TO MAKE the UST Conservatory of Music a foremost venue for the cultural advancement in our country is the vision of the newly appointed dean of the Conservatory of Music, Raul Sunico, an acclaimed pianist based in New York.

“I want to see the day when the Conservatory leads the way towards the Renaissance here in our country,” said world-class pianist Sunico who succeeded Dean Erlinda Fule.

Aside from that, Sunico plans to revise and update the curriculum of the Conservatory. He would like to add computer courses and modify the syllabus in order to meet global standards of education.

He added that he would like to elevate the standard of the Conservatory as a performing and researching institution and make it more relevant to the cultural needs of the society. The Conservatory of Music is a center of excellence in Musical education as named by the Commission on Higher Education.

“Elevating the standards of the conservatory could not be made possible without the cooperation of the students. I want them to know that I am sincere in trying to attain this goal,” Sunico said.

A graduate of Bachelor in Piano from the University of the Philippines, Sunico also finished Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Master of Statistics also from UP. He obtained his Master’s in Music from the Julliard School in New York through a scholarship grant from the Young Artists Foundations of the Philippines.

He became a special student in UST in 1974 under Benjamin Tupaz, who gave him the scholarship.

“Now is the time to come back and serve the country. I want to share the knowledge I acquired from New York and contribute not only to UST but also to the culture of our country,” he said.

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V is for Victory

Among the international awards Sunico received were the Henry Cowell Prize from the University of Maryland International Piano Competition in USA and the silver medal in the VIOTTI International Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy. He was also a recipient of the finalist diploma in the Busoni International Competition in Bolzano, Italy.

Locally, he was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 1986. He received the Presidential Award for Overseas Filipinos in 1996, the Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Award by the City of Manila in 1997 and the Katha Award for Best Instrumental Solo Recording in 1999.

In addition to performing and recording, Sunico has embarked on a series of projects in music education. This includes the five-volume series Philippine folk songs Himig, songs of the Philippine Revolution of 1896-1898, and the book series titled Mga Awit ng Himagsikan. Girard R. Carbonell

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