Issue - September 2009



September 2009

Editorial

In this edition: Hayley Hewat tells us about how to promote social inclusion through dance Projects in Bolivia; Enrique Happ Football Club, more that sports by Dylan Rudloff; Alejandra Ramirez researches of women in the streets in Cochabamba; Finally we learn about some about of Cochabamba's great musicias from Walter Sanchezread more...

September 2009

The violin in Cochabamba

El violín en Cochabamba

Walter Sanchez
INIAM
Universidad Mayor de San Simon

Faculty Advisor Lic. Mónica Ruiz.
Miguel Angel Ajhuacho, Maria Ysabel Nina,
Natalia Rodriguez, Jenny Lara

Poco conocemos sobre el violín y sus cultores en Cochabamba. Durante la colonia, la presencia de este instrumento era moneda corriente en forma de acompañante sonoro en los oficios religiosos en templos, iglesias y conventos; era el Maestro de Capilla el encargado de formar a los niños como instrumentistas. Durante el siglo XX la secularización de la sociedad fomentará la apertura de nuevos centros y, por lo tanto, la introducción de nuevos repertorios no vinculados a la música eclesial.

Teófilo Vargas Candia (Quillacollo, 3.XI.1866; Cochabamba, 3.II.1961), uno de los más importantes violinistas, compositores y pedagogos en Cochabamba durante la segunda mitad del siglo XIX y la primera mitad del siglo XX, es producto de esta tradición académica religiosa. Internado desde niño en la casa de un canónigo de apellido Mordoñez, quién le imparte sus primeras lecciones de teoría, solfeo y violín. En 1879 recibe su nombramiento como tiple del coro de la Catedral. Debido a su talento, el Obispo de Cochabamba, Francisco María del Granado (1835-1895), lo toma bajo su tutela proporcionándole métodos de armonía, de solfeo y de composición. Su talento, más el apoyo de su mentor, hacen que el 4 de marzo de 1893 reciba el nombramiento de Maestro de Capilla interino de la Catedral. Ese mismo año se presenta a un examen de competencia para optar a este cargo, pasando a ser titular.

Su labor en la iglesia tuvo dos vertientes: (1) como Maestro de Capilla y (2) como profesor de música de los niños y jóvenes de la orquesta y el coro catedralicio. Su trabajo pedagógico en la iglesia puede ser entendido a partir de su propio relato: “Inicié mi labor de maestro a la manera del arquitecto (...) y tomé por base la formación de la Escola Cantorum para niños y jóvenes y allá fue donde se formaron generaciones de artistas profesionales”. Con este ensamble acompaña los oficios religiosos diarios y también los grandes eventos que coronaban las festividades de la ciudad. Preparaba, además, conciertos anuales a Gran Orquesta, que eran realizados cada 24 de diciembre y que incluían a otros músicos de la ciudad. Maestro de vocación, en 1893 inaugura la primera Escuela Musical privada de la ciudad, enseñando gratuitamente piano, violín, viola, flauta y otros instrumentos. En 1905 funda una nueva Escuela concretizando, dos años más tarde, la creación del Conservatorio Musical “Cochabamba”. Este Conservatorio, tal vez el primero en Bolivia, fue junto con el Coro Catedralicio, el principal centro pedagógico musical de Cochabamba durante la primera mitad del siglo XX. Tenía

un cuerpo de renombrados profesores y el mismo Maestro Vargas se desempeñaba como Director General, maestro de Coros así como profesor de violín, violoncelo y piano. Como académico abierto a las sonoridades del mundo, no sólo se interesó por la música religiosa, sino por contar con un amplio repertorio: “con esfuerzo y dificultad llegue a obtener un repertorio de autores célebres de género brillante: Rossi, Rossini, Mecadantt, Pauletti, Bechi, Henry Farmer y otros; estas composiciones fueron instrumentadas a gran orquesta y banda, las mismas que se cantaron en festividades de gran solemnidad, siendo las de mayor importancia la “Misa Solemne” a 5 voces de Gounod, la monumental obra de Mozart “Misa de Réquiem” y por último la “Misa Solemne” a 4 voces de Cherubini”. Los programas de diversas actuaciones de la orquesta del Conservatorio muestra además la interpretación de las de compositores célebres como Wagner, Donizetti, Rossini o Verdi. Esta institución, que en 1957 cambia su nombre por el de Conservatorio “Teófilo Vargas”, funcionó hasta la década de 1960, cuando cerró sus aulas por falta de presupuesto.

