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Guest Lectures.

The history of classical music in Latin America is different in almost every way from that of North America.

Indeed, from nearly the very beginning of the Colonial Period in Latin America, a significant divergence in the musical history of the two Americas soon became manifest. Part of this has to do with the fact that the musical practices and styles imported into Latin America by the Spanish and Portuguese were not necessarily the same as those in the more musically developed central parts of Europe. Also, and this is a significant factor, from very early on the Spanish and Portuguese sought to evangelize the inhabitants of the lands they conquered, and they used music to help them with this task.

These and other factors contributed to the fact that it is inappropriate or even difficult to apply convenient labels, such as classicism, romanticism, or modernism, to the way in which classical music developed in Latin America through the 18th and into the 19th and 20th centuries.

So, if not with these labels, then how might we describe the development of classical music in Latin America?

To help us answer this question, CILASiM President & CEO John L. Walker (read more about John here) developed a presentation titled, ”Finding Identity in Latin American Classical Music: From the Late 19th Century to the Present Day.”

After briefly summarizing some of the key historical precedents prior to the modern period, the focus of this approximately 45-minute-long lecture is on the six ways in which Latin America’s composers used music to create national identity in their respective countries. In addition to musical examples, a number of audio clips are embedded in the PowerPoint presentation.

At the conclusion of the lecture, students will not only have been introduced to more than ten of Latin America’s most important composers of the last 150 years, more importantly, they will be also able to categorize them chronologically as well as stylistically.

Would you like to know more? Or maybe, you’re already interested in having this lecture on your campus?

Contact John for any question you may have!


John L. Walker
PO Box 10164
Blacksburg, VA 24062
email: [email protected]