Ginastera in Washington: Correspondence with Copland and Spivacke at the Library of Congress [full paper]

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Latin American Music Center


The city of Washington held a special place in the creative life of Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983). It was there that the Argentine composer achieved some of his distinguished successes, beginning with the premiere of his Second Sring Quartet (1958), which was commissioned by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation and performed in the Library of Congress. Given these achievements, it is no surprise that Ginastera considered Washington his lucky city. Yet, the U.S. capital also proves providential for researchers, since many of the sources that document the composer’s U.S. activities reside in the Library of Congress. This paper explores the highlights of the Ginastera correspondence that is housed at the LC—a resource that yields fresh perspectives into the composer’s transnational connections with music and musicians in the United States. Ginastera’s letters to Aaron Copland offer a fascinating window into the relationship that the composer shared with a valued teacher, mentor, and friend. His two-way correspondence with Harold Spivacke, the former Chief of the Music Division at the LC, played a formative role in shaping his career. As a whole, the correspondence reveals the way that the Argentine musician upheld the Library of Congress as a model for Latin American nations. He drew deeply on the resources of the LC for a variety of purposes that exemplify his association with the iconic Washington institution.



Cultural, Conferencia, Cultural Counterpoints, Interactions, Latin America, Latin American Music Center, Music, Musical, Música, Música Latinoamericana, United States, Fiftieth Anniversary, 50th anniversary, Alberto Ginastera, Washington D.C., Argentina, Second String Quartet, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, Library of Congress, Aaron Copland, Harold Spivacke



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