Cecile Licad

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Cecile Buencamino Licad is a classical and concert pianist. Considered a virtuoso, she is the first Filipina pianist to win in an international competition.

Early Life

Born on 11 May 1961 in Manila, she began her piano studies at the age of three with her mother, Rosario Licad, and later became the personal scholar of Rosario Picazo at the University of the East (UE) School of Music and Arts. At the age of seven, she made her debut as soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Philippines.


Licad's repertoire as an orchestral soloist ranges from the classical repertoire of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven to the Romantic literature of Johannes Brahms, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Robert Schumann and Sergei Rachmaninoff to the modern works of Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev and Béla Bartók. She received the "Most Outstanding Student" Award.

As one of the youngest musicians to receive the prestigious Leventritt Gold Medal in 1981, Cecile won international recognition which caused her regular appearances with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Her summer festival appearances have included Tanglewood, the International Music Festival of Seattle, Mostly Mozart Festival (in both New York and Tokyo) and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In Europe she has played with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bayerisches Rundfunk Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; in Asia, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, New Japan Philharmonic, Tokyo’s NHK Symphony and her native Philippine Philharmonic.

She is also recognized as an accomplished chamber musician. She has made television appearances with Mstislav Rostropovich and has performed regularly with ensembles such as the New York Chamber Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra]], [[Guarneri Quartet, Takács Quartet, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Music from Marlboro. She also appeared as guest soloist on a European tour with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Cecile Licad has performed in recital with Murray Perahia, Peter Serkin and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, with whom she has appeared at Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C.. She performs regularly with cellist Alban Gerhardt, performing throughout Europe and the United States, including at the Frick Collection in New York City.

She appears as soloist in the Steinway Piano Sesquicentennial Celebration at Carnegie Hall in June 2003 performing six Rachmaninoff Songs with operatic tenor Ben Heppner.

She released a CD of works by Maurice Ravel (Le tombeau de Couperin, Gaspard de la Nuit, and Sonatine) on the MusicMasters label and a CD of works by Gottschalk on the Naxos label.


  • 1986 - Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service or TOWNS Award
  • 1987 - Ten Outstanding Young Men TOYM Awards in 1987
  • 1991 - Presidential Award of Merit
  • 1994 - Gawad CCP sa Sining




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