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Rodrigo Discussion Panel at Harvard

Portrait of Joaquin Rodrigo, 1935Friends in the Boston area, we have added a discussion panel at Harvard to our Joaquín Rodrigo Festival calendar! 

The panel will be April 11 at the Harvard Instituto Cervantes, at 5:30 pm. It follow the same format as the one upcoming April 9 at the King Juan Carlos I Center at NYU, on Rodrigo’s life and works. 

Both panels will include Walter A. Clark, Antoni Pizà, Douglas Riva, and Javier Suárez-Pajares, moderated by our festival director, Isabel Pérez Dobarro. Mezzo-soprano Anna Tonna will perform with guitarist Hermelindo Ruiz. (The NYU panel will feature Graduate Center guitarist Federico Díaz.)

Read the event announcement (español and English) here.

5:30 pm
April 11
4th Floor, 2 Arrow St.
Cervantes Observatorio, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Or join us in NYC April 9!

Rodrigo’s Piano Music, April 4

We are delighted to announce the details of the next concert in our Joaquin Rodrigo: The Guitar and Beyond chamber music series, co-sponsored by the Hispanic Society.

The April 4 concert will feature music for piano, performed by Douglas Riva and Isabel Pérez Dobarro, including Cuatro piezas (4 Pieces), A l’ombre de Torre Bermeja (In the Shadow of the Torre Bermeja), Juglares (for four hands), the ironic Gran marcha de los subsecretarios (Grand March of the Under-Secretaries), and more.

There will be a pre-concert lecture with the performers, Douglas Riva and Isabel Pérez Dobarro, plus Cecilia Rodrigo, daughter of the composer, and her daughter, Patricia León Rodrigo. You can read the text of the lecture here.

You can also view the full program with notes here.

Admission is free but RSVP is required. You may RSVP by visiting the Hispanic Society’s event page or by emailing

4 April 2019
Lecture: 6:30 pm
Concert: 7:00 pm

American Academy of Arts & Letters
632 West 156 Street New York

You can view the program and pre-concert lecture for the first concert in the series here. The third and final concert will be May 2.

25 April 2019: Florence Gétreau to present public lecture at the Graduate Center

The Brook Center is delighted to present FLORENCE GÉTREAU, in a lecture entitled MUSICIANS IN PORTRAITS: ARCHAEOLOGY OF A GENRE, CODES OF REPRESENTATION, SYMBOLIC AND SOCIAL MEANINGS. GÉTREAU is the renowned musicologist, art historian, and author of the award-winning book, Voir la musique.

Thursday, 25 April 2019, at 6:30 o’clock
The Martin E. Segal Theatre
The Graduate Center
The City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Free and open to the public




Livestream of the event:

The event will begin with the presentation of the inaugural Claire Brook Award to Florence Gétreau for her book Voir la musique (Paris: Éditions Citadelles & Mazenod, 2017). Her lecture, described below, will follow. 

Considering that a portrait is the representation of a specific person, and not a “figure of character”, the lecture will be devoted to paintings (and sometimes graphic art representations) of identified musicians. The first visual evidence of renowned musicians (instrumentalists, singers, composers, theoreticians, cantors, and sometimes persons who have several such functions) comes from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in a variety of media, from miniatures in codex to figurative tombstones. The production of medals, woodcuts, and painted panels during the sixteenth century spawned a tradition of representing the professional musician as a figure “acting”, sometimes with other persons, in a typical environment (chapel, court and official setting) or framed alone as a bust or face.

Since the Renaissance, individual portraits on canvas have expressed the social status of musicians with codes of representation and often with contextual attributes and elements. Selected from different Western countries and times, they present famous municipal or street musicians, court and ecclesiastic musicians, instrumentalists and virtuosi, singers on stage in their famous roles, but also “à la ville”, composers with their emblems and inspired attitudes, concert masters and conductors in action.

In addition to professional musicians, amateurs range from princes and other royal amateurs to aristocrats and bourgeois practitioners, with special focus on female painters making music. Portraits of especially famous music personalities will be presented as case studies to demonstrate each of these categories (the castrato Farinelli, the virtuoso Liszt, the composers Lassus, Rameau or Berlioz).

