Broqua, Alfonso (1876–1946)

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Broqua, Alfonso (1876–1946)

Alfonso Broqua (b. 11 September 1876; d. 24 November 1946), Uruguayan composer. Broqua was born in Montevideo, where he began his music studies. In 1894 he went to Paris and entered the Schola Cantorum, where he studied composition under Vincent d'Indy for six years. After spending some time in Brussels with Eduardo Fabini, he returned to Montevideo in 1904. His first nationalist work, Tabaré, based on a poem by Juan Zorrilla De San Martín, premiered in 1910. Broqua set out to create a new musical aesthetic based on the use of vocal themes and dance forms and rhythms from Uruguayan folk music. Tabaré, a lyric poem for soprano, female chorus, and orchestra, was considered a major event at Montevideo. It was performed at the Teatro Solís on 30 June 1910 and conducted by the composer. That same year the National Orchestra presented his version of El poema de las lomas, originally a major piano triptych premiered by Ernest Drangosh in 1909. Two other works from this period are Quinteto en sol menor and La cruz del Sud, a never performed opera.

In terms of musical form and aesthetics, the Piano Quintet in G minor is the best written of his works; its last movement, Variaciones sobre temas regionales, shows a clear influence of the new nationalist style, which he, Fabini, and Luis Cluzeau-Mortet helped to inaugurate. In 1922 Broqua settled in Paris, where he continued composing. His other major works include Impresiones sinfónicas (1912) for orchestra, Preludios pampeanos (1938) for guitar, Evocaciones criollas, Estudios criollos, and Preludios (1929), as well as three suites for guitar and numerous pieces for solo piano and for voice, piano, and guitar. He died in Paris.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Composers of the Americas, vol. 16 (1970), p. 59; New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 3 (1980).

S. Salgado, Breve historia de la música culta en el Uruguay, 2d ed. (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Salgado, Susana. The Teatro Solis: 150 Years of Opera, Concert, and Ballet in Montevideo. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2003.

                                        Susana Salgado

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Broqua, Alfonso (1876–1946)

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