Sas, Andrés (1900–1967)

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Sas, Andrés (1900–1967)

Andrés Sas (b. 6 April 1900; d. 26 August 1967), Peruvian musicologist and composer. Born in Paris, Sas grew up in Brussels, where from 1918 to 1923 he studied at the Royal Conservatory under Fernand Bauvais (theory), Alfred Marchot (violin), Paul Miry (chamber music), and Ernest Closson (music history). He took private lessons in fugue and counterpoint with Maurice Imbert. In 1920 he began studies in harmony at the Anderlecht Academy in Brussels. Soon afterward he started a teaching career as a violin instructor at the Forest Music School in Brussels. In 1924 the Peruvian government invited him to direct violin classes and chamber music concerts at the National Academy of Music in Lima. The following year he was appointed an instructor in music history at the academy. He returned to Belgium, where he founded and directed the Municipal School of Music in Ninove (1928–1929). Again in Lima, he established the Sas-Rosay Academy with his wife, the pianist Lily Rosay, in 1930. With María Wiesse de Sabogal, he started the Antara/Revista Musical (1935). Sas was director of Lima's Bach Institute (1931–1933) and vice president of the Lima Orchestral Society (1932).

Sas was known for his studies of pre-Columbian instruments such as the clay syrinx of the Nazca tribe; his numerous writings on the music of the Nazca and other indigenous groups made him a leading authority on the history of Peruvian music. In addition to his research, Sas was active as an editor of music magazines, lecturer, conductor, recitalist, and teacher. Sas composed symphonic pieces (Recuerdos for violin or piano and orchestra [1927]) and choral works (the triptych Ollantai [1933]), ballets (Sueño de Zamba [1943]), music for the stage, chamber music (Cuarteto de cuerdas [1938]) and songs (Seis canciones indias del Perú [1946]). Although some of his songs used French texts, most of his works were inspired by Indian themes and display the pentatonic melodies of the Andean region, but were written with an almost impressionist technique. He died in Lima.

See alsoMusic: Art Music; Sabogal, José.


Composers of the Americas, vol. 2 (1956), pp. 116-125; "Andrés Sas (1900–1967)" in Revista Musical Chilena, no. 101 (1967): 123-125; New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 16 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Romero, Raúl R. Debating the Past: Music, Memory, and Identity in the Andes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

                                          Susana Salgado