Group portraits support an understanding of the context in which musicians were acting together (in court bodies like chapels or chamber ensembles) but also in domestic companies. Artists’ colonies and communities were also sometimes portrayed as a manifesto.

Historiated portraits, self-portraits, caricatures, as well as “deconstructed” effigies (in the twentieth century, for example) are good opportunities to develop the symbolic vocabulary used by painters across the centuries to emphasize the peculiarity of musicians in portrait.

FLORENCE GÉTREAU is director emeritus of research at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). For thirty years she has been a curator at the Musée Instrumental du Conservatoire de Paris and the Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires, chef de projet of the Musée de la Musique, and she served as director of the Institut de recherche sur le patrimoine musical en France (2004–2013). She has authored or edited numerous publications on makers and cultural contexts of French musical instruments as well as their conservation and access, on the sociology of music, and on music iconography. She is the founding editor of the journal Musique • Images • Instruments and has frequently curated exhibitions, most recently “Wine and Music: Harmony and Dissonance” (Cité du Vin, Bordeaux). Elected to the Academia Europaea in 2010, Commandeur des Arts et Lettres, she is the recipient of the Anthony Baines prize and the Curt Sachs Award of the American Musical Instruments Society. She is Past President of the Société française de musicologie (2011–2015), and current member of the Directorium of the International Musicological Society.

THE CLAIRE BROOK AWARD, established in April 2018 by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation (The Graduate Center of The City University of New York), honors an outstanding monograph, dissertation, edited collection, or exhibition catalogue on a designated topic related to the current work of the Brook Center.

CLAIRE BROOK (1925–2012) was vice president and music editor of W.W. Norton & Co. in New York, in a distinguished lineage that included Paul Henry Lang, Nathan Broder, and David Hamilton. She sponsored the publication of dozens of books in Norton’s series “Books that Live in Music,” including seminal works on the music of Africa, jazz, and contemporary music, as well as editions of Joseph Machlis’s The Enjoyment of Music and Donald Jay Grout’s A History of Western Music that have kept them at the forefront of music textbooks ever since. In 1999 she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, by the New England Conservatory. After retirement from Norton, she served for a number of years as Executive Editor of Pendragon Press. Claire left a generous bequest to the Brook Center that has supported many of its activities over the years. It is in her honor that this award has been established.

Sonidos Negros Presentation for Flamenco Festival NY

The Foundation for Iberian Music is pleased to once again participate in the New York Flamenco Festival, which will be held in early March this year. (See the City Center’s website for information on mainstage performances, March 7–10.)

Sonidos Negros book coverThis year, we are hosting a presentation by none other than K. Meira Goldberg, our resident flamencologist and director of the Natives, Africans, Roma, and Europeans conference series (which will have its third installment this April).

On March 5, Goldberg will present her latest book, Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco, in a discussion with Antoni Pizà (Foundation for Iberian Music). You will have the chance to see the films that are the subject of two of the book’s chapters:  Danse Espagnole de la Feria (1923), shot by Lumière at the World’s Fair in Paris, 1900, which features the first male flamenco dancer ever recorded (a black man of Cuban descent, Jacinto Padilla, “El Negro Meri”); and four short films shot in Sevilla in 1917 by Léonide Massine as preparation for choreographing The Three-Cornered Hat (1919), which feature Juana Vargas “La Macarrona,” her sister María Vargas “La Macarrona,” and their first cousin Antonio López Clavijo “Ramírez.” 

About the book:

What can flamenco dance tell us about race and racism in the world wrought by slavery? From 711–1492, parts of the Iberian Peninsula were ruled by a succession of vast Afro-Islamic caliphates—and were simultaneously the epicenter of Christian Europe’s battle to eject these forces. Christian victory came in the same year that Christopher Columbus’s landing in the Americas set in motion a massive and catastrophic shift in global hegemony. Gradually, Spain’s system of “blood purity,” a tool in the battle against Islam, became what we now think of as “race”; Christian evangelization was a weapon of conquest. Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco (Oxford University Press, 2018), traces how flamenco’s ostentatious rebelliousness, tumultuous sensuality, quixotic idealism, and fierce soulfulness embody resistance, the lament for what has been lost, and the values and aspirations of those rendered imperceptible by abjection, enslavement, and colonization.

