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September 25, 2014

NCCA Mourns Demise of Francisco Feliciano, National Artist for Music

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), headed by its chairman Felipe M. De Leon Jr., joins the arts and culture community and the whole nation in bereavement for the passing of conductor, composer and National Artist for music Francisco Feliciano.

Born in February 19, 1941, Feliciano died in the morning of September 19, 2014. His remains were brought to the Holy Angels Memorial Park Chapel in Morong, Rizal, and were transferred last Sunday to the Loyola Memorial Chapels and Crematorium along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, and will be there until Wednesday evening, September 24.

One of Asia’s leading figures in liturgical music, Dr. Feliciano had composed hundreds of liturgical pieces, mass settings, hymns, and songs for worship. He had also created more than 30 major works that include operas and music dramas including La Loba Negra, Ashen Wings, Sikhay Sa Kabila ng Paalam (Beyond the Farewell), and one on the life of wartime Filipino hero, Jose Abad Santos. Among his large works are Transfiguration and Missa Mysterium for orchestra and large chorus, the ballet Yerma, and several prize winning compositions including “Pokpok Alimpako,” a favorite piece of choirs in international choral competitions, and “Salimbayan.”

At the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music, a school for church musicians he founded 20 years ago, he supervised the publication of a new Asian hymnal containing mostly works of Asian composers. Dr. Feliciano’s works are published worldwide in hymnals and worship books of various churches. He was an active clinician, having conducted workshops on creative music writing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany. Dr. Feliciano had been invited to conduct the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Moscow State Symphony, as well as orchestras in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Japan.

In 1977, Dr. Feliciano was given a John D. Rockefeller III Award in Music Composition. This year, he was named a National Artist for music. A formal awarding is yet to transpire.

A special mass will be held in his honor at the St. Andrew’s Theological Seminary Chapel along E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue in Quezon City. The NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines are planning a necrological service for the National Artist, date of which will be announced later.

 For more information, contact the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057; or email us at

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