Isamitt Alarcón, Carlos (1887–1974)

views updated

Isamitt Alarcón, Carlos (1887–1974)

Carlos Isamitt Alarcón (b. 13 March 1887; d. 2 July 1974), Chilean composer and painter. Along with Carlos Lavín and Pedro Humberto Allende, Isamitt, who was born in Rengo, Chile, is noted for his extensive research on the native music of the Araucanian Indians. In 1932, he published a seminal classification of the Araucanian musical repertoire according to performance medium and function. In 1936, Isamitt became one of the founding members of the Asociación Nacional de Compositores de Chile. His early music could be described as nationalistic, expressed through the spirit and techniques of musical impressionism. Later, however, his work became more abstract through use of the twelve-tone technique, of which he was one of the first exponents in Chile. Isamitt is a major figure in the trend called "musical Indianism" in Chile, although he also explored creole folklore. For his use of indigenous folklore in his own compositions, he was awarded Chile's Premio Nacional de Arte in 1965. He held the posts of director of the Santiago School of Fine Arts and artistic director of the primary schools in Santiago. His large musical output includes music for orchestra, chamber groups, voice, piano, and ballet.

See alsoMusic: The Twentieth Century; Theater.


Paul H. Apel, Music of the Americas, North and South (1958).

Raquel Barros and Manuel Dannemann, "Carlos Isamitt: Folklore e indigenismo," in Revista musical chilena 20, no. 97 (1961): 37-42.

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

Samuel Claro Valdés and Jorge Urrutia, Historia de la música en Chile (1973).

Samuel Claros Valdés, Oyendo a Chile (1979).

Samuel Claros Valdés et al., Iconografía musical chilena, vols. 1 and 2 (1989).

Magdalena Vicuña, "Carlos Isamitt," in Revista musical chilena 20, no. 97 (1961): 5-13.

John Vinton, ed., Dictionary of Contemporary Music (1971).

Additional Bibliography

Varas, José Miguel, and Juan Pablo González Rodríguez. En busca de la música chilena: Crónica y antología de una historia sonora. Santiago, Chile: Publicaciones del Bicentenario, 2005.

                                        Sergio Barroso