Lucio San Pedro, National Artist for Music

by Freeway, 2013
Lucio San Pedro Biography

Lucio San Pedro, born in Angono, Rizal on February 11, 1913 was a great Filipino composer, conductor and teacher. He is popular for his contributions to the field of Philippine music such as the lullaby “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan”, made with another National Artist for Music, Levi Celerio, and the symphonic poem “Lahing Kayumanggi”. He composed many different types of music including symphonic, band, vocal, choral, theater, chamber and movie, all which boasts Filipino pride and soul. His popular works include orchestral music The Devil’s BridgeMalakas at Maganda OverturePrelude and Fugue in D minor and Hope and Ambition; choral music Easter CantataSa Mahal Kong Bayan and Rizal’s Valedictory Poem; vocal music LulayIn the Silence of the Night; and band music Dance of the FairiesTriumphal March and Angononian March.

No stranger to the music world since birth, Lucio belonged to a family with strong musical influences. During his late teen years, he became a church organist and started composing songs, hymns and two complete masses for voice and orchestra. After studying under different musicians in the Philippines, he proceeded to the Julliard School of Music in New York City as a scholar and learned advanced composition under Bernard Wagenaar in 1947. He also studied harmony and orchestration under Vittorio Giannini.

Apart from composing music, Lucio also developed a passion for teaching. He taught composition in numerous conservatories and universities such as Ateneo de Manila University, Centro Escolar University Conservatory of Music and at the University of the Philippines College of Music, where he became Chairman of its Composition and Conducting Department from 1970 to 1973. He retired as a professor in 1978 and received the title of Professor Emeritus in UP the following year.

His numerous works, influences and contributions to Philippine music led to the proclamation of Lucio San Pedro as a National Artist of the Philippines for Music on May 9, 1991 by President Corazon Aquino. He died at the age of 89 on March 31, 2002 due to cardiac arrest, and is buried in his hometown of Angono.