His compositions are clearly influenced by Argentine folk music. His reputation is based, virtually entirely, on his songs, which are qickly becoming part of the standard vocal repertoire. Guastavino's musical style, firmly rooted in the late nineteenth-century Romantic Nationalist tradition, marks a stark contrast with the works of his contemporaries, such as Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983). Guastavino's stylistic isolation from the modernist and avant-garde movements going on around him, and the self-consciously nationalist content of his songs made him a model for Argentine popular and folk musicians of the '60's. Guastavino studied music in Santa Fe with Esperanza Lothringer and Dominga Iaffei, and in Buenos Aires with Athos Palma. A talented pianist, he performed his piano works in London in 1947, 1948, and 1949, invited by the BBC, and as a recipient of a scholarship from the British Council.
During these years, the BBC Symphony Orchestra premiered the orchestral version of his “Tres Romances Argentinos”, under the baton of Walter Goehs. Later, in 1956, Guastavino toured the USSR and China, performing his pieces for voice and piano. Guastavino’s style is clearly inherited from the luminaries of nineteenth-century Argentina's nationalist composers, such as Alberto Williams, Francisco Hargreaves, Eduardo García Mansilla and Julián Aguirre. Aguirre’s delicate and intimate piano writing is an especially evident influence on Guastavino. Guastavino's output includes: more than a hundred and fifty songs for voice and piano, numerous piano solo pieces, choral works, school songs, and chamber music. His poets include: Rafael Alberty, Leon Benaros, Hamlet Lima Quintana, Atahualpa Yupanqui, Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, and Jorge Luis Borges among others.
A small number of his songs are settings of his own texts. His works for orchestra include “Divertissement; fue una vez”, commissioned by Colonel de Basil for his original Ballet Russe, and premiered at the Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires, in 1942; and “Suite Argentina” which was performed in London, Paris, Barcelona, and Havana by the Ballet Español of Isabel Lopez. He has also written three Sonatas for guitar. Guastavino has received important awards and recognitions throughout his life, such as the Municipal Prize from the city of Buenos Aires for his chamber songs, a prize from the Justice Ministry of Argentina, Prize of the Cultural Commission of Santa Fe Province for his songs, “Vosotras” magazine Prize for his “Canción de Navidad”, and a Prize from the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Music Council as recognition of his outstanding creative activity. (Source: Fundación Ostinato / http://ostinato.tripod.com) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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