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Title: Being a composer in the Andes during the Age of Revolutions : choices and appropriations in the music of José Bernardo Alzedo and Pedro Ximénez Abrill Tirado
Author: Izquierdo König, José Manuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 5301
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation explores the choices involved in being a composer in Latin America during the last decades of the eighteenth century and the first decades of the nineteenth century. My primary interest is to understand how composers adapted or not- their aesthetics, ideas and careers amid the rapid changes brought to this region between the 1790s and 1850s, a period often described as an “Age of Revolutions” and that saw the end of colonial rule and the foundation of modern independent nations. Composers in the region worked within European forms and styles, and with Europe as a cosmopolitan cultural model; but they also learned, composed and performed in a specific set of historical conditions that differed from those in contemporary Europe. In that sense, my interest is in the specific agency composers -as literate urban citizens- had in appropriating and shaping transatlantic cultural transfers during this period. My study focuses on two musicians working in the Andean region, today’s Bolivia, Peru and Chile, during this period: José Bernardo Alzedo (Lima, 1788-1878) and Pedro Ximénez Abrill Tirado (Arequipa, 1784 - Sucre, 1856). Born in late-colonial times, both composers adapted themselves and their musical styles to the new expectations created by the post-independence period. Through five chapters I explore their specific role as composers, and how their decisions and choices impacted their careers and music, both personally and in context. Some key problems discussed in the dissertation include the definitions of local, personal and national “schools” and styles of composition; the notion of the composer as a postcolonial letrado; the ways in which specific European influences (like printed scores and Italian opera) shaped local musical scenes; and the complexities of adapting colonial musical models to the new “republican” period and its changing values, perspectives and ideals.
Supervisor: Walton, Benjamin Sponsor: Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Latin America ; nineteenth-century music ; Peru ; symphony ; opera