Tacuchian, Ricardo

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Tacuchian, Ricardo

Tacuchian, Ricardo, Brazilian composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Rio de Janeiro, Nov. 18, 1939. He was the son of Armenian immigrants, and studied music as a child. He later earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees in piano, composition, and conducting from the Federal Univ. of Rio de Janeiro (1961, B.M. in piano; 1965, B.M. in composition), where he studied composition with José Siqueira, Francisco Mignone, and Claudio Santoro; also engaged in graduate studies there in composition and conducting in 1967-68 and studied with Stephen Hartke on a Fulbright scholarship at the Univ. of Southern Calif. (D.M.A., 1990). After giving recitals and lecturing in the U.S., he returned to Brazil and attained a reputation as a first-rate composer, conductor, and scholar. He received numerous honors; was named a Fellow of the Academia Brasileira de Música, founded by Villa-Lobos, and from 1993 to 1997 served as its 5th president. In 1998 he returned to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar-in-residence at the State Univ. of N.Y. at Albany, where he taught courses in composition and in Brazilian music, and in 2000 he was in residence at the Bellagio Center in Italy. In the 1960s Tacuchian’s works were tonal in essence, and characterized by a Brazilian folk ambience, but in the 1970s he exercised a more formal and experimental approach, including the use of aleatorie procedures. From the 1980s he has assumed a post-modern aesthetic, wherein values such as texture, density, timbre, and dynamics are set within a contrasting context of precipitous rhythms, lyric expression, and a cosmopolitan, urban flavor. In the late 1980s he brought forth the T-System, a form of pitch control delivered in a “nonatonic” scale, in a serial setting, and in a pitch-class set. He defended this system in a thesis in 1995, whereupon he was granted the title of full. prof, at the Federal Univ. of Rio de Janeiro.


orch: Dia de Chuva (1963); Imagem Carioca (1967); Concertino para Flauta e Orquestra de Cordas (1968); Estruturas Sinfônicas (1976); Concertino para Piano e Orquestra de Cordas (1977); Núcleos (1983); Sinfonieta para Fátima for Strings (1986); Hayastan (1990); Terra Aberta (1997). CHAMBER: 3 string quartets: No. 1, Juvenil (1963), No. 2, Brasilia (1979), and No. 3 (2000); Quinteto de Sopros for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1969); Estruturas Sincréticas for Piccolo, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, 2 Horns, 2 Trumpets, Trombone, 4 Timpani, and 4 Groups of Percussion (1970); Estruturas Simbólicas for Clarinet, Trumpet, Percussion, Piano, and Viola (1973); Estruturas Obstinadas for Trumpet, Horn, and Trombone (1974); Estruturas Primitivas for Flute, Oboe, Horn, Piano, Viola, and Cello (1975); Estruturas Verdes for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1976); Estruturas Divergentes for Flute, Oboe, and Piano (1977); Cáceres for Percussion Ensemble (4 musicians) (1979); Texturas for 2 Harps (1987); Transparencias for Vibraphone and Piano (1987); Delaware Park Suite for Alto Saxophone and Piano (1988); Rio/L.A. for English Horn, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Marimba, Percussion Group, Piano, and Electric Bass Guitar (1988); Light and Shadows for Vibraphone, Percussion, Harp, Bass Clarinet, and Double Bass (1989); Giga Byte for 14 Winds and Piano Obbligato (1994); Evocaçâo a Lorenzo Fernandez for Guitar and Flute (1997); Omaggio a Mignone for Wind Quintet and Piano (1997); Toccata Urbana for Woodwind Quartet, Piano, and String Quintet (1999); also numerous pieces for Solo Instruments.Piano: 2 sonatas (both 1966); Estruturas Gerneas for Piano, 4-Hands (1978); Capoeira (1997); Avenida Paulista (1999). VOCAL: Cantatas: Cantata dos Moños for Baritone, Narrator, Chorus, Oboe, Bassoon, Piano, Timpani, and Percussion (1965); O Canto do Poeta for Soprano, Violin, Flute, and Piano (1969); Cantata de Natal for Soprano, Baritone, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1978); Ciclo Lorca for Baritone, Clarinet, and Strings (1979). Other: About 30 works for Chorus; 6 song cycles; songs for Voice and Piano. COMPUTER: Prisma (1989).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire