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Venezuelan-American musicologist, conductor and composer Alejandro Enrique Planchart was born on 29 July 1935 in Caracas, where he studied piano, philosophy and literature. Later he studied at Yale and Harvard, where he studied the Winchester Troper, a medieval English manuscript source.
He taught at Yale, where in 1963 he created the Cappella Cordina ensemble, comprising undergraduates, graduates and members of the community, to play early music. He moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1977, reinstating the Cappella Cordina there.
He was a Renaissance and Middle Ages specialist, particularly known for his work on the music of Guillaume Du Fay, for which he won the 2009 Arion Prize from the Cambridge Society for Early Music, and for his many early music entries in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He also wrote chamber music, songs and symphonies.
After retiring, he continued to publish articles and scholarly books.
Planchart died in Santa Barbara, Cailfornia on 28 April 2019, aged eighty-three.