Roque Cordero

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Roque Cordero (August 16, 1917 – December 27, 2008) was a Panamanian composer.[1]


Born in Panama City, he studied composition under Ernst Krenek and conducting under Dimitri Mitropoulos, Stanley Chapple, and Leon Barzin before becoming director of the Institute of Music and Artistic Director and conductor of the National Symphony of his native country. Later he was assistant director of the Latin American Music Center (LAMúsiCa), professor of composition at Indiana University, and, from 1972, distinguished professor emeritus at Illinois State University.

His works have been widely performed in Latin America, the United States and Europe, receiving international awards for his First Symphony (Honorable Mention, Detroit, 1947), Rapsodia Campesina (First Prize, Panama, 1953), Second Symphony (Caro de Boesi Award, Caracas, Venezuela, 1957), Violin Concerto (1974 Koussevitzky International Recording Award), and Third String Quartet (Chamber Music Award, San José, Costa Rica, 1977). Several of his compositions have been recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Chicago Sinfonietta (Eight Miniatures for Small Orchestra, Paul Freeman, conductor, Cedille Records) and various chamber music groups and soloists. He has appeared as guest conductor in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and in the United States. His "Sonata breve" for solo piano, composed in 1966, is published by C.F. Peters. His Second Symphony was performed by the Seattle Philharmonic in April 2008.

After retiring he spent the last eight years of his life living with his family in Dayton, Ohio, where he died at age 91.[2]

Selected works[edit]


  • Adagio Tragico, String Orchestra
  • Capricho Interiorano: Panamanian Folk Ballet Suite
  • Cinco Mensaje
  • Symphony No. 2 in One Movement

Chamber music[edit]

  • Dodecaconcerto
  • Dos Piezas Cortas
  • Mensaje Funebre
  • Paz, Paix, Peace, Harp and Ensemble
  • Permutaciones 7
  • Quinteto
  • Soliloquios No. 1
  • Soliloquios No. 2
  • Soliloquios No. 3
  • Sonata
  • Sonatina
  • String Quartet No. 1
  • String Quartet No. 2
  • Tres Mensajes Breves, Viola and Piano
  • Variations and Theme for Five, Woodwind Quintet


  • Duo 1954, Two Pianos
  • Sonata Breve
  • Sonatina Ritmica


  • Cantata para la Paz
  • Dos Pequenas Piezas Corales


  • Musica Veinte, Vocal Soloists and Ensemble


  1. ^ De Lerma, Dominique-Rene. "African Heritage Symphonic Series". Liner note essay. Cedille Records CDR061.
  2. ^ Moss, Khalid. (December 29, 2008). "Classical composer dies weeks before concert ." Dayton Daily News. Retrieved January 13, 2009.

External links[edit]