VIOLA MUSIC FROM THE AMERICAS: MUSIC FROM CANADA, UNITED STATES, CUBA, VENEZUELA, MEXICO, AND BRAZIL
Montano, Maria Alejandra
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The enthusiasm towards writing music for the viola that flourished in the early 1900’s thanks to the efforts of a number of twentieth-century violists and composers rapidly spilled over to North and South America. Viola works by American and Canadian composers have already become cornerstones of the viola repertoire worldwide. On the other hand, compositions from other parts of the American continent remain lesser known outside of their country of origin. This is due in part to the less developed publishing and recording industry in these countries which makes it difficult for performers and programmers from other countries to buy or rent performing materials. As a violist born and trained in Venezuela, performing works by important Latin American composers to new audiences is deeply important to me. This dissertation was completed by performing selected works by Canadian, American, Cuban, Mexican, Brazilian, and Venezuelan composers. Composers from these countries have mixed their rich musical traditions with modern compositional techniques, creating original works that have greatly enriched the viola repertoire. This eclectic mixture of styles makes the music from Latin American composers not only very different from that of American and Canadian composers, but also very different from those of their neighboring countries. Through my three dissertation recitals, I intend to share this music with new audiences and inspire other violists to become familiar with this repertoire. The first recital includes compositions by American composers George Rochberg (1918-2015), Elliott Carter (1908-2012), and Alan Shulman (1915-2002) and Canadian composer Elizabeth Raum (b. 1945). The second recital includes works by Cuban composers Cesar Orozco (b. 1980), and Keyla Orozco (b. 1969), Venezuelan composers Aldemaro Romero (1928-2007) and Modesta Bor (1926-1998), and Venezuelan-Uruguayan composer Efrain Oscher (b. 1974). The third recital includes works by Mexican composers Carlos Chavez (1899-1978), José Pablo Moncayo (1912-1958) and Manuel M Ponce (1882-1948), and Brazilian composers Francisco Mignone (1897-1986) and Brenno Blauth (1931-1993). This music represents a bouquet of a distinctive mixture of styles from different parts of the American continent. Recordings of all three recitals can be accessed at the University of Maryland Hornabake Library.