Estrada, Carlos (1909–1970)

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Estrada, Carlos (1909–1970)

Carlos Estrada (b. 15 September 1909; d. 7 May 1970), Uruguayan composer, conductor, and teacher. Born in Montevideo, Estrada studied there with Adelina Pérez Montero (piano), Carlos Correa Luna (violin), Father Pedro Ochoa (Gregorian chant), and Manuel Fernández Espiro (harmony, counterpoint, and composition). In 1938 he traveled to Paris and attended classes at the National Conservatory given by Jean-Jules Aimable Roger-Ducasse and Henri Busser (composition), Noel Gallon (counterpoint and fugue), and Albert Wolff, Paul Paray, and Philippe Gaubert (conducting). Contrary to the prevailing Uruguayan nationalist style, Estrada utilized modal harmonic systems and neoclassical forms, with a strong influence, initially, from the French school. In 1936 he founded the Orquesta de Cámara de Montevideo.

In the early 1940s Estrada began to work in the major forms, composing the oratorio Daniel (1942) and incidental music for Paul Claudel's play L'Annonce faite à Marie (1943). He premiered and conducted his first symphony in Paris in 1951, and his string quartet no. 1, a SODRE Composition First Award, was premiered at the First Latin American Music Festival of Montevideo in 1957.

Estrada was director and professor of harmony and composition at the National Conservatory of Montevideo (1953–1968) and also taught at the Institute of Musicology (University of Montevideo School of Humanities). He founded the Municipal Symphony Orchestra in 1959 and conducted it until 1970; he also conducted several European orchestras. The French government honored Estrada by making him Officier de l'Académie and Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. He died in Montevideo.

See alsoMusic: Art Music; Uruguay: The Twentieth Century.


Composers of the Americas, vol. 16 (1970).

John Vinton, ed., Dictionary of Contemporary Music (1974); New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6 (1980).

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

Additional Bibliography

Ríos, Mary. Guía de la música uruguaya, 1950–1990. Montevideo: Arca, 1995.

                                           Susana Salgado

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Estrada, Carlos (1909–1970)

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