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Blanco, Juan (1919–)

Blanco, Juan (1919–)

Juan Blanco (b. 29 June 1919), Cuban composer. Born in Havana, Blanco began his traditional composition studies at the Municipal Conservatory in Havana and then studied at the University of Havana under the guidance of Harold Gramatges and José Ardévol. During the mid-1950s he taught himself the techniques of musique concrète, electronic music, recording, as well as the use of sound for films. In 1969 he became the main musical adviser for the House of the Americas in Havana. Blanco is a prolific writer and critic who has published many articles and written criticism for several Cuban magazines and newspapers. Almost all his compositions since 1965 involve the use of electronic techniques and mixed media. Blanco has done extensive research with "spatial techniques," in some cases utilizing multiple loudspeaker networks. Poema espacial, no. 3 ("Viet-Nam," 1968), combines sound and light and requires the use of four tape tracks distributed among thirty-seven loudspeakers.

Other important compositions are Canto a la paz for soloists, mixed choir, and orchestra (1952); Elegy for orchestra (1956), a memorial to the fighters who died during the Cuban Revolution; Divertimento for string orchestra (1954); Quintet for winds, timpani, and piano (1972); Música para danza (1961); Études, nos. 1 and 2 for tape (1962–1963); Texturas for orchestra and tape (1963–1964); Pirofonías (1976); Episodes for orchestra (1964); Contrapunto espacial, no. 1 (1965–1966); Erotofonías for orchestra and tape (1968); and Erotofonías, no. 2 (1974) for tape. Blanco composed tape music for the Cuban Pavilion at Expo '67 and Expo '70 and for the São Paulo Biennial in 1988. For several years he has produced and directed the International Festival of Electroacoustic Music in Varadero, Cuba.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


John Vinton, ed. Dictionary of Contemporary Music (1974), pp. 84-85; Primer festival latinoamericano de música contemporánea (1977), p. 34.

Gérard Béhague, Music in Latin America: An Introduction (1979), p. 301.

Additional Bibliography

Leonard, Neil III. "Juan Blanco: Cuba's Pioneer of Electoracoustic Music." Computer Music Journal 21 (Summer 1997): 10-20.

White, Charles W. "Report on Music in Cuba Today." Latin American Music Review 13 (Autumn 1992) 234-242.

                                      Alcides Lanza

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