Cordero, Roque , Panamanian composer, teacher, and conductor; b. Panama, Aug. 16, 1917. After training in Panama, he won a scholarship in 1943 to the Univ. of Minn., where he had lessons in conducting from Mitropoulos. He also studied counterpoint and composition with Krenek at Hamline Univ. in St. Paul, and pursued training in conducting with Chappel at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood and with Barzin in N.Y. Returning to Panama, he was prof. of composition at the National Inst. of Music (1950–66), where he served as its director (1953–64). He also was conductor of the National orch. (1964–66). He taught at Ind. Univ. in Bloomington (1966–69) and at 111. State Univ. in Normal (1972–99). As a conductor, he toured internationally. Cordero received various awards and commission as a composer, and in 1949 he received a Guggenheim fellowship. After composing in a basically tonal idiom, he developed a modified 12-tone technique in 1946.
DRAMATIC 2 ballets. ORCH.: 8 Miniatures (1944; rev. 1948); Obertum panamena No. 2 (1944); Piano Concerto (1944); 4 syms. (1945, 1946, 1965, 1986); Movimento sinfonico for Strings (1946); Rapsodia campesina (1949); 5 mensajes breves (1959); Violin Concerto (1962); Circunvoluciones y moviles for 57 Instruments (1967); Concertino for Viola and Strings (1968); Elegy for Strings (1973); Momentum jubilo (1973); 6 Mobiles (1974–75); Overture of Salutation (1980); Centennial Symphonic Tribute (1997). CHAMBER : Violin Sonatine (1946); Quintet for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Piano (1949); 4 string quartets (1960,1968,1973,1983); Cello Sonata (1962); 3 Short Messages for Viola and Piano (1966); Permutaciones 7 for Clarinet, Trumpet, Timpani, Piano, Violin, Viola, and Double Bass (1967); Paz, Paix, Peace for 4 Trios and Harp (1969); Variations and Theme for 5 for Wind Quartet and Horn (1975); Soliloquies No. 1 for Flute (1975), No. 2 for Saxophone (1976), No. 3 for Clarinet (1976), No. 4 for Percussion (1981), No. 5 for Double Bass (1981), and No. 6 for Cello (1992); Double Concerto without Orchestra for Violin and Piano (1978); Music for 5 Brass (1980); Poetic Nocturne of the Min River for Chamber Ensemble (1981); Petite Mobiles for Bassoon and Trios (1983); Three Miniminiatures for Ernst for Flute and Clarinet (1985); Serenatas for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, and Harp (1987); Duos for Oboe and Bassoon (1996). KEYBOARD : Piano : Sonatina ritmica (1943); Rhapsody for 2 Pianos (1945); Sonata breve (1966); 3 Piececillas para Alina (1978); Five New Preludes (1983); Sonata (1985); Tres Meditaciones Poeticas (1995). VOCAL: Cantata for Peace (1975–79); choral pieces.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire