Manuel Gregorio Tavárez
|Manuel Gregorio Tavarez|
"Father of the Puerto Rican danza"
|Born||November 28, 1843|
|Origin||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|Died||July 1, 1883
Ponce, Puerto Rico
|Occupations||Composer of danzas|
Tavarez was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the son of a French father and a Puerto Rican mother. San Juan was the city where he first began his musical studies. Among his first teachers were Jose Cabrizas and Domingo Delgado. Tavarez became an accomplished pianist at an early age. He was able to enroll and study music in the Music Conservatory of Paris at the age of 15 with a scholarship granted by "The Economic Society of Friends of Puerto Rico" (La Sociedad Economica Amigos del Pais). Tavarez studied under the guidance of Auber and D'Albert. While in France, Tavarez suffered a stroke which left his hand partially paralyzed.
Tavarez returned to Puerto Rico because of his health problems. He settled down in Ponce where he gave piano lessons. He was able to overcome his health problems and began to put on musical concerts of his compositions.
"Father of the Puerto Rican Danzas"
Tavarez is considered to be Puerto Rico's first Romanticism era composer. He also composed music of other genres as well. Among his best known works was the funeral March: Rendencion (Redemption) dedicated to honor the memory of José Campeche, the Rhapsody: Souvener de Puerto Rico, and his Danzas: Recuerdos de Antaño (Remembrance of Yesteryear) and what is considered his greatest work, the danza Margarita. The music created by Tavarez would always be recognized as an integral part of Puerto Rican culture. Tavarez is known as the "Father of the Puerto Rican Danzas". Among his most distinguished disciples was the composer Juan Morel Campos. His daughter Elisa Tavárez would also become an accomplished pianist. Manuel Gregorio Tavarez died on July 1, 1883 in the city of Ponce, Puerto Rico.
Selection of Danza's by Tavarez
|You may listen to Luciano Quiñones piano interpretation of Tavarez's "Margarita" here|
The following is a list of some of Tavarez's Danza's:
- La Sensitiva (The sensitive one)
- Recuerdos de Antaño (Remembrance of Yesteryear)
- Souvener de Puerto Rico
- Un Recuerdito (A small remembrance)
Honors and recognitions
Tavarez has been honored by the Government of Puerto Rico with the naming of public buildings and institutions after him. In San Juan, there is a theater named after him. His music can still be appreciated in concerts today. In Ponce, he is recognized at the Ponce Park of the Illustrious Ponce Citizens.
- HERMOSOS RECUERDOS - Evangelina Colón Canta Danzas De Puerto Rico
- Free scores by Manuel Gregorio Tavárez at the International Music Score Library Project