Nicanor Santa Ana Abelardo
February 7, 1893 - March 21, 1934
Birth Place: San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan
Father: Valentin Abelardo
Mother: Placida Santa Ana
The master and most famous composer of kundimans earned his teacher’s certificate in science and composition from the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music. He went on to receive his bachelor and master of music degrees from the Chicago Musical College in the early 1930s. The beginnings of his musical career were influenced by such mentors as: Jose Silos for bandurria; Maestro Capazzi, voice culture; Jose A. Estrella, piano; Victorino Carreon, voice; and Bonfacio Abdon, violin. His “Concerto in B Flat for Piano and Orchestra” was the first to use Filipino folk melodies or themes. Thus, it was the first truly Filipino concerto written in the context of Philippine musical history. His kundimans raised local compositions to new heights of contemplative delight by fusing music and poetry.
When he died in 1934, he was already known as the “Father of the Sonata Form in the Philippines.”