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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Classical Music of Antonio J. Molina

Antonio J. Molina (1894-1980), acknowledged as "dean of Filipino composers" is in his time. He is a musician, composer and educator. He is one of the triumvirate in Filipino music together with Nicanor Abelardo and Francisco Santiago, who elevated Philippine music beyond the realm of folk music. He was a recipient of National Artist of the Philippines  for music category in 1973.

He took his lessons in violin and solfeggio to Celestino de Vera , a member of his father's orchestra at early age an later became a member of the said orchestra. He obtained his  Bachelor of Arts in 1909 at San Juan de Letran. He also studied architectural design, landscape sketching and decorative freehand drawing in Letran. He took also law to follow the wish of his father and finish in senior year. He obtained his teacher's diploma in violoncello at University of the Philippines Conservatory of music in 1923. He was acknowledged as an eminent  violoncellist, composer, conductor, teacher and music administrator after graduation. Antonio Molina was appointed as faculty member of the UP Conservatory of Music in 1924.

During World War II, he taught music appreciation and choral singing at the St. Luke's Hospital Nursing School and served as consultant in music education at Bureau of Public Schools. In 1946 after the war, he was the guest conductor of the Manila Concert Orchesta during its performance at Malacanang Palace. In 1947, he served as faculty member of University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. In 1948, he was assigned as musical director of Centro Escolar University until 1970 which made him dean emeritus after his retirement.

His composition is over 500, with "Hatinggabi", the most popular them is a serenade for solo violin and piano accompaniment. Other works are (orchestral music) Misa Antoniana Grand Festival Mass, Ang Batingaw, Kundiman-Kundangan; (chamber music) Hatinggabi, String Quartet, Kung sa Iyong Gunita, Pandangguhan; (vocal music) Amihan, Awit ni Maria Clara, Larawan Nitong Pilipinas and among others.

He is the recipient of various awards and citations such as diploma of honor, Manila Music Lovers Society, 1940; "Choral Conductor of the Year", "Music Researcher of the Year", Music Lovers Society, 1949; Araw ng Maynila Award in music, 1969; Republic Cultural Heritage Award in 1965 and 1972 and in June 12 1973, the most coveted National Artist of the Philippines.

1st half by Rachmaninoff followed by "Hatinggabi" of Antonio J. Molina : 

Here is Antonio J. Molina "Hatinggabi", by Toti Alvarez in Piano: 

Here is Antonio J. Molina "Hatinggabi", played by his nephew in guitar:

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