Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15th through October 15th. Here at KBACH, we’ll be highlighting the contributions of Hispanic and Latin American composers and performers throughout the month-long celebration. Here are several of the composers you'll get to know ...
Tomás Luis de Victoria (c. 1548 - 1611) was the most important 16th century Spanish composer. He was an important part of the Counter-Reformation. His late Renaissance sacred choral music is often considered the best of its time. Officium Defunctorum is perhaps his best and most famous work.
Pauline Viardot (1821 - 1910)
A French mezzo-soprano and composer of Spanish descent, Viardot was known for her wide vocal range and her skill composing for voice. On KBACH, you can hear Cecilia Bartoli's recording of Viardot's, "Hai luli."
Teresa Carreño (1857 - 1917)
A Venezualan pianist, soprano, composer, and conductor, Carreño became known as the "Valkyrie of the Piano." Composers Amy Beach and Edward MacDowell dedicated compositions for piano to her. In the 1860s, Carreño toured the United States, even playing at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln.
Isaac Albéniz (1860 - 1909) was among the most important of post-Romantic Era composers. He was a virtuoso pianist but you'll often hear his music played on guitar. Arguably his most important work is his Suite española.
Enrique Granados (1867 - 1916) wrote the always popular 12 Spanish Dances. As with other Hispanic and Latin American composers, his works for solo piano are often performed on guitar.
Manuel Ponce (1882 - 1948) was a Mexican composer and scholar of traditional Mexican music and folklore. Start with his Scherzino Mexicano. Originally written for solo piano, it's most often performed with guitar.
Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887 - 1959) was a Brazilian composer, conductor, cellist, and classical guitarist. He remains one of South America's best-known composers. His Bachianas Brasileiras have always been popular.
Silvestre Revueltas (1899 - 1940) studied at the National Conservatory in Mexico City and at the Chicago College of Music. His Sensemayá, based on the poem by Nicolás Guillén, is a fascinating, hypnotic work.
Clotilde Arias (1901 - 1959)
Born on the shores of the Amazon, Arias became popular in Peru for her song, "Huirachoca." She also translated the Star-Spangled Banner into lyrical Spanish, a commission from the U.S. Department of State.
Joaquín Rodrigo (1901 - 1999), a Spanish composer and virtuoso pianist, never quite mastered the guitar, despite writing some of the 20th century's most important works for guitar, including Concierto Aranjuez and Fantasy for a Gentleman.
Alberto Ginastera (1916 - 1983) was an Argentinian composer. He studied with Aaron Copland and taught Astor Piazzolla. Check out his Cinco canciones populares argentinas.
Antonio Lauro (1917 - 1986) was a Venezuelan composer who wrote some of the 20th century's best music for guitar. If you enjoy a good waltz, listen to his Valses venezolanos.
Astor Piazzolla (1921 - 1992) was born in Argentina but soon moved to Greenwich Village with his family. Later, he returned to Argentina to study classical composition. His Four Seasons of Buenos Aires is a modern masterpiece.
Leo Brouwer (1939 - ) is a Cuban composer, conductor, and classical guitarist. He's written music for the concert hall (Cuban Landscape With Rain) and the movie theater (Like Water For Chocolate).
Gabriela Lena Frank (1972 - )
Drawing on her multicultural heritage, Frank, a contemporary American classical composer, often infuses her works with the sounds of Latin American instruments. Several major orchestras have performed her music. Listen for the Sphinx Virtuosi's recordings of Frank on KBACH.