The Guitar in Negotiations of Spanish National Identity, 1920-1930
9:00AM - 10:00AM
During the Spanish Silver Age (1898-1936) the very cultural and political foundations of the Spanish nation were challenged by a succession of unstable and contentious governments, regional factionalism, and a loss of empire that prompted philosophical debates over the essence of Spain. As intellectuals and politicians debated about Spain’s true essence, composers constructed their visions through historical retrospection, the use of folk music, and the adoption of foreign compositional techniques. During this era the guitar became an even more powerful symbol of Spanish identity as flamenco music and the classical guitar garnered international esteem; yet most musicological research on the Spanish Silver Age prioritizes issues of exoticism in the orchestral works of Manuel de Falla. As a result, there is a surprising lack of critical engagement with the guitar works of this era even though the instrument provides perhaps the most fruitful medium through which to musically analyze the complex negotiations of Spanish identity. This lecture-recital contextualizes musical aesthetics with the sociopolitical negotiations over Spanish national identity through a critical analysis of folkloric and avant-garde musical features in the first guitar works of prominent non-guitarist composers such as Adolfo Salazar, Rodolfo Halffter and others. The guitar functioned as an ideal medium through which to express Spanish identity precisely because of its ubiquity in Spanish culture. I argue that Spanish composers had to directly engage with the negotiations over national identity when writing their first pieces for such a volatile instrument in an equally volatile socio-political landscape.
Finals of the Youth and Collegiate Guitar Competitions hosted by the Great Lakes Guitar Society
1:00PM – 3:30PM
Brouwer in Buffalo 2019 will close with the finals of both the Youth and Collegiate Guitar Competitions. adjudicated by a panel of artists with Maestro Leo Brouwer as the President of the jury for both competitions.