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Andrea Puentes at The Foundation for Iberian Music (Brook Center)

Andrea Puentes-Blanco was a Visiting Scholar at the Foundation for Iberian Music (The Brook Center, The City University of New York) from April to July 2023. Puentes-Blanco is Tenured Researcher at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas [CSIC, Spanish National Research Council], Institución Milá y Fontanals de Investigación en Humanidades (Barcelona, Spain). During her stay at the Brook Center, Puentes-Blanco worked on her research project entitled ‘Exploring Spanish Traditional Music Holdings in US Libraries’ whose aim is to research Spanish traditional music holdings in US libraries and archives that were collected in Spain, mostly by American ethnomusicologists or anthropologists, and Spanish-speaking folk music in the United States collected from Spanish immigrants or from people of Spanish origin. A case in point is Puentes’ research on the legacy of our late colleague and mentor Henrietta Yurchenco (1916-2007). This research is part of a broader current research project entitled “Digital development of the Fondo de Música Tradicional IMF-CSIC” [Desarrollo digital del Fondo de Música Tradicional IMF-CSIC] funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation from 2022 to 2024. Puentes is currently planning an international conference to be held in Barcelona (CSIC, 2024) and NY (Foundation for Iberian Music at the Brook Center, 2025.)

Paulino Capdeón’s Researches on Iberian Music

Many of our colleagues are able to keep a prolific scholarly activity, but just a few do so maintaining the highest possible scientific standards.  A case in point is Professor Paulino Capdeón, catedrático of musicology at the Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha and Director of the Centro de Investigación y Documentación Musical de Castilla-La Mancha. Dr. Capdeon has had and continues to have, a distinguished career as a teacher and researcher with more than forty books and two hundred scholarly papers.  His publications frequently focus on eighteenth-century Spanish music, see for example his recent and very rigorous edition of Antonio Soler’s music and also the much commented influence of Italian music on Spanish repertories.  His interests, though, often veer also towards the mainstream musical repertoire that is usual at the concert hall, see for example his study of Beethoven’s reception in Spain. Very often, many of his scholarly interests have centered on extending this same mainstream concert hall repertoire.  Thus he has researched lesser-known composers bringing their life and works to the attention of scholars, musicians, students, and, ultimately, the general public.  A good example of these endevors are his studies on Ramón Garay (1761-1823) and music theorist Tomás Vicente Tosca (1651-1723), as well as his research on important centers of musical life such as the Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor de Talavera de la Reina.  In sum, we celebrate the many scholarly achievements of Professor Paulino Capdeón as a an example of intellectual scrupulousness and scientific rigor.



Marc Migó awarded the Foundation for Iberian Music Composer’s Commission 2022

Marc Migó has been awarded the Foundation for Iberian Music 2022 Composer’s Commission. The composer has written a series of twelve piano preludes entitled L’ILLA DESERTA:  Preludes for Piano, Book 1, about which Migó has written the following:

“The title “L’illa deserta” refers to a conversation I had with Dr. Philip Lasser early in my studies at Juilliard. The conversation led to being genuine in my compositional endeavors, hence, he suggested I write “desert island music.” This meant to compose without the need to prove anything to anyone but instead to follow my inner, unconditional voice, as if I was living on a desert island, far removed from civilization. Following that precept, I composed 12 preludes that make up this book which inhabits another kind of island; one not deserted but imbued with memory and dreams. Preludes 1, “Tarantella,” and 4, “Evocació,” are based on my souvenirs as a child becoming acquainted with Catalan folksongs. Prelude 2, “Elegia,” evokes the feeling of emptiness that comes when losing something precious. Prelude 3, “Scherzetto,” is a celebration of two dear friends of mine who both have exceptionally joyous and resilient personalities. Prelude 5, “Melodia,” is a homage to Myroslav Skoryk (1938-2020), a Ukrainian composer whom I admire and who embodies my affinity towards the Slavic world and Prelude 6, “Recuerdos del Casar,” invokes my Spanish roots. Despite the deep melancholy that characterizes Prelude 7, “Melangia,” the inspiration to write it did not come from any romantic heartbreak, but from the more prosaic (and, luckily, way more common) event of not being awarded a prize I had been seeking. Preludes 8 to 10 —“Tristor,” “Lament,” and “Capsa de música,” respectively—expand upon the reflective and sorrowful atmosphere captured in “Melangia.” Finally, Preludes 11, “Toccata,” and 12, “Mephisto’s Disco,” share toccata-like and virtuosic elements, the latter one being based on a particularly wild experience I had at a nightclub with a far less exciting name than that of the prelude in question.”

