Caturla, Alejandro Garcia

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Caturla, Alejandro Garcia

Cuban composer; b. Remedios, March 7, 1906; d. there (assassinated), Nov. 12, 1940. He studied with Pedro Sanjuán in Havana, then with Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1928). He was founder (1932) and conductor of the Orquesta de Conciertos de Caibarién (chamber orch.) in Cuba. He served as district judge in Remedios. In Caturla’s music, primitive Afro-Cuban rhythms and themes are treated with modern techniques and a free utilization of dissonance.


Suite of 3 Cuban dances: Danza del tambor, Motivos de danzas, and Danza Lucumi (Havana, 1928); Bembe for 14 Instruments (Paris, 1929); Dos poemas Afro-Cubanos for Voice and Piano (Paris, 1929; also arranged for Voice and Orch.); Yambo-O, Afro- Cuban oratorio (Havana, Oct. 25, 1931); Rumba for Orch. (1931); Primera suite cubana for Piano and 8 Wind Instruments (1930); Manita en el Suelo,”mitologia bufa Afro-Cubana” for Narrator, Marionettes, and Chamber Orch. (1934).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire