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Alberto Ginastera

'The great white hope of Argentinian music' - Aaron Copland


Born 11 April 1916 in Buenos Aires was composer Alberto Ginastera, who began writing when very young, but later destroyed his very early works. He studied with Copland at Tanglewood and travelled widely. He composed at first in a nationalistic style, later influenced by European stylistic obsessions. He labelled his own output into three periods - objective nationalism (the direct use of Argentinian folk elements), subjective nationalism (popular music used for structural purposes but not quoted directly) and neo-expressionism (a personal style of avant-garde, similar to that of Alban Berg, and using twelve-tone and random techniques). Ginastera's three operas (Don Rodrigo, Bomarzo and Beatrix Cenci) had success in America and Europe, although they alluded to sex and violence and caused some scandal. He was the first Director (1962) of the Latin-American Centre for Advanced Musical Studies. Widely regarded as Argentina's finest composer, he moved to Switzerland in 1969 and lived until 25 June 1983.


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