National Artist for Music (1973)
(December 26, 1894 – January 29, 1980)
Antonio J. Molina, versatile musician, composer, music educator was the last of the musical triumvirate, two of whom were Nicanor Abelardo and Francisco Santiago, who elevated music beyond the realm of folk music. At an early age, he took to playing the violoncello and played it so well it did not take long before he was playing as orchestra soloist for the Manila Grand Opera House. Molina is credited with introducing such innovations as the whole tone scale, pentatonic scale, exuberance of dominant ninths and eleventh cords, and linear counterpoints. As a member of the faculty of the UP Conservatory, he had taught many of the country’s leading musical personalities and educators like Lucresia Kasilag and Felipe de Leon.
Molina’s most familiar composition is Hatinggabi, a serenade for solo violin and piano accompaniment. Other works are (orchestral music) Misa Antoniana Grand Festival Mass, Ang Batingaw, Kundiman- Kundangan; (chamber music) Hating Gabi, String Quartet, Kung sa Iyong Gunita, Pandangguhan; (vocal music) Amihan, Awit ni Maria Clara, Larawan Nitong Pilipinas, among others.