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Valencia, Antonio María (1902–1952)

Valencia, Antonio María (1902–1952)

Antonio María Valencia (b. 10 November 1902; d. 22 July 1952), Colombian composer, pianist, and teacher. Born in Cali, Valencia began his musical studies with his father, cellist and teacher Julio Valencia Belmonte. Later he entered the Bogotá Conservatory (1917–1919) to study piano with Honorio Alarcón. After concert tours in the southern United States, Valencia moved to Paris and enrolled at the Schola Cantorum (1923–1929), where he studied under Vincent d'Indy (composition), Paul Braud (piano), Paul le Flem (counterpoint and fugue), Louis Saint-Requier (harmony and conducting of vocal and instrumental groups), Gabriel Pierné (chamber music) and Manuel de Falla (orchestration). He was offered a professorship, but at the end of his studies he returned to Colombia, where he gave concerts and pursued a career in composition. His early works show an affinity for national music, though his Paris training later led to a concentration on European forms. In his last years, Valencia returned to the melodies and rhythms of his homeland.

Valencia wrote a considerable number of choral religious works demonstrating a solid technique and exceptional use of counterpoint, as, for example, in his Requiem Mass (1943). Among his chamber music works are Duo en forma de sonata (1926), for piano and violin; Emociones caucanas (1938), for violin, piano, and cello; songs on French texts; and many piano pieces. He composed Chirimía y bambuco sotareño (1942) for orchestra and wrote orchestrations and arrangements of French music. Valencia founded the Conservatory and School of Fine Arts of Cali (1933), remaining as its director until his death. He was also director of the Bogotá Conservatory (1937–1938). He died in Cali.

See alsoMusic: Art Music .


Composers of the Americas, vol. 4 (1958), pp. 105-110.

Gérard Béhague, Music in Latin America (1979); New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, vol. 19 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Senn, Martha, and Pablo Arévalo. Grandes poetas, grandes compositors, grandes melodies de la canción colombiana. Bogotá: Fondo Financiero de Proyectos FONADE, 1998.

                                      Susana Salgado

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