Eduardo Alonso-Crespo

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Eduardo Alonso-Crespo (also spelled Eduardo Alonso Crespo, without the hyphen) is an Argentine composer of classical music.


Argentine composer and conductor Eduardo Alonso-Crespo was born in San Miguel de Tucumán in 1956, and grew up in the neighboring city of Salta, in Northwestern Argentina. He received his early musical training from Elizabeth Ocaña de García in Salta, and his musical college education and degree at the School of Musical Arts of the National University of Tucumán. At this same university he also received a Civil Engineer degree. He later came to the United States through a Fulbright Grant and obtained his Master degree at Carnegie Mellon University, after studying with maestros Lukas Foss, Leonardo Balada and Samuel Jones. Further training included seminars and workshops with maestros Max Rudolf, Gunther Schuller, Julio Lazarte and Henry Holt.

Besides composing an important corpus of chamber and symphonic music, he has produced a number of works for the stage; among them the ballet Medea (staged in 1985), the incidental music for Macbeth, winner of the 1994 Iris Marga Award in Argentina for best original score for drama and staged in 1994, the opera Putzi (staged in 2004), based on an anecdote from Franz Liszt's life, and the opera Juana, la loca (staged in 1991), composed for the 500 Anniversary of the Discovery of America. In 1986 he was invited to present an opera and a ballet - simultaneously - for the First Buenos Aires Summer Festival and in that same year he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts of Argentina to compose his second opera. More recently, in 2006, his First Symphony was chosen as mandatory work for the VIII International Course for Conductors of the Concepción Symphony Orchestra in Chile.

His works have been performed in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and France, and at prestigious locations including the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, the Madeleine Church in Paris, the De Doelen Grand Hall in Rotterdam, the Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Queluz Royal Palace in Lisbon.

Due to the chronological inversion of the artistic seasons between the Northern and Southern hemispheres, Alonso-Crespo served as Music Director of the Tucumán Symphony Orchestra in Argentina and Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble in the U.S.A. for twelve years (1989–2000). Past positions as a conductor also include Principal Guest Conductor and Composer in Residence of the Salta Symphony Orchestra (Argentina), Music Director of the Orquesta Estable de Tucumán, the orchestra of the Tucumán Opera and Ballet Theatre (Argentina), Resident Conductor at Carnegie Mellon University, Associate Conductor of the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, Assistant Conductor of the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and Music Director of the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble (U.S.A.) In 1998 he made his debut at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires while more recent conducting activities comprise leading the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville, Spain, for the Naxos label.

Prizes, awards and distinctions[edit]

  • Alejandro Shaw Prize from the National Academy of Fine Arts of Argentina, together with the two Honorary Mentions especially created by the jury on that occasion (1981)
  • Second Prize from the Fundación San Telmo Composers Competition (1982)
  • First Prize of the First Competition of the Promúsica Foundation and the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1983)
  • Second Composition Prize from the National University of La Plata Composers Competition (1983)
  • First and Second Prizes - simultaneously - in the Luis Gianneo Composers Competition (1983)
  • Cristóbal Colón International Prize for Symphonic Music (1986)
  • Third Prize in the Viotti-Valsesia International Competition (1986)
  • Honorary Mention from the Secretary of Culture of Argentina (1987)
  • Symphonic Commission Award from the National Endowment for the Arts of Argentina (1987)
  • Iris Marga Award for Best Music for Theatre (1994)
  • First Composition Prize of the Bahía Blanca Symphony Orchestra (1994)
  • Musician of the Year (Salta, Argentina, 1990)
  • Distinguished Citizen (Tucumán, Argentina, 1998)


Major performers of his music include the National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, the Tucumán, Rosario, San Juan, Entre Ríos, Mendoza, Salta and Córdoba Symphony Orchestras in Argentina, the Mérida, Falcón, Rafael Urdaneta and Nueva Esparta Symphony Orchestras in Venezuela, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción and the Orquesta Clásica de Santiago in Chile, the Berlin Philharmonic String Octet, the Kammerorchester Riegelsberg and the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen in Germany, the Orquesta Metropolitana of Lisbon in Portugal, the Sudets Philarmonie in Poland, the Orchestre Sinfonietta de Paris in France, the Mikkeli City Orchestra in Finland, the Pittsburgh Symphony Nuance Series, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Point Chamber Orchestra, the North-South Chamber Orchestra and the Carnegie Mellon Chamber Orchestra in the U.S.A., the Orquesta de Cámara Mayo, the Orquesta Municipal de Córdoba, the Orquesta de Cámara Municipal de Rosario, the Córdoba Symphonic Band, and the Argentine and Mexican National Youth Orchestras, among many others. Chamber ensembles include Camerata Lysy, Camerata Lazarte, Camerata de México, Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble, Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, American Composers Orchestra String Quartet, and Cuarteto Clásico Argentino. The listing of choirs that performed Alonso-Crespo’s music include the Saint Olaf Choir, the TMEA All-State Mixed Choir and the Central Missouri State University Concert Choir in the U.S.A., the Kammerchor Ettlingen in Germany, the Batavia Madrigal Singers in Indonesia, the Tsuruoka Doyokai Mixed Choir in Japan, the Coro Sorelle in the UK, the National Youth Choir, the Coro Estable de Tucumán, the Coro del Instituto del Teatro Colón and the Ars Nova Choir in Argentina, and the World Youth Choir formed with members from all over the world. Distinguished soloists include Andrés Cárdenes, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Laurentius Dinca, from the Berlin Philharmonic, Santiago Garmendia, from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, guitarist Eduardo Isaac and pianist Horacio Lavandera.


