February 7, 1893|
San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan, Philippines
|Died||March 21, 1934(aged 41)|
Nicanor Abelardo was born in San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan. His mother belonged to a family of artists in Guagua, the Henson. He was introduced to music when he was five years old when his father taught him the solfeggio and the banduria. Abelardo completed his first composition, a waltz entitled "Ang Unang Buko" dedicated to his grandmother, at the age of eight. By the age of thirteen, he was playing at saloons and cabarets in Manila, and by fifteen, he was teaching at barrio schools in San Ildefonso and San Miguel in Bulacan.
In 1916, Abelardo entered the University of the Philippines Coservatory of Music, taking courses under Guy F. Harrison and Robert Scholfield. During his studies, he composed the melody of the university's official anthem, U.P. Naming Mahal. After earning a teacher's certificate in science and composition in 1921, he was appointed head of the composition department at the Conservatory in 1924. Years later, he ran a boarding school for young musicians, among which were Antonino Vuenaventura, Alfredo Lozano, and Lucino Sacramento.
Abelardo died in 1934 at the age of 41, leaving behind a collection of roughly 140 compositions.  He is known for redefining the kundiman, bringing the form to art-song status. Notable among his works are 'Nasaan Ka Irog," "Magbalik Ka Hirang," and "Himutok."
- 1937 - Nasaan ka, Irog (music)
- 1937 - Bituing Marikit (Sampaguita) (music)
- 2013 - The Songs of Nicanor Abelardo, featuring baritone Joseph Legaspi, tenor William Lim, soprano Katrina Saporsantos, and pianist Benjamin Dia.
- E. Epistola, Nicanor Abelardo, The Man and the Artist, 1996.
- First Nocturne - on YouTube 
- Nicanor Abelardo bio
- Language Poetry and Drama in the Art Music of Nicanor Abelardo