Gutiérrez y Espinosa, Felipe (1825–1899)

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Gutiérrez y Espinosa, Felipe (1825–1899)

Felipe Gutiérrez y Espinosa (b. 26 May 1825; d. 27 November 1899), Puerto Rican composer. Gutiérrez is considered the best Puerto Rican composer of the nineteenth century and the main figure of Puerto Rico's musical life during that period. Born in San Juan, Gutiérrez received music lessons from his father when very young; thereafter he was self-taught. Starting as a battalion musician, he won the position of maestro de capilla of the San Juan Cathedral in 1858. Later he conducted the orchestra of the Teatro Municipal (later the Teatro Tapia). Around 1873 he traveled to Europe, studying in Paris for one year. Gutiérrez composed sacred music: masses, one oratorio, eight Salve Reginas, and other minor religious works. Of his three operas, Guarionex, El bearnés, and Macías, the last is the only extant opera of the nineteenth century in Puerto Rico. It was awarded a gold medal in 1871, but went unperformed in the twentieth century until 19 August 1977 at the Teatro Tapia, because its manuscript had been lost. Gutiérrez also composed one zarzuela and other orchestral and chamber music.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Federico Asenjo, Las fiestas de San Juan (1868).

R. Stevenson, A Guide to Caribbean Music History (1975).

D. Thompson, "Musical Archaeology, Fine Talent Bring Macías to Life," San Juan Star, 7 June 1978; New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 7 (1980); New Grove Dictionary of Opera, vols. 2 and 4 (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Thompson, Donald. Music in Puerto Rico: A Reader's Anthology. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2002.

                                   Susana Salgado

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Gutiérrez y Espinosa, Felipe (1825–1899)

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