Festival Director

Festival Director
Dr. Ramón P. Santos – National Artist

Ramón Pagayon Santos (b. 1941) initially trained in Composition and Conducting at the University of the Philippines, and earned his Master of Music (with distinction) and Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University and State University of New York at Buffalo, respectively. He was a full fellow at the Summer Courses in New Music at Darmstadt, Germany, and undertook post-graduate work in Ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois. He has been elected as Member of Honor of the Asian Composers League which he led as Chairman in 1994-1997, as well as elected Vice President of the International Music Council at UNESCO from 2001 to 2005.

As composer, his works have been conceived along concepts and aesthetic frameworks of Philippine and Southeast Asian artistic traditions, featuring elements from western and non-western sources, including various combinations of orchestral instruments, Javanese gamelan, Philippine indigenous instruments, the Philippine rondalla, as well as different styles of vocal production.

He is currently serving as University Professor Emeritus of the UP, President of the Musicological Society of the Philippines, and Executive Director of the UP Center of Ethnomusicology. He was proclaimed National Artist in Music in June 2014.

He is the founder of the “Strings of Unity: International Rondalla/Plucked String Music Festival” created in 2004, during his term as Music Committee Head and Commissioner for the Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in the Philippines.