National Artist for Music (1988)
(May 4, 1904 – January 25, 1996)
Antonino R. Buenaventura vigorously pursued a musical career that spanned seven decades of unwavering commitment to advancing the frontiers of Philippine music. In 1935, Buenaventura joined Francisca Reyes-Aquino to conduct research on folksongs and dances that led to its popularization. Buenaventura composed songs, compositions, for solo instruments as well as symphonic and orchestral works based on the folksongs of various Philippine ethnic groups. He was also a conductor and restored the Philippine Army Band to its former prestige as one of the finest military bands in the world making it “the only band that can sound like a symphony orchestra”.
This once sickly boy who played the clarinet proficiently has written several marches such as the “Triumphal March,” “Echoes of the Past,” “History Fantasy,” Second Symphony in E-flat, “Echoes from the Philippines,” “Ode to Freedom.” His orchestral music compositions include Concert Overture, Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, Philippines Triumphant, Mindanao Sketches, Symphony in C Major, among others.