Concert honors two National Artists for Music

  • The UP College of Music on its 98th anniversary week opened its faculty concert season with Ipagdiwang! Tribute Concert to National Artists Ramon P. Santos & Francisco F. Feliciano on September 4 at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium, UP College of Music.

    The concert honored Dr. Santos and Dr. Feliciano, noted Filipino contemporary composers and celebrated pedagogues, who have been recently proclaimed National Artists for Music 2014 by the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Both have received various international awards and their works are critically acclaimed. UP university professor emeritus Santos is known for his significant contributions in studying Philippine traditional music and for his search for new directions in music, focusing on non-Western and Southeast Asian traditions. He was former Dean of the UP College of Music and is currently teaching at the Theory and Composition Department of the same college. Feliciano is known for his significant contributions in bringing global awareness to the indigenous musics of the Philippines and for his leadership in liturgical music in Asia. He was a faculty member of the UP College of Music, founded the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM), and is currently the president of Samba-Likhaan Foundation.

    The welcome address was given by Dean Jose Buenconsejo of the UP College of Music and the opening remarks by Prof. Felipe de Leon, Jr., chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The tribute addresses were given by Dr. Elena Rivera-Mirano, Dr. Olivia Feliciano-de Leon, Prof. Leticia del Valle and former Dean Mauricia Borromeo, Prof. Ed Manguiat, Prof. Emeritus Fides Asensio, Prof. Steve Villaruz, and Dr. Jonas Baes. Dr. Michael Tan, Chancellor of UP Diliman, was also there to witness the celebration.

    Performances of some of the composers' celebrated works were rendered by the UP Cherubim and Seraphim conducted by Dr. Elena Rivera-Mirano with guitarists Lester Demetillo and Nathan Manimtim, AILM Chorale and AUIT under Prof. Mary Katherine Trangco and Eudenice Palaruan, UP Rondalla Ensemble, UP Singing Ambassadors, sopranos Bianca Camille Lopez and Jade Rubis Riccio with pianist Albert Roldan, UP Dance Company with choreography by Steve Villaruz, restaged by Herbert Alvarez for the event. UP Dance Company is under the direction of Angel Baguilat and partially consisted of dancers Sarah Maria Samaniego, Angella Betina Carlos, Michael Barry Que, and Minette Caryl Masa. Novo Concertante conducted by Prof. Arwin Tan, the UP Composers of New Music (CONEMUS), and the Department of Musicology's Tugtugang Musika Asyatika (TUGMA) completed the show.

    Before receiving the award from Dr. Christine Muyco, chair of the Theory and Composition Department of the UP College of Music, Dr. Santos thanked the organizers and the audience on behalf of Dr. Feliciano who could not attend the occasion due to his illness.

    Reflecting on their live’s purpose, he said that “… Ang buhay namin ay nailaan sa paghahanap ng mga bagong landas, sa paghahayag damdamin bilang isang Pilipino, kung saan ang pagkatao nito ay tinutuklas sa pamamagitan ng iba’t ibang pamamaraan ..” Highlighting the target beneficiaries of their work, he added that “Bagama’t ang paghahanap ng bagong paraan at sistema ng paglikha ay mahalaga sa paglinang ng sining, higit na makabuluhan ang maipamahagi ang mga ito sa iba pang tao lalung-lalo na sa mga kabataan.”

    Dr. Santos also extended his gratitude to prominent artists and leaders who have inspired him immensely such as national artists Dr. Jose Maceda and Dr. Andrea Veneracion, Prof. Aurelio Estanislao, former Dean Ruby Mangahas, and Prof. Sergio Esmilla.

    According to Dr. Santos, he still continues to discover the hidden treasures and wisdom in our identity and culture as a Filipino. He ended with his wish for his countrymen:

    “Sana’y mapagyaman natin ang ating kalinangan at maipagmalaki natin sa buong mundo ang ating karunungan, ang ating kagandahan, at ang ating sariling sining, at pagpapahayag damdamin ng isang bansang puno ng yaman sa wika, sa pananaw, at sa pag-ibig sa Diyos at sa kapwa.”

    The UP College of Music has continuously nurtured the nation’s artists, scholars and teachers, and composers and has produced a number of alumni and faculty who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine musical art, and who were later on declared National Artists for Music. These include Antonio Molina, Antonino Buenaventura, Lucio San Pedro, Felipe de Leon, Andrea Veneracion, Jovita Fuentes, Jose Maceda, Ramon Santos, and Francisco Feliciano.

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    Prof. Eudenice Palaruan conducts the performance of the final piece during the Tribute Concert to National Artists

    UP College of Music dean Dr. Jose Buenconsejo congratulates National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos

    National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos delivers his response to the tribute

    National Artist for Music Dr. Ramon Santos with former colleagues from the UP College of Music
    Prof. Leticia del Valle, Dr. Corazon Dioquino, and former dean Prof. Mauricia Borromeo

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