News

Distinguished Professor Walter Clark has been designated by the Academic Senate as the 2020-21 Faculty Research Lecturer. This is the highest honor bestowed by the Academic Senate, and after more than 50 years, this is the first time a professor in the Arts has received this distinction. The award is given in recognition of his record of research productivity and impact. As the award announcement stated: “Clark has devoted much of his career to the systematic scholarly investigation of Spanish and Latin American music. Although this is an area that used to be at the margins of musicology, Clark has played a significant role in moving it toward the center. This is an important scholarly achievement.”


On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, the campus-wide Grad Slam 2020 competition took place at the Culver Center. Nine doctoral students from across campus each had three minutes to explain the nature and significance of their research. Of the nine, two were from the Music Department:  composer Ethan Castro and musicologist Eric Johns. Ethan’s talk was entitled “ResonX – Feeling Sounds through Vibrations” and dealt with his technological innovations that help the hearing-impaired to perceive musical sound through tactile means. Eric presented on “Racing Music/Musicking Race,” which explored the erasure of Afro-Argentine musicians from the narrative of tango history. All nine presentations were very polished, and our students faced stiff competition. We are pleased to announce that Eric Johns won this year’s Grad Slam competition, which comes with a monetary award of $5,000.  And there’s more good news:  Ethan won third prize and an award of $1,000! They are the very first students in either the Arts or Humanities at UCR to win a coveted Grad Slam award.


The Center for Iberian and Latin American Music is very proud of the conspicuous representation of its faculty and students at the national meeting of the American Musicological Society in November 2019. UCR graduates Drs. Bernard Gordillo and Daniel Castro Pantoja read outstanding and well-received papers on Nicaraguan and Colombian topics, respectively.  UCR doctoral candidate Pedro López de la Osa was a panelist at the Music and Disability Study Group meeting, presenting his findings on blind composer Rafael Rodríguez Albert. Prof. Walter Clark was a panelist at the meeting of the Ibero-American Music Study Group and also read a paper at a regular session. His focus at both was on Spanish music and politics. UCR hosted the February 2020 meeting of the local chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, and our students played a key role in organizing the meeting and presenting papers. The highlight of the two-day conference featured performances by our Mariachi Mexicatl and Mayupatapi ensembles, offering beautiful renditions of traditional Mexican and Andean music. These two groups will appear at an exclusive event organized by the UCR Office of Development for Chancellor’s Associates. Spirit and Heritage:  The Music of Iberia and Latin Americawill highlight the history and activities of our Center. Prof. Clark will give a talk about CILAM and perform on the guitar.


Prof. Paulo Chagas’s Tänze vor Angst, for bassoon and piano and inspired by Paul Klee’s eponymous watercolor, was premiered at the Moscow Conservatory in August 2019 before an appreciative audience, which received the work with warm applause.


Prof. Rogerio Budasz’s book Opera in the Tropics was recently published by Oxford University Press, in its series Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music.  An in-depth and highly original contribution to our understanding of eighteenth-century opera, it sheds important new light on issues of race, class, and culture in colonial Brazil.  Currently available in hardcover, it is beautifully illustrated.


Prof. Leonora Saavedra’s groundbreaking collection of essays, Carlos Chávez and His World, which she edited for Princeton University Press in her role as resident scholar of the Bard Music Festival in 2015, dedicated to Chávez, has now appeared in Spanish translation (by Alejandro Pérez Sáez).  Carlos Chávez y su Mundo is handsomely presented and richly illustrated.  Published by El Colegio Nacional (2018), it features an eloquent “presentación” by the eminent composer Mario Lavista.


Prof. Walter Clark’s latest book is Los Romeros:  Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar.  It has been published by the University of Illinois Press in its Music in American Life series.  Available in hardcover, paperback, and digital formats, it features forewords by, among others, the late Sir Neville Marriner, who said of this famous family of guitarists, “For the protraction of my musical education and the great pleasure of the company, I am truly grateful to the family Romero.”