 Brenda Dixon Gottschild (professor amerita Temple University, author of The Black Dancing Body) calls the book “a majestic work—readable, revelatory,”  Alberto del Campo Tejedor (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville) calls it “surprising and necessary.” Please join us for this chance to have a conversation with the author about a vital and overlooked part of flamenco’s history.

Sonidos Negros is available for purchase from Oxford for $35. 

Admission: free
7:30 pm
5 March, 2019
Martin E. Segal Theater
The Graduate Center
365 5th Ave, NYC


Joaquín Rodrigo Panel at NYU’s Juan Carlos I Center

As a part of our Joaquín Rodrigo: The Guitar and Beyond festival, we will be holding a panel at  NYU’s King Juan Carlos I Center. The panel will feature performances by  Federico Díaz (guitar, DMA student at the Graduate Center) and Anna Tonna (mezzo-soprano).

The panel will include Walter A. Clark (UC Riverside), Isabel Pérez Dobarro, Antoni Pizà (Foundation for Iberian Music), Douglas Riva, Javier Suárez-Pajares (visiting scholar at the Graduate Center, with Brooks Center projects Foundation for Iberian Music and Music in Gotham), and special guest Cecilia Rodrigo, daughter of Joaquín (founder of Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo and Fundación Victoria y Joaquín Rodrigo).

A reception will follow the panel.

9 April 2018
7 pm 
Admission: Free

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University
Conference Room and Atrium
53 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012



NYAE Winter Concerts

New York Andalus Ensemble will be having their annual winter concert next week, December 12, at La Nacional. Don’t miss this chance to see the full ensemble!

Tickets are $20 ($16 student/senior). You can view more information and buy tickets here.


7:00 pm
12 December, 2018
La Nacional, 239 W. 14th St



If small ensembles are more to your liking, you are also in luck. Samuel Torjman Thomas will be performing with a few NYAE members at the Metropolitan Museum, in conjunction with their Delacroix exhibit. This two-part concert highlights rural and urban Judeo-Islamic music from Morocco.

The concerts are free with museum admission.

5:00 pm
21 and 22 December, 2018
Metropolitan Museum, Great Hall Balcony

13 Dec 2018: Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

Thursday, December 13, 5:30 - 7:30 pm, at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., Skylight Room, 9th floor

Toscanini: Musician of Conscience

By the late 1920s, Arturo Toscanini – then in his early sixties – was music director of La Scala in Milan and the New York Philharmonic, and beyond a doubt the most celebrated conductor in the world. He had worked with many of the world’s most important opera ensembles and symphony orchestras, had brought about major reforms in the former, and had raised performance standards in the latter. But his hatred of Mussolini’s fascist regime was beginning to become public knowledge. He declared that he would not perform again in Italy unless and until the fascist regime fell, and he extended his protest to Germany in 1933, when Hitler came to power, and to Austria in 1938, when that country became part of the Third Reich. In 1936 and 1938 he went to Palestine at his own expense to conduct the new symphony orchestra (now the Israel Philharmonic) made up largely of Jewish refugees from central Europe, and he spent the war years in exile in the United States, where he conducted concerts to benefit the Allied war effort and the Red Cross, helped refugee musicians less fortunate than himself to find work, and participated, with other leading Italian antifascist exiles, in efforts to insure that postwar Italy would have a truly democratic government. In this interview and conversation, Harvey Sachs will discuss the life and career of Toscanini, his political activism, and the scholarly process behind the writing of the definitive biography of the great maestro.

