Fernández Hidalgo, Gutierre (?–1620)

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Fernández Hidalgo, Gutierre (?–1620)

Gutierre Fernández Hidalgo (b. 1553; d. after 1620), Spanish composer. Born in Andalusia, Fernández Hidalgo arrived at New Granada (Colombia) in 1584 as the maestro de capilla of the Bogotá cathedral. He became sixteenth-century America's most eminent composer. As chapelmaster, Fernández Hidalgo asked the Bogotá bishop to require the seminarians of the newly founded Seminario Conciliar de San Luis to sing under his direction every day at cathedral services. In 1585 he was appointed rector of the seminary, but a dispute with his students over his demanding teaching style led him to leave Bogotá in 1586. He moved to Quito, where he was music director at the cathedral and seminary until 1589. Again, he proved too demanding for his subordinates. On 13 July 1591, he was appointed maestro de capilla of the Cuzco cathedral, where he conducted the cathedral choir and taught polyphony and counterpoint while composing in his free time. In 1597 he accepted a new assignment with a better salary, as maestro de capilla of the La Plata cathedral (present-day Sucre, Bolivia). He remained there, presumably, until his retirement in 1620. It is believed he died in Cuzco.

Fernández Hidalgo was technically and stylistically the best representative in America of the Spanish polyphony initiated by Tomás Luis de Victoria, Cristóbal de Morales, and Francisco Guerrero. Among his works are nine Magnificats for four and six voices, ten four-voice psalms, three Salve Reginas for four and five voices, and villancicos, motets, and hymns.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Robert Stevenson, The Music of Peru (1950), and Renaissance and Baroque Musical Sources in the Americas (1970).

José Ignacio Perdomo Escobar, El archivo musical de la catedral de Bogotá (1976); New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 6 (1980).

                                     Susana Salgado

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Fernández Hidalgo, Gutierre (?–1620)

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Fernández Hidalgo, Gutierre (?–1620)