His music is recorded on CD by the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra (Overtures and Dances from Operas by Alonso-Crespo), the Camerata Lazarte (Macbeth), the Carnegie Mellon Wind Ensemble (Epic Dances), the Ars Nova Children and Youth Choir (Pachamama), the St. Olaf Choir (Waynápaq Taki) and Andrea Merenzon and members of the Buenos Aires Philharmonic (Concerto for bassoon and orchestra). More recent work for compact disc includes the recording of Leonardo Balada’s Divertimentos with the Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble for Albany Records, and a CD for Naxos with the Seville Royal Orchestra.

Works (in chronological order)[edit]

Stage works[edit]

  • Medea, ballet for chorus and orchestra (1984)
  • Juana, la loca, opera in two acts, for soloists, chorus and orchestra (1990)
  • Macbeth, incidental music for chamber orchestra (1994)
  • Putzi, opera in one act, for soloists and orchestra (1986–2004)

Orchestral works[edit]

  • Sinfonietta, for string orchestra (1981)
  • Mephisto, waltz for the opera Putzi, for orchestra (1986)
  • Overture to the opera Juana, la loca, for orchestra (1989)
  • Ballet Music for the opera Juana, la loca, for orchestra (1989)
  • Prelude for the opera Yubarta, for orchestra (1992)
  • Lady Macbeth, for string orchestra (1996)
  • The Valley of the Menhirs, version for string orchestra (1997)
  • Canto de la Mañana, for string orchestra (1997)
  • Dowland Variations, for orchestra (1999–2000)
  • Pachamama (Mother Earth), for female or children’s choir and string orchestra (sung in Spanish) (2000)
  • Symphony no. 1, for orchestra (2002–2003)
  • The Valley of the Menhirs, version for large orchestra (2005)
  • Symphony no. 2, for orchestra (2005–2006)
  • Symphony no. 3 "Sinfonía Lírica", for mezzo-soprano orchestra (2006–2007)
  • Symphony no. 4 "Hoka-Néni", for orchestra (2007)

Concertante Music[edit]

  • Concerto for Piano no. 1 Commentaries on three waltzes by Alberdi, for solo piano and orchestra (1983)
  • Tibia Piel, love duet for soprano, tenor and orchestra (1990)
  • Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (Danzas Urbanas) (1995–1996)
  • Chacona en tiempo de tango, for solo violin and string orchestra (2001)
  • Concerto for Clarinet, for solo clarinet and string orchestra (2001–2002)
  • Concerto for Piano no. 2, for solo piano and string orchestra (2002)
  • Concerto for Viola, for solo viola and string orchestra (2002)
  • Concierto en tiempo de tango, for solo violin and string orchestra (2004)
  • Concerto for Piano no. 3, for solo piano and orchestra (2004–2005)
  • Date a volar, concert aria for soprano and string orchestra (2010)
  • Concerto for Guitar, for solo guitar and orchestra (2011)

Chamber Music[edit]

  • String Quartet no. 1 (1982)
  • Overture to the opera Juana, la loca, version for chamber ensemble (1989)
  • Epic Dances, for wind ensemble (1993)
  • String Quartet no. 2 The Valley of the Menhirs (1996)
  • Macbeth Suite, for chamber ensemble (1995)
  • Sextet, for piano, two violins, viola, cello and double bass (2010)

Choral Music[edit]

  • Pachamama (Mother Earth), for female or children’s choir (sung in Spanish) (1998–1999)
  • Waynápaq Taki (Song of the Adolescent), for mixed choir (sung in Quechua) (2001)
  • Ara Pana (Fly, butterfly), for female or children’s choir (sung in Spanish and Chiriguano-Chané dialect) (2003)

External links[edit]