Otro destacado violinista fue Víctor Rodrigo M. (Cochabamba, 6.III.1896; Cochabamba, 1979). Se inicia en el violín y el piano bajo la dirección de su padre, Baldomero Rodrigo (Cochabamba, 21.IV.1874; Cochabamba 2.VIII.1916), un destacado violinista que estudia en el Coro catedralicio bajo la dirección de los maestros Francisco Doverti (italiano) y Andrés de Luque (Español). El hermano de Víctor, Guillermo Rodrigo M. (Cochabamba, 10.II.1899; Cochabamba, 1991), destacado músico y violinista cuenta el método de educación de su padre: “Mi padre era enérgico. Con un carpintero mandó hacer un atril. Consiguió un violín para mi hermano, y para mi compró un violín más pequeñito porque yo era todavía chico. Entonces nos empezó a enseñar en vacaciones….Mi padre templaba, entregaba el método. Mi padre salía a su trabajo. Regresaba a las doce y nosotros teníamos que darle la lección”. Tal disciplina hizo que en poco tiempo ambos hijos dominen el arte del violín y comiencen a trabajar como intérpretes ejecutando el violín durante los oficios religiosos en la Catedral, en otras parroquias de la ciudad e integrando orquestas que actuaban en el Teatro Achá.

Dotado de un gran talento, se traslada a la Argentina estudiando música en la Federación Musical de Buenos Aires, llegando a ser integrante de la Orquesta del Teatro Colón. De vuelta a Cochabamba, convertido en un eximio violinista, se integra a la vida musical como: (1) profesor y director de orquestas y coros del Conservatorio “Cochabamba” dirigiendo varias zarzuelas (“Marina”, “La Gran Vía”, “Los Tres Gorriones”, “Molinos de Viento”, “Quien Fuera Libre”, “Meterse en Honduras”, “La Alegría de la Huerta” y “La Sultana de Marruecos”) y colaborando con su amigo Teófilo Vargas en la preparación y puesta en escena de los melodramas “Aroma” y “Coronilla” (2) como instrumentista, integrando orquestas que acompañan a compañías de zarzuela, opereta, “cuadros de ópera”, ballets, que llegan regularmente a la ciudad. Clausurado el Conservatorio a la muerte del maestro Vargas, pasó a ser profesor de violín en el Instituto Eduardo Laredo.

María Luisa Velarde Guzmán (Cochabamba, 21.XI.1905- Cochabamba, IV.1998) fue una destacada violinista que surge en un ambiente musical dominado por hombres. Sus estudios de violín los inicia en el Conservatorio Musical “Cochabamba”, por lo que es posible que el Maestro Teófilo Vargas haya sido su profesor. En 1926, junto a su familia se traslada a los Estados Unidos donde continúa y perfecciona su técnica del violín en el “Arrillaga Musical College” de San Francisco obteniendo su licenciatura en música con mención en este instrumento. En enero de 1933 retorna a Cochabamba donde es recibida con mucha expectativa. Dotada de una exquisita técnica, ofrece varios recitales a beneficio de los soldados del Chaco. Destacan por su calidad artística y su carácter benéfico dos: el realizado el 4 de agosto de ese mismo año, organizado por los Amigos del Arte a cargo del pianista Félix Aranibar y, el efectuado el 10 de febrero de 1934.

Inmersa en el mundo artístico de la ciudad, inicia su labor pedagógica vinculada a la enseñanza privada. Como promotora de la actividad musical, funda junto a destacados intelectuales como Eduardo Laredo, Rafael Anaya, Luis Castell Quiroga, Jorge D’Avis, la Sociedad Filarmónica de Cochabamba (abril de 1939).

En 1952 -junto a su familia- vuelve a los Estados Unidos donde retoma su actividad musical. Es cuando concluye su especialidad como instrumentista, llegando a ser el segundo violín de la Orquesta de Montgomery County, Maryland. En la segunda mitad de la década de 1970 retorna a Bolivia y se incorpora -invitada por un antiguo amigo suyo, Franklin Anaya-, como profesora de violín en el Instituto “Eduardo Laredo”.

Aunque con rumbos distintos, la vida de estos tres eximios violinistas puede ser ensamblada no sólo a través del talento, la música y el violín, sino por ser agentes centrales en la historia de la música de Cochabamba como concertistas, pedagogos y como formadores de los principales centros de formación artístico-musical.

