Monday, October 26, 2009

Jose Castaneda (1898-1983)

was a theorist, composer, and Guatemalan composer. He spent time studying in Paris and in 1930 founded an orchestra called the Ars Nova in Guatemala City. In 1936 the dictator Jorge Ubico made it the official state orchestra and it was then renamed Orquesta Progresista. He left the orchestra and moved to Europe when it became part of the military. He subsequently returned and became director of the National Conservatory where he also taught. One of his compositions La chalena (1922) is still sung at the university. He published a book on musical theory called Las polaridades del ritmo y del sonido in 1967 which had a notation system for music and choreography. His opera Imagenes de nacimiento, and his ballet La serpiente emplumada were both very successful. He also composed three symphonies and two string quartets.

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