You may download the first prelude here:



You may also listen to the first prelude, “Cançó” here:


Antoni Pizà, the Director of the Foundation, expressed his gratefulness and excitement about these piano preludes, which announce the relaunch of the series Composer’s Commissions, which have had in the past many eminent composers including Tania León, Benet Casablancas, Paquito D’Rivera, Antoni Parera Fons, Albert Guinovart and many others.  See complete list here.

The work will be premiered in full by Marisa Gupta in Saratosa, FL on Dec 15, 2023 with a subsequent performance in St Petersburg, FL. In addition on September 30 Kiryl Keduk will play Preludes  8, 9, and 10 at Bechstein Hall in Berlin and Víctor Braojos will perform the same pieces in London.

Click here to watch a fascinating interview between Antoni Pizà and Marc Migó


Coros y Danzas: Folk Music and Spanish Nationalism: A Conversation Between Antoni Pizà and Daniel Jordan

Daniel David Jordan has just published Coros y Danzas:  Folk Music and Spanish Nationalism in the Early Franco Regime, 1939-1953.

In the following conversation Dr. Jordan discusses his book with Antoni Pizà, the Director of the CUNY Foundation for Iberian Music.

Currently, Dr. Jordan is also also organizing “Worlds Apart,” a two-day conference and recital series that explores how refugees and displaced peoples in Canada have used music to “fill” cultural absences, create diasporic communities, and build intercultural bridges since 1945.

You can see more details here

The event will take place on May 25-26, 2024, at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. It is funded by the Jackman Humanities Institute.

NY Andalus Ensemble Upcoming Performance

The New York Andalus Ensemble, in conjunction with the Foundation of Iberian Music and La Nacional, presents

Tajdid (Renewal)

An evening of music and song from al-Andalus and North Africa

For five hundred years, Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived side by side in medieval Iberia, sharing their arts and sciences to create a scintillating, multicultural tradition of music and poetry. Singing in Arabic, Hebrew, and Ladino to reflect this cultural pluralism, the New York Andalus Ensemble presents spiritual texts and songs of love and everyday life in Al-Andalus, emphasizing the expressive quality of the region’s shared tradition even as it respects the individual cultures that comprise it. Meticulous attention is paid to authenticity of style and pronunciation as ensemble members, hailing from Algeria, Syria, Israel, Morocco, and the United States, pool their linguistic and musical expertise.

“You won’t want to miss the chance to see such a diverse and versatile group.” —Spain Culture, New York

Musicians’ Self-Portraits from the Renaissance to the Digital Age

Antoni PIZÀ, director of the Foundation for Iberian Music, will present “Staging a Musical Self though Paper, Canvas, and The Screen: Musicians’ Self-Portraits from the Renaissance to the Digital Age” at the Ictm Study Group on Iconography of the Performing Arts, Università Roma Tre – Fondazione Teatro Palladium (Rome, 18–20 May 2023)

Schoenberg’s Self-Portrait

Musicians, he argues, have engaged in visual self-representation at least since the Renaissance and they have continued the tradition all the way to modern times with contemporary practices including selfies and generative technology and AI art. The practitioners include so-called classical composers (Schoenberg is a well-known case) and performers (Caruso, for instance), but also pop singers and musicians (Joni Mitchell and Patti Smith, among others). The media used varies from oil on canvas to drawings on paper, from traditional photography to digital media. In some instances, there are grave, pompous self-representations, but caricatures also abound (e.g., Donizetti). There are also many miscategorized self-portraits (i.e., portraits misattributed to their subject), and many more purposely fake or mocking self-portraits including contemporary Roman musician and comic Federico Maria Sardelli, which would indicate that the category of “self-portrait” adds value and prestige to any visual artifact. Furthermore, many visual artists, especially during the Renaissance, present themselves as faux musicians, possibly as a sign of nobility or education. Women, slowly but surely, have also claimed a space in the realm of musicians’ self-portraits since many of them, belonging to the higher echelons of society, were both visual artists and active musicians (Ducreaux and Schröter, among others). In some instances, the musician is truly obsessed with his or her own image to the point that, in addition to visual self-representation, he or she also provides written autobiographies and even musical self-portraits in sound (Spohr, for instance). In the end, any attempt to create a taxonomy of “musicians self-portraits” amounts to a serious interrogation of the usual categories of “self-portrait,” “musician,” and “artist” and to the staging of a vulnerable, doubtful self that wants to be reasserted.

