1 minute read

Alberto Ginastera: 1916-1983: Argentine Composer Biography

Composed Ballet Scores, Employed Serial Technique, Married Argentine Cellist

Alberto Ginastera: 1916-1983: Argentine composer.

"His music drew nourishment from folklore but was cast in an advanced harmonic idiom," wrote music historian Joseph Machlis of composer Alberto Ginastera in his book Introduction to Contemporary Music. Ginastera integrated powerful musical symbols of Argentine identity with highly complex European and American compositional trends. Over his nearly 50-year career, he gained international critical acclaim and, as contemporary composers often failed to do, found substantial audiences for his music. Many observers consider him the greatest Latin American composer of the post-World War II era.

Of Catalonian and Italian descent, Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on April 11, 1916. He showed musical talent from a very early age. "One day I went into the kitchen and played on all the pots and pans and other things I could get, to make a kitchen orchestra," he told the Washington Post. "I was spanked. They did not know then that what I was playing had in it the roots of Panambí and Estancia"—two of the early compositions that put Ginastera on the musical map. Ginastera's parents signed him up for piano lessons when he was seven and enrolled him at the Williams Conservatory in Buenos Aires in 1928.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) Biography