Ramiro Cortés

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Ramiro Cortés Jr. (25 November 1933 or 1938 – 2 July 1984) was an American composer.

Cortés was born in Dallas, Texas, either in 1933[1] or 1938.[2] He studied with Henry Cowell, Richard Donovan, Ingolf Dahl, Vittorio Giannini, Roger Sessions, Halsey Stevens, and, in Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship, with Goffredo Petrassi. He worked for a brief period in the 1960s as a computer programmer, and then taught composition at the University of California, Los Angeles (1966–67), University of Southern California (1967–72), and the University of Utah (1972–84). He died in Salt Lake city on 2 July 1984.[1]

His earlier compositions employed serial technique, but beginning in the late 1960s he turned to a freer form of chromatic atonality. He was of Mexican American descent.[3]

Works (selective list)[edit]

  • Piano Sonata no. 1 (1954)
  • Sinfonia sacra (1954/59)
  • Chamber Concerto for Cello and 12 Winds (1957–58/78)
  • Prometheus, opera, after Aeschylus (1960)
  • String Quartet no. 1 (1962)
  • Three Movements for Five Winds, for wind quintet (1967–68)
  • Rêve parisien (text: Baudelaire), for soprano and string quartet (1971–72)
  • Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1975)
  • Piano Sonata no. 3 (1979)
  • String Quartet no. 2 (1983)
  • Music for Strings (1983)


  • Hitchcock, H. Wiley and Michael Meckna. 2001. "Cortés, Ramiro". Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 28 June 2007), <http://www.grovemusic.com> (subscription access).
  • Pitt, Roland Charles. 1990. "The Piano Music of Ramiro Cortés." DMA Dissertation. Austin: University of Texas.
  • Slonimsky, Nicolas, and Laura Kuhn (eds.). 2001. "Cortés, Ramiro Jr.". Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Music and Musicians, eighth edition. New York: Schirmer Books.