World-renowned musician Dr. Raul Sunico on the pursuit of excellent talent in Filipino culture

SAN FRANCISCO — A career that goes back over 40 years — which includes education at the Juilliard School in New York and the University of the Philippines — then on to competitions and recitals around the world, and the recording of multiple albums.

Dr. Raul Sunico cites the pursuit of excellence to his storied musical career.

After serving as the dean of the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music for 14 years, and as a current faculty member, Sunico knows that there is raw talent in the younger generation of Filipinos — it just has to be fostered correctly.

“Filipinos are naturally talented but in general they also have this, what we call, ‘bahala na system’ where, the pursuit of excellence is not as intense as it should be. Because sometimes we are content with what we already have and everything we have is enough, which is really not true.”

Dr. Sunico understands that classical music is not the most popular genre; however, he hopes more of today’s musicians can appreciate its significance.

“Whether it’s pop, jazz, electronic, or rock, whether it’s voice or instrumental the classical method, the classical foundation is very important. As they say, before you break the rules you have to know them first.”

He says that young musicians who hope to be successful in a highly competitive industry must first have that insatiable pursuit of excellence.

“If you have this discipline built in right from the start, at least as far as you are concerned or as far as you can control it, you are ready.”

Following his stop in San Francisco, Dr. Sunico’s next performances will take place in Norway, Bahrain, Japan, and in the Philippines.

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