Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (April 11, 1916 – June 25, 1983) was an Argentinian composer of classical music. He is considered to be one of the most important 20th-century classical composers of the Americas.
Ginastera was born in Buenos Aires to a Spanish father and an Italian mother. During his later years, he preferred to use the Catalan and Italian pronunciation of his surname – IPA: [dʒinasˈteɾa], with an initial soft ‘G’ like that of English ‘George’ – rather than with a Spanish ‘J’ sound (IPA: [xinasˈteɾa]).
Ginastera studied at the Williams Conservatory in Buenos Aires, graduating in 1938. As a young professor, he taught at the Liceo Militar General San Martín. After a visit to the United States in 1945–47, where he studied with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood, he returned to Buenos Aires. He held a number of teaching posts. Among his notable students were Ástor Piazzolla (who studied with him in 1941), Alcides Lanza, Jorge Antunes, Waldo de los Ríos, Jacqueline Nova, Blás Atehortua, Rafael Aponte-Ledée. See: List of music students by teacher: G to J#Alberto Ginastera.
In 1968 Ginastera moved back to the United States, and in 1970 to Europe. He died in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of 67 and was buried in the Cimetière des Rois there.
Ginastera grouped his music into three periods: “Objective Nationalism” (1934–1948), “Subjective Nationalism” (1948–1958), and “Neo-Expressionism” (1958–1983). Among other distinguishing features, these periods vary in their use of traditional Argentine musical elements. His Objective Nationalistic works often integrate Argentine folk themes in a straightforward fashion, while works in the later periods incorporate traditional elements in increasingly abstracted forms.
Many of Ginastera’s works were inspired by the Gauchesco tradition. This tradition holds that the gaucho, or landless native horseman of the plains, is a symbol of Argentina.
His Cantata para América Mágica (1960), for dramatic soprano and 53 percussion instruments, was based on ancient pre-Columbian legends. Its U.S. West Coast premiere was performed by the Los Angeles Percussion Ensemble under Henri Temianka and William Kraft at UCLA in 1963. (wikipedia)
The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is an American orchestra based in Boston. It is the second-oldest of the five major American symphony orchestras commonly referred to as the “Big Five”. Founded by Henry Lee Higginson in 1881, the BSO performs most of its concerts at Boston’s Symphony Hall and in the summer performs at Tanglewood.
The BSO at Boston Music Hall in 1891:
Since its founding, the orchestra has had 17 music directors, including George Henschel, Serge Koussevitzky, Henri Rabaud, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, Erich Leinsdorf, William Steinberg and James Levine. Andris Nelsons is the current music director of the BSO. Seiji Ozawa has the title of BSO music director laureate. Bernard Haitink had held the title of principal guest conductor of the BSO from 1995 to 2004, then conductor emeritus until his death in 2021. The orchestra has made gramophone recordings since 1917 and has occasionally played on soundtrack recordings for films, including Schindler’s List. (wikipedia)
João Carlos Gandra da Silva Martins (born June 25, 1940, in Sao Paulo, Brazil) is an acclaimed Brazilian classical pianist and conductor, who has performed with leading orchestras in the United States, Europe and Brazil.
He is celebrated as a great interpreter of Bach and has recorded his complete keyboard works.
For decades Martins has been engaged as the leading pianist at the Boston Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and other ensembles. The New York Times wrote, “Maestro Martins has lived a life of renown, challenge, tenacity and triumph sufficient to fill a lively memoir”.
After his career as a concert pianist was derailed by injuries and accidents, he successfully reinvented himself as a conductor, leading hundreds of performances worldwide including acclaimed concerts at Carnegie Hall. He is a conductor at the English Chamber Orchestra and the Bachiana Filarmonica Orchestra. He has also founded social programs for underprivileged youth in Latin America. (wikipedia)
And here are some fine compositions by Alberto Ginastera:
Excellent recording featuring Ginastera’s Piano Concerto and Piano Sonata. Personally, I got this because I wanted a recording of the original piece redone by Emerson, Lake, & Palmer (the final movement of the Piano Concerto) (by ab amazon customer)
The best performance and not bad recording is the 1968 recording of Ginestera’s Variaciones concertantes and Piano concerto played by Joao Carlos Martins with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf (by Frank Auerbach)
What a great composer !
Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf
Gino Cioffi (clarinet)
Doriot Anthony Dwyer (flute)
Jules Eskin (cello)
Burton Fine (viola)
Armando Ghitalla (trumpet)
William Gibson (trombone)
Ralph Gomberg (oboe)
Henry Portnoi (bass)
Joseph Silverstein (violin)
James Stagliano (french horn)
Sherman Walt (bassoon)
Bernard Zighera (harp)
João Carlos Martins (piano on 01. – 04.)
Concerto For Piano And Orchestra:
01. Cadenza E Varianti 8.00
02. Scherzo Allucinante 4.55
03. Adagissimo 4.48
04. Toccata Concertata 4.55
05. Variaciones Concertantes 21.57
Music composed by Alberto Ginastera