Argentinian Composer | April 1916 – June 1983
Alberto Ginastera was the leading Argentinian composer of the twentieth century. He was born in Buenos Aires in 1916 and studied music privately as a child, later enrolling at the National Conservatoire of Music in his home city.
In 1946–47, Ginastera spent a year in the United States on a Guggenheim fellowship, joining the teaching staff of the National Conservatory upon his return home. He was later the Dean of the Faculty of Musical Arts and Sciences at the Catholic University. His first opera, Don Rodrigo, was premiered to immediate acclaim in 1966 and was soon followed by two others, Bomarzo (1967) and Beatrix Cenci (1971).) In 1969, finding himself out of sympathy with the prevailing political climate in Argentina, Ginastera left the country, settling in Geneva.
In the early 1950s, the nationalist element in his music gradually lost its dominance, and more explicitly modernist characteristics began to make their presence felt in what Ginastera called his ‘neo-expressionistic period’. He actively adopted the twelve-tone technique and his works also incorporated microtones and polytonality. By the time of his death, on June 25, 1983, his modernism had softened, and he began to look again at the tonality and folk-music inflexions of his early output.
*Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes