Raul Sunico (File photo by Audrie Julienne D. Bernas)

Raul Sunico, renowned pianist and former UST Conservatory of Music dean, won the inaugural National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) SUDI Award, announced on Aug. 21.

According to the NCCA, SUDI is a national music award that aims to recognize “outstanding contributions of Filipino musical works, creators, institutions and researchers across genres and modes of productions with the highest standard and artistic excellence.”

The name of the award, SUDI, was derived from the Ilokano adjective that means illustrious, renowned, celebrated and famous.

The 18 winners of the music award were grouped into two decades: 2000 to 2009 and 2010 to 2020.

Sunico was included in the 2000-2009 bracket, joining Benicio Sokkong, Carmencita Guanzon Arambulo, 98.7 DZFE-FM “The Master’s Touch,” Grace Nono, José Iñigo Homer Lacambra Ayala, Loboc Children’s Choir, Josefino Toledo, and the UP Singing Ambassadors.

Recipients for the 2010 to 2020 decade were Acapellago, Ateneo Chamber Singers, Ebe Dancel, Gerard Salonga, Aristotle Pollisco (Gloc-9), Jonathan Manalo, Noel Cabangon, Rak of Aegis, Philippine Madrigal Singers, and The 70’s Bistro Bar.

Sunico was the president of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from 2010 to 2017 and dean of the UST Conservatory from 2002 to 2016.

Sunico has won several local and international awards for music, including the silver medal in the Viotti International Piano Competition in 1979, the “Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines” award for music in 1986, “Best Male Classical Instrumentalist” in the 2005 Aliw Awards, and the Gawad CCP para sa Sining Award in 2020.

Sunico graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines College of Music. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in statistics.

He was a scholar of former first lady Imelda Marcos, who sent him to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York where he finished his postgraduate studies in music.

Sunico teaches piano at the Conservatory. Nolene Beatrice H. Crucillo


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