(b Morong, Rizal, 19 Feb 1941). Filipino composer and conductor. After music tuition from his father Maximiano, a brass band leader, pianist and organist, he studied at the University of the Philippines Conservatory of Music (BM 1965, MMus 1969), the Hochschule der Künste and Kirchenmusikschule, both in Berlin (1977), and Yale University (MMA 1980, DMA 1984). His teachers included Pajaro, Isang Yun, Heinz Werner Zimmermann and Penderecki. His mature works are strongly influenced by Yun, who introduced him to concepts of East Asian music such as the organic character of single tones and the importance of colour. He applied his close study of the instrumentation techniques of contemporary European music in the orchestral works Fragments (1976), Die Verklärung Christi (1976) and Variationen über ein Gestalt (1977). After returning to the Philippines he composed a number of large-scale theatre works, Yerma (1982), a ballet, La loba negra (1984), a grand opera, and the music dramas Sikhay sa Kabila ng Palaam (1993) and Ashen Wings (1995). The conductor of the Philippine PO from 1981 to 1988, he has been a guest conductor with orchestras including the Moscow State SO, the Chicago SO and the New Zealand SO. He founded and became president of Samba Likhaan (the Asian School of Music Workshop and the Arts), an institution devoted to Christian liturgical practice through the use of Asian arts. His writings on music include Four Asian Contemporary Composers: the Influence of Tradition in their Works (Quezon City, 1983), in which he discusses the music of Chou Wen-chung, Yun, Takemitsu and Maceda.
Dramatic: Yerma (ballet), 1982; La loba negra (op, 3), 1984; Sikhay sa kabila ng palaam (music drama, L. Puyot), 1993; Ashen Wings (music drama), 1995
Inst: Fragments, orch, 1976; Die Verklärung Christi, orch, 1977; Variationen über ein Gestalt, orch, 1977; Pagdakila sa kordilyera, sym. poem, orch, 1988; Siya kuno, wind qnt, 1991; Voices and Images, sym. orch, 1992
(b Bari, c1550; d probably Bari, after 25 Sept 1603). Italian composer and priest. He may have been a pupil of F.A. Baseo at Lecce, since his earliest published work appeared in Baseo’s first book of five-voice madrigals (RISM 157316). Three pieces by Felis were included in a collection of three-voice villanellas alla napolitana by Barinese composers published in 1574 (15745-6). The Primo libro de madrigali a sei voci (1579) describes Felis as maestro di cappella to Antonio Puteo, Archbishop of Bari. He held the same position at Bari Cathedral, where he remained from at least 1583 until 1585. G.B. Pace and G.D. Vopa studied with Felis during this period, publishing a madrigal anthology (158530), in which together with two other composers Felis is highly praised for his contribution to the musical life of Bari. Some time after 10 May 1585 he went to Prague, where he again entered the service of Antonio Puteo, recently appointed papal nuncio to the emperor. While in Prague Felis issued his first book of masses, and, as the dedication of his Sesto libro de madrigali indicates, became acquainted with Philippe de Monte. He returned to Italy at the end of 1590, and in 1591 was appointed maestro di cappella at Naples Cathedral. By 1596 he had returned to his native city, where he held a canonry at Bari Cathedral.
Felis’s style ranges from the lighthearted villanella to the contrapuntal complexity of Netherlandish polyphony. Einstein placed him in the circle of musicians surrounding Gesualdo; although it is true that he was well acquainted with the works of the Neapolitan school, his style seems to have little in common with theirs. Much of his music is lost.