Poems without Words: Albert Guinovart’s Homage to Alicia de Larrocha for her 100 Anniversary

Poems Without Words.  Thursday, June 22, 2023 8 PM Carnegie Hall.

Poems Without Words comes out at a time when our lives were doomed to fear and sadness, moments when Guinovart wanted to give us rays of hope and confidence in a better future, publishing a piece every day on his social networks so that we feel accompanied. Poems Without Words will be presented on June 22 in one of the most prestigious and emblematic venues in the world, Carnegie Hall in New York. The concert, was dedicated to the memory of Alicia de Larrocha, with whom Albert Guinovart maintained a close professional and admiring relationship.  Guinovart was the 2014 Composers Commission recipient awarded by The Foundation for Iberian Music.



See full program in Catalan, Spanish, and English:

Dossier Poems Without Words_Albert Guinovart_English

Dossier Poems Without Words_Albert Guinovart_Catalán

Dossier Poems Without Words_Albert Guinovart_Español













From Cansinos Bros. to Rita Hayworth

Kiko Mora, professor of Communications at the University of Alicante, Spain, will present a talk on SPANISH DANCE, RACE, AND NATION IN THE US: FROM THE CANSINO BROTHERS TO RITA HAYWORTH.

See eventbrite link.

In January 1913, Sevillian dancers Elisa and Eduardo Cansino arrived in New York to perform for socialite and cultural maven Marion Stuyvesant-Fish. Soon the Cansinos were being featured in vaudeville shows and musical comedies all over the country. Their rapid rise, along with the outbreak of World War I, led the rest of the Cansino brothers (José, Paco, Ángel, Antonio and Rafael) to cross the Atlantic in search of their own portions of fame and fortune. By 1920, all the Cansino siblings had settled in Manhattan and would spend their entire lives in the USA. Among the best-known Spanish dancers here for at least the first half of the twentieth century, the Cansinos had an outsized impact on the US imagination.

In this lecture professor Mora traces the professional careers of the Cansino family as dancers, teachers and Hollywood choreographers from the perspective of race and national identity. The Cansinos gained the spotlight just as the US was emerging as a superpower on the global stage. How did the Cansinos perform the contradictory images of Spain as both conquistador­—the first American superpower—and “Moorish”/“Gypsy”? They played up Spain’s kinship with the US as both White and European while simultaneously conjuring Spain’s darkly exotic Otherness. At this pivotal moment in the rise of the imperial US, such oscillating images of Spain fed a US fantasy of racial purity, signaling both kinship with (White) Europe and (racialized) superiority in the wake of successful conquest. In this telling, the US had successfully expunged its Native, African, and Spanish American cultural inheritance by folding it into an emerging modernity. By contrast, Spain’s Whiteness was shadowed by miscegenation and haunted by the fall of its once-great empire. What famed jazz artist Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge” thus designated an inferior and alien off-whiteness. Spanish dance, as a metonym of Spain, treaded the narrow edge between White European dances and Black Afro-American dances, a liminal position that the Cansinos had to negotiate throughout their careers.

Despite the Cansinos’ efforts to whitewash their dancing by claiming origins in “Old Spain” (in the anti-modern sense of the term), the truth was that many of their acts had a decidedly modern, Afro-American aspect. Flamenco (and the Cansinos) tapped into the vibrant rhythms of popular dance by drawing from up-to-date Afro-Cuban dance, but simultaneously sought to legitimate these dances as “national” by evoking Spain’s indigenous “primitivism.” Thus, the Cansinos’ choice of repertoire situated Spanish dance on a borderline in two related ways. First, they tuned in to the fashionable rhythms of the day in order to make their act commercially successful, but without conceding their pedigree of Spanish tradition and refined technique. Secondly, the subtitles of their dances (e.g., “The Dance of Grace”), evoked the classical antiquity of Roman “Hispania,” so attractive to artists and audiences of US modern dance.

            White for Blacks, Black for Whites, Latino for Anglos, European for Latin-Americans, the Cansinos’ dilemmas would finally be resolved in the figure of Margarita del Carmen Cansino, the world-famous actress and dancer known as Rita Hayworth.