Antonio Jesus Molina
December 26, 1894 - January 29, 1980
Birth Place: Quiapo, Manila
Father: Juan Molina
Mother: Simeona Naguiat
National Artist for Music, 1973
Antonio Molina took solfeggio and violin lessons from Bibiano Morales, Celestino de Vera, and Leon Ignacio. He received his teacher’s diploma in violoncello from the UP Conservatory of Music and bachelor of arts from San Juan de Letran College before taking up law at the Manila Law School and UST. But music was his life’s work, being the son of music patron Don Juan Molina, founder of an orchestra bearing his surname. Molina was the first composer invited to perform his own works at Malacañang Palace in 1931, when George Butte was the acting governor general of the Philippines. He conducted the first Philippine performances of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” in 1947 and Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” in 1950. He also wielded the baton during the first choral concert ever presented on Philippine television in 1953, featuring the CEU Conservatory Chorus. He was bestowed the Republic Cultural Heritage Award twice (in 1965 and 1972), a doctor of laws, honoris causa, by the CEU, the Araw ng Maynila Award in Music in 1969, and the National Artist Award for Music in 1973.