Harvey Sachs, author of Toscanini: Musician of Conscience, editor and translator of The Letters of Arturo Toscanini

In Conversation With

James Melo, ERC’s musicologist and Senior Editor at RILM


The seminar is part of the Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s concert Maestro, which opens in January at the Duke Theater. For more information, visit

Harvey Sachs’s most recent book is Toscanini, Musician of Conscience, published by Liveright, New York, in 2017. His other books include Virtuoso, Music in Fascist ItalyRubinstein: A Life, Reflections on Toscanini, The Ninth: Beethoven and the Year 1824, and, as co-author, Plácido Domingo’s My First Forty Years and Sir Georg Solti’s Memoirs. He also edited and translated The Letters of Arturo Toscanini. He has written for the New Yorker, New York Times, Times Literary Supplement of London, La Stampa, Il Sole-24 Ore, and many other publications, as well as for radio and television. He is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia; gives lectures at universities and cultural institutions worldwide; and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He lived in Europe – mainly in Italy – for over thirty years and was Artistic Director of the Società del Quartetto di Milano. In 2017 he received an honorary knighthood from the President of Italy for his contributions to Italian culture.

James Melo has written extensively for scholarly journals and music magazines in Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, and Austria, and has been invited to participate as a panel discussant in conferences in Indiana, New York, and Canada. He is the New York correspondent for the magazine Sinfónica in Uruguay, reviewer of music iconography for the journal Music in Art, and senior editor at RILM (Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale) at CUNY. In March 2005, he chaired a session in the conference Music and Intellectual History, organized by the Barry Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation (CUNY), and presented a paper on the history of musicological research in Brazil. He received a grant from the Paul Sacher Stiftung in Basel, Switzerland, where he conducted research on the manuscripts of Anton Webern. Mr. Melo is the program annotator for the recording of the complete piano music of Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri on Naxos, and the program annotator for the National Philharmonic in Strathmore, MD.


Concerts Announced for Joaquín Rodrigo Celebration

As we recently announced, one of the Foundation for Iberian Music’s main events for 2019 will be “Joaquín Rodrigo: The Guitar and Beyond,” a festival commemorating the 20th anniversary of the composer’s death. We are excited to share the first concert dates for this festival.

There will be a series of three chamber music concerts at NYC’s Hispanic Society, beginning December 6.  

Joaquín Rodrigo wrote a significant number of important and very beautiful works of chamber music, almost all of which is surprisingly little known. This opening concert of the Rodrigo series highlights masterworks of chamber music composed between 1929 and 1982.  The program will include works for violin and piano such as Set Cançons Valencianes (Seven Valencian Songs), Rumaniana and the brilliant Sonata pimpante as well as Siciliana and Sonata a la breve for cello and piano.

Attendance is free, but please RSVP by emailing the Hispanic Society at

6:30 pm (pre-concert lecture)
7:00 pm
American Academy of Arts & Letters
632 West 156 Street, NYC

The next concerts in the series will be in the spring of 2019, on April 4 and May 2. You can view the home page for the series here

DEADLINE EXTENDED – CFP: Transatlantic Rhythms in Music, Song and Dance (Veracruz, 2019)

We are delighted to announce the call for papers for the next conference in our Natives, Africans, Roma and Europeans series, “Transatlantic Rhythms in Music, Song and Dance,” to be held in Veracruz, Mexico April 11–13, 2019.


You may view the CFP in both English and Spanish below, or click here to download the PDF:

[pdf-embedder url=”ánticos-final.pdf” title=”Convocatoria_Ritmos trasatlánticos final”]


The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2018 February 11, 2019. Please contact K. Meira Goldberg at with any questions.

There have been two previous conferences in this interdisciplinary series, last year’s Transatlantic Malagueñas and Zapateados in Music, Song, and Dance at UC Riverside, and the inaugural conference, The Global Reach of the Fandango, in 2015. The instigator of these conferences, our resident flamencologist K. Meira Goldberg, also just completed a wonderful two-day conference on interracial and intercultural legacies in flamenco here in NYC, which will soon have selected papers published.  (Papers from The Global Reach of the Fandango are available in translation and in their original languages; papers from the Zapateados conference are forthcoming.)