World renowned and multi-awarded Filipino concert pianist Dr. Raul Sunico gave a well-applauded piano concert on 7 June at the Concert Hall of Mozarthaus Vienna. The event was organized jointly by the Philippine Embassy in Vienna led by H.E. Ambassador Evangelina Lourdes A. Bernas and the Philippine-Austrian Cultural and Educational Society (PACES).

The programme showcased Dr. Sunico’s impressive talent with his arrangements of Filipino tunes by Ernani Cuenco and Constancio de Guzman, Spanish tunes, and compositions for the piano by Chopin, Liszt, and Wagner, with a rousing finale of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The enthralled audience included members of the Filipino community in Vienna and as far away as Gmunden, and Austrian friends of PACES and the Philippine Embassy, who packed the vaulted basement concert hall in a historical building in Vienna’s first district, where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived and composed music for almost three years

Dr. Sunico is currently on a concert tour in Europe. He graduated from the University of the Philippines with the degrees of Bachelor of Music (cum laude), Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, and Master of Statistics, as well as Master of Music of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, major in Piano Performance from the New York University. Among his numerous awards, he won the silver medal in the 1979 Viotti International Piano Competition in Vercelli, Italy, was a finalist in the 1979 Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy and received the Henry Cowell Prize in the 1980 University of Maryland International Piano Competition in the United States.

His accolades include a TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines) Award for Music in 1986, and a 1996 PAMANA Presidential Award for Overseas Filipinos. He was conferred the Commendatore Award (Order of the Star of Italy) by the President of the Republic of Italy in April 2017. Sunico was the President of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) from 2010 to 2017,

Dr. Sunico and PACES share the same passion for promoting education. He is currently the Chairman of the Doctoral Studies Program of St. Paul College of Music and the Performing Arts in Manila, and is a faculty member of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music where he was the Dean from 2002 – 2016. He is currently the music author of the textbook series “Musika at Sining” for grades 3 to 6 used in public schools in the Philippines.

PACES recently released the eligibilty criteria for its PACES STEM Scholarships in the Philippines.
Information on how to donate towards these scholarships can be found here.

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More news and photos in by Mag. Hector Pascua 

— By Dr. Efren Abaya