Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rufino Soliano: Farewell To A Singapore Music Icon

3,330+   readers 
since posting day

Condolences To His Family:

This great music man passed away this morning, according to his nephew James R. Keasberry who made the announcement on my Facebook post:

"It is with sadness to say that Rufino Soliano passed away peacefully early this morning."
"Rufino Soliano (10 January 1932 - 23 April, 2017 Singapore) was an accomplished musician, composer and conductor. He was the former head of the now-defunct Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) Orchestra.

Soliano had been active in the local music scene as a violinist, drummer and percussionist from a young age. Subsequently, he took on music arrangement, composing and conducting. In 2013, at the age of 81, Soliano released his debut album of 12 original songs. Stephanie Ho NLB, Singapore Infopedia."

"I teach them how to feel the music, how to be passionate about music. You can learn all the music theories in the world, but it's not enough if you play without love and passion - Rufino Soliano, Lifestyle STP."
Hands: Gift of a Generation -- Mr Rufino Soliano. Video from: irememberSG. Thank you.

In the 70's and 80's big names performed in Singapore. These included Shirley Bassey, Matt Monroe, Johnny Ray, Buddy Rich, Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis Jr. Mr Soliano was very active then and learnt much from the experience when he accompanied these super stars.

"This posting has been set up in respect of a well-known and well-loved musician, who was always in the background. He was on drums but he was an establishment in himself and I will always envision him as such. 

His name reminds me of the big RTS band that I used to watch when television was in its infancy in Singapore and when it was such a joy to see Mr Soliano performing on the small black and white screen. He was part of this team that thrilled and entertained audiences who lived in the 60's.

You deserve that big holiday in heaven, Rufino. May you rest in peace - 
Andy Lim."
Images: Google and Lifestyle - Straits Times Press, Singapore.
Video: You Tube irememberSG.

If there are copyrights issues, write to me and I shall delete this posting. Thank you.



Goodbye old friend. We had some great moments those past years. Now get on that flight to heaven and join that big band.


Rufino Soliano was a household name in the 50's. His other nephew Louis Soliano is also a big hit.

May Rufino Soliano Rest In Peace.

YUSNOR EF said...

Thank you for your info. To me the late Rufino was a great musician and very committed with his work. I and the late Kassim Masdor used to work closely with him during our recording with EMI and Mr Kassim's and my company: Senada Recording Company.

One of the great men in the Malay music industry too.

My condolences to his family.


My condolences to the Suliano family.. RIP Rufino


Rufino was a great drummer.I remembered he was the judge in the Gene Krupa drummer contest in which Louis emerged as the winner.He was the drummer for the RTS Orchestra.


I remember doing some TV variety shows back than it was called RTS (Radio
Television Singapore). Yes, He was the resident drummer.


Condolences from:
Irene Hoe Choo Wai Hong Andrew Liew Robert Liew Larry Lai Archie Ong

chakap chakap said...

500+ views since the announcement was posted late morning. This number is a record for any announcement or article published.

HORACE WEE said...

Rufi's request was no sad or morose tunes, eg: Nearer My God, Just A Closer Walk, etc. Just happy tunes. And musicians alive still sould play at his wake.

His brother Frisco flies in from Perth on Tuesday with his son Alphonso, who wants to play at Rufi's funeral mass.

I used to play in those Kassim Masdor's sessions at EMI as well.

chakap chakap said...

1,056 readers in less than 24 hours, one of the quickest viewed postings on this blog today.

chakap chakap said...

He composed and arranged music throughout his career.

(1) A winning composition for the ASEAN theme music competition in 1971 with fellow RTS musician Valentine Ortega.

(2) A march for the NTUC as well as the opening theme, “Let’s Celebrate”, for Asian Broadcasting Union song contest.

(3) In 1988 National Day Awards, Soliano was honoured with the Efficiency Medal.

(4) The Long Service Award in 1992. He retired in 1995.

(5) In 1998, one of three winners of the Artistic Excellence Award given by the Composers and Authors Society of Singapore in recognition of his contributions to Singapore music.

(6) In 2013, launched his debut album, 'Endlessly', with 12 compositions (Latin music). Songs named after family members.

(7) In 2014, with his own music arrangements and daughters' hard work, they organised a tribute concert with musician colleagues of his and members of his extended family at the Drama Centre (NLB).

This list may be incomplete. Please advice or add in by sending comments to this page.
Edited and summarised.

chakap chakap said...

The readers of this posting stand at 1490+ now @ 4.35 pm Singapore time) on 24/04/17.


Hi Andy, Rufino, Lious Soliano, Reynaldo Lachica, Otegas and other members of the then RTS with whom my dad played with very often - I saw them often. Cheerio

ABEL TAN said...

God bless Rufino, may he rest in peace


A truest handsome man and a great drummer and fine musician of RTS.RIP Rufino

FACEBOOK said...

Condolences from:
Leslie Wilson Joseph
Ann Rowena Lim
Merlin Lim
Richard Danker
Joe Peters
John Cher
Clement Gomez
Jalani Mohamed
James R. Keasberry
Chan Wong-on
William Tan
Rose Khoo
David Lim
Mohamad Sungkai
Davychandavy Chan

FACEBOOK said...

Condolences from:
Penny Koh
Raymond Cho
David Chen
Peter Lim
Kong Kim Pah
Charlie Yap Locomotion
Martin Ong
Ivor Lesslar
Jimmy Appudurai-chua
James Seah
Cora Loh
Irene Yap
Richard Danker
Sam Quah
Joseph Goh

and those whose names have been inadvertently left out. Apologies.

PETER LIM said...

I remember Rufino Soliano with his RTS Orchestra well... in those early days of Singapore television music programmes ... feel like just not too long ago...ahhh. .how time flies!!


RIP Rufi and may eternal light shine upon you.