in Filipino music. In 1959, the University of Santo Tomas launched a national symphonic composition contest open to all Filipino composers. Peña¶s entry ³Igorot Rhapsody´ won the first prize the following year. Since then, Peña moved effortlessly between the jazz and classical worlds, sometimes, straddling them. In the mid-1960s, during his 3-year stint in Hong Kong, he earned a Licentiate with the Royal School of Music in London, which is equivalent to a music degree. In 1969 Peña auditioned for the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and was immediately accepted as bassist and later as arranger. He would spend the next 28 years in Hawaii. As farewell homage, the Manila Symphony Orchestra performed his ³Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra.´ In Honolulu, Peña continued to write his own music. In 1981, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of Filipino presence in Hawaii, the Honolulu Symphony premiered his ³Concerto for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra´ with an all-star Filipino jazz quartet. In 1982 Cultural Center of the Philippines performed a concert of his classical works in honor of the Philippine expatriate artist.
Julio Nakpil Born: 22 May 1867 Birthplace: Quiapo, Manila Died: 2 November 1960 Race: Asian Field: Composer
Julio Nakpil was born as one of twelve children from a well-off family in the Quiapo district of Manila. His parents withdrew him from Escuela de Instruccion Primaria after two years and had him take over the family stable, making sure that their coachmen and stable boys were doing their work smoothly. Julio educated himself at home and eventually learned how to play the piano, as was proper for traditional families during that time. His passion for music was largely self-taught. Although he took violin lessons from Ramon Valdes and piano lessons from Manuel Mata, he spent more time practicing alone with these instruments, giving him the ability to interpret the music of classic legends like Johann Strauss, Emile Waldteufel, Philipp Fahrbach, and Josef Kaulich, among others. In his desire to continue learning, he read Spanish books, novels, history books, the writings of Jose Rizal, and music discourse. His skill in playing the piano earned him an audience among the affluent, becoming a regular pianist Malacañang social functions. On April 27, 1888 he composed his first short polka piece for the piano called "Cefiro," which was followed with other pieces such as "Ilang-Ilang," "Recuerdos de Capiz," "Pahimakas," "Pasig Pantayanin," and "Biyak-na-Bato," to name a few. Nakpil later became a piano teacher and composed regularly. Many of his compositions during this time were directly inspired by the Revolution. His composition "Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan" was a candidate to become the Philippine National Anthem, and was personally preferred by Bonifacio, but was ultimately rejected by General Emilio Aguinaldo in favor of Julian Felipe's "Lupang Hinirang". He later revised his piece and entitled it "Salve Patria". After Aguinaldo allegedly ordered Bonifacio's execution, Nakpil claimed to have received threats on his own life, as did General Antonio Luna, who ended up being betrayed and executed by Aguinaldo's men. Among his expository works were "Luz Poetica de la Aurora," "Recuerdos de Capiz" and "Exposicion Regional Filipina," all of which were given a diploma of honor from the Exposicion Regional Filipina in 1895. He was also awarded a diploma and bronze medal from the Exposition of Hanoi in 1902, a diploma and silver medal from the St. Louis International Exposition in the U.S. in 1904, and a medal and citation from the Civic Assembly of Women in 1954. In 1963 he was given a posthumous award by the Bonifacio Centennial Commission in recognition of his patriotism. In 1964, a memoir entitled Julio Nakpil and the Philippine Revolution was published by his heirs.