Ernani Joson Cuenco

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To read the article in Filipino, please click Ernani Cuenco.

Ernani Joson Cuenco (born 10 May 1936- 1988) was a Filipino composer, film scorer, musical director and music teacher. His works embodied a Filipino sense of musicality. Hailed national artist for music in 1999. He composed songs for various Filipino films like “Bato sa Buhangin and “Gaano Kita Kamahal” - this is the song he made for his wife, Madalena “Nena” Marcial. The latter song showed how Cuenco enriched the love ballad by adding elements of kundiman to it.

Cuenco completed a music degree in piano and cello from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music. He later obtained a master's degree in the same field from Santa Isabel College.

He played with the Filipino Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Manila Symphony Orchestra and the Manila Soloists. He also taught at UST for decades until his death in 1988.

Awards and recognition

  • Best Musical Director, Manila and Quezon City Film Festivals and Filipino Academy of M
  • Most Outstanding Alumnus, UST, 1977


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