(1889 - 1947)
Santiago was born in
At age seven, he took solfeggio lesssons under an uncle, Matias Magracia, a country violinist, who took him along to haranas or serenades during moonlit nights. But his parents did not like him to be a musician. It was after his father died that he was given open encouragement to study music. He became popular in his hometown as a boy singer in the school and in the church.
completing his elementary education in the public school, he went to
In 1908, his first composition, Purita, was dedicated to the first Carnival Queen, Mis Pura Villanueva, who later married the distinguished scholar Teodoro M. Kalaw.
1912, he won first prize in musical contest sponsored by Teodoro M. Kalaw. In
the same year, he won a first prize in a musical contest entitled Oxipator
(Waltz) sponsored by Yangco firm. A year later he made a zarzuela entitled
Margaritang Mananahi. In 1914, he was lured to accept a job abroad, directing
an orchestra in
September 1916, he was taken in as an instructor while working in the
conservatory. He composed what is now the classic Anak ng Dalita. He enrolled
at the Conservatory taking courses under Director George and others. In the
same year, he fell in love with a young student who was enrolled in voice
culture by the name of Concepcion Ocampo. In 1919, he composed a song entitled
Ave Maria and dedicated it to her. As he was getting more stable economically,
he made a decision to get married. He and Concepcion were wedded at
He was first to take a post graduate course in music and was the first to give a post graduate recital in piano forte in 1921 at the Conservatory.
New director (Schofield) of the Conservatory of Music saw that
Dr. Santiago returned to the UP conservatory of Music. Dr. Alexander Lippay, the director of the school took notice of his talent and immediately promoted him to assistant professor, making him head of the piano department. He taught advanced composition among other subjects.
then won first prize in two national contests namely, Himno al Cristo Rey
(1928) and Himno del Congreso Eucaristico Nacional
(1929) which he considered the greatest moment of his life, more significant
than the honor he received in
the UP Board of Regents did not renew Dr. Lippay’s contract,
In 1935, he was named full professor and director of the Conservatory of Music.
During the Japanese occupation in 1943, he had a heart attach and suffered from paralysis which incapacitated him.