Gramatges, Harold, Cuban composer, pianist, and teacher; b. Santiago de Cuba, Sept. 26, 1918. He was a student of Ardevol and Roldan in Havana, and then of Copland (composition) and Koussevitzky (conducting) at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood (summer, 1942). Returning to Havana, he was active in contemporary music circles. He also devoted time to teaching. After serving in the Cuban Embassy in Paris (1961-64), he returned to Havana and was director of the music dept. of the Casa de las Américas (1965-70). In 1970 he joined the music section of the Consejo Nacional de Cultura, and in 1976 the composition dept. of the music faculty of the Institute Superior de Arte. His output represents an enlightened functionalist approach to composition in an effective modern style.
DRAMATIC Icaro, ballet (1943); Mensaje al futuro, ballet (1944); Cantata a la paz, theater piece (1987); incidental music. ORCH.: Sym. (1945); Dos danzas cubanas (1950); Sinfonietta (1955); In memoriam (homenaje a Frank Pais) (1961); Para la dama duende for Guitar and Orch. (1973). CHAMBER: Duo for Flute and Piano (1943); Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1944); Concertino for Piano and Winds (1945); Quintet for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Viola, and Double Bass (1950); Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Trumpet (1957); Movil II for 7 Instruments (1970); Disenos, quintet for Winds and Percussion (1976); Guirigay, quintet (1985); piano pieces; guitar music. VOCAL: La muerte del guerrillero for Reciter and Orch. (1968-69); Oda martiana for Baritone and Orch. (1980); choral pieces; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire