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Bullumba Landestoy

Dominican pianist and composer Pedro Rafael Landestoy Duluc was born in La Romana on 16 August 1925. He studied with María Siragusa at the Conservatorio de la Nación in Santo Domingo, developing a passion for classical music, and created his first piano piece, Danza Loca, at the age of twenty. (This first piece was later saved for posterity in New York, when another musician wrote it down - something that Bullumba Landestoy wasn't able to do at the time.)

In the early part of his career he wrote mostly pop music - over a hundred songs - but later he focussed his talents on writing music in a classical style, and his output included guitar pieces, piano works and art songs for soprano and piano.

In 1952, after working as a composer and pianist for the radio station run by the brother of the country's dictator, Bullumba was able to escape the Dominican dictatorship, travelling to Mexico and Venezuela, and became recognised abroad. Later he received several awards from the Government of the Dominican Republic.

He worked as a pianist in New York, USA, and then, from 1962 until 1977 he was resident at the San Anotio Abad Monastery (which is also a university) in Humacao, Puerto Rico, where he began a spiritual journey, wrote most of his guitar and piano music, and taught piano, classical guitar and composition.

He then lived the rest of his life in New York but decided that he wanted to die in Santa Domingo. Bullumba Landestoy died on the night of 17 July 2018 in the Dominican Republic, aged ninety-two.

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