Born into a modest family in Santa Fé on 5 April 1912, Argentinian composer and pianist Carlos Guastavino learnt music before he learnt to read. His teachers were Dominga Iaffei, Esperanza Lothringer and Athos Palma, and his more than five hundred works include Tres Romances Argentinos (premiered in its orchestral version by the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Divertissement; fue una vez..., commissioned by Colonel de Basil for the Ballet Russe, and Suite Argentina, which the Ballet Español took to Barcelona, Havana, London and Paris. Most of his output consisted of songs for voice and piano - many unpublished.
Guastavino was a near contemporary of Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983), but the two men couldn't have been more different. Ginastera embraced the modern, but Guastavino remained isolated from the modern and avant-garde, creating for himself a national style based on the traditions of the late nineteenth century.
Carlos Guastavino died on 29 October 2000 in Santa Fé, Argentina, aged eighty-eight.
Ensemble. Liquid Velvet - Paul Wiffen listens to the new soprano-piano duo TangOpera
CD Spotlight. A Striking Urgency - Schnittke and Ginastera from the Choir of St Ignatius Loyola, reviewed by Howard Smith. 'Not quite what one might expect.'