Pianist Cecile Licad won the Leventritt Award, one of classical music's highest honors for a young player, in 1980. She went on to a career that is international in scope. Licad was born in Manila on May 11, 1961. Her family was musical; her uncle Francisco Buencamino was a noted composer and pianist. She began piano lessons with her mother at three but soon outgrew those and was driven by her father, with classical music playing on the radio, for lessons with top Filipino teacher Rosario Picazo. At seven, Licad made her debut with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. Parental pressure included bribes with cigarettes if she would practice; Licad took up smoking at 11. She caught the attention of Filipino leader Ferdinand Marcos and received government support for study in the U.S. At 12, she auditioned for the flabbergasted Rudolf ...
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