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Cervetti, Sergio

Cervetti, Sergio

Cervetti, Sergio, Uruguayan-born American composer and teacher; b. Dolores, Nov. 9, 1940. He received training in piano from José Maria Martino Rodas in Mercedes and from Hugo Balzo in Montevideo, and in composition from Carlos Estrada at the National Cons, in Montevideo and from Guido Santórsola. From 1962 to 1967 he pursued studies at the Peabody Cons, of Music in Baltimore, where he had further training in composition from Stefans Grove and Ernst Krenek. In 1969-70 he was composer-in-residence at the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst in West Berlin. With the dancer Kenneth Rinker, he co-founded the Berlin Dance Ensemble, with whom he collaborated in various dance scores in subsequent years. In 1970 he went to N.Y. and worked in electronic music with Davidovsky and Ussachevsky at Columbia Univ., and also taught at Brooklyn Coll. From 1972 to 1997 he was a prof, at the Tisch School of the Arts at N.Y.U., where he taught advanced courses in electronic and 20th century music. In 1979 he became a naturalized American citizen. In his early works, Cervetti employed serial and expressionist styles. Around 1970 he became more adventuresome and turned to aleatory and electronics with minimalist and nationalistic excursions. His Inez de Castro, which was premiered by Ballet Hispánico in N.Y. in Oct. 1988, was chosen to open the U.S. Pavilion at the Seville World’s Fair in 1992. This remarkable score has subsequently been performed all over the globe.

Works

ouch.:Órbitas (1967); Plexus for Small Orch. (1971); Trumpet Concerto (1977); Las Indias Olvidades, concerto for Harpsichord and 11 Instruments (1990; Alicante, Sept. 27, 1992); Piano Concerto (1994). chamber: String Trio (1963); Cinco Episodios, piano trio (1966); Zinctum for String Quartet (1968); ...de la tierra... for Ensemble (1972); El Rio de los Pájaros Pintados for Bandoneón and Tape (1978); Music for Rachel for Ensemble (1979); 3rd String Quartet (1990). keyboard: piano: 2 sonatas (1964, 1989); Estudios Australes (1989). harpsichord:Candombe (1984); Llanto y Muerte (1988); Alberada y Hard Rock (1993). vocal:El Carro de Heno for Chorus and Orch. (1967); Cantata Duraciones (1967); Lux Lucet in Tenebris for Chorus (1970); 4 Fragments of Pablo Neruda for Soprano, Oboe, Guitar, Cello, and Percussion (1970); Madrigal III (1975) and IV (1985); 4 Fragments of Isadora, song cycle for Soprano and Piano (1979); 7 Songs of Orfila Bardesio for Voice and Piano (1989); Leyenda for Soprano and Orch. (1991); El Triunfo de la Muerte, song cycle for Voice and Piano (1993); No Longer Very Clear, aria for Soprano, String Quartet, and Harpsichord (WNYC-FM, N.Y., June 13, 1994). electroacousticWind Devil (1983); Manhattan (1984); Enclosed Time (1985); Night Trippers (1986); Transatlantic Light (1987); The Hay Wain (1987); Inez de Castro (N.Y., Oct. 1988). other:Cocktail Party for Amplified Instruments, Piano obbligato, and a “variable number of guests” (1970).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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