Here in Cochabamba we know little about the violin and its followers. This instrument was frequently used during the time of colonization as a complementary sound for religious sanctuaries, churches and convents. It was the duty of the Master of the Chapel to prepare children as instrumentalists. During the twentieth century, the secularization of society encouraged the opening of new centers and therefore the introduction of new repertoires previously unrelated to ecclesiastical music.

Teófilo Vargas Heraklion (Quillacollo, November 3rd, 1866; Cochabamba, February 3th, 1961) was one of the most important violinists, composers and educators in Cochabamba during the second half of the nineteenth, and the first half of the twentieth century; he is a product of this traditional academic religion. Taught since childhood in the house of a priest named Mordoñez, Teófilo learnt his first lessons in theory, music theory and violin. In 1879 Teófilo got his mention as soprano in the Cathedral choir. Because of his talent, the Bishop of Cochabamba, Francisco María del Granado (1835-1895) took Teófilo under his wing, providing him with methods of harmony, music theory and composition. Teófilo’s talent plus the support of his mentor allowed him to become the Maestro de Capilla of the Chapel of the Church on March 4, 1893. That same year he took part in a competition to qualify for this very same position, getting the main title.

His work in the church had two aspects: (1) as a Chapel professor and (2) as a professor of music to the children and young people of the orchestra and the cathedral choir. His educational work in the church can be understood from his own story: “I started my teaching work as an architect (...) and I took Escola Cantorum as a formative base for children and young people and it was there where generations of artists became professionals”. This ensemble accompanies the daily religious service and also main events which crowned the festivities of the city. He also prepared annual concerts for the Gran Orquesta, which were held every December 24th and included other musicians from the city. As a vocational teacher, in 1893, he inaugurated the first private Music School of the city, teaching piano, violin, viola, flute and other instruments for free. In 1905 he founded a new school which two years later lead to the creation of the Conservatorio Musical “Cochabamba.” This Conservatory, perhaps the first in Bolivia, was joined with the Cathedral Choir, the principal musical educational center of Cochabamba during the first half of the 20th century. It was comprised of renowned teachers and Vargas himself held the post of General Director,

chorus master, as well as violin, violoncello and piano teacher. As an academic person always open to the sounds of the world, he was not only interested in religious music, but also in having a wide repertoire: “with effort and difficulty I managed to obtain a repertory of celebrated authors of brilliant gender: Rossi, Rossini, Mecadantt, Pauletti, Bechi, Henry Farmer and others; these compositions were played by the big orchestra and band, the same that were sung in festivals of great solemnity, the most important being “Solemn Mass” of 5 Gounod voices, the monumental Mozart work “Mass of Réquiem” and finally the “Solemn Mass of 4 Cherubini voices”.

The programs of diverse performances by the orchestra of the Conservatorio show, in addition, the interpretation of those famous composers such as Wagner, Donizetti, Rossini or Verdi. This institution, which in 1957 changed its name to Conservatorio “Teófilo Vargas”, functioned up to the decade of 1960, when it closed its classrooms due to the lack of funding. Another out-standing violinist was Víctor Rodrigo M. (Cochabamba, March 6th, 1896; Cochabamba, 1979). He began playing the violin and the piano under the direction of his father, Baldomero Rodrigo (Cochabamba, April 21, 1874; Cochabamba August 2nd, 1916), an out-standing violinist who studied in the cathedral Choir under the direction of his teachers Francisco Doverti (Italian) and Andrés de Luque (Spanish). Victor’s brother, Guillermo Rodrigo M. (Cochabamba, February 10th, 1899; Cochabamba, 1991), an out-standing musician and violinist speaks a little of the method of education his father employed: “My father was energetic. With a carpenter he had an easel be made. He obtained a violin for my brother, and he bought a smaller one for me because I was still a little boy. Then he began to teach us in our vacations … .My father was creating the method. My father went to his work. He returned at twelve o’clock and we had to know the lesson”. With such discipline, in a little time both children dominated the art of the violin and begin to work as interpreters, playing the violin during religious acts in the Cathedral, in other parishes of the city, as well as participating in orchestras of the Teatro Achá.

Endowed with a great talent, he moved to Argentina to study music at the Federación Musical de Buenos Aires, becoming a member of the Orquesta del Teatro Colón. When he returned to Cochabamba he was already an out-standing violinist; he was integrated into the musical life: firstly, as a professor and Director of the orchestras and choirs of the Conservatorio “Cochabamba”, directing several zarzuelas (Spanish operettas or musical comedies) including: “Marina”, “La Gran Vía”, “Los Tres Gorriones”, “Molinos de Viento”, “Quien Fuera Libre”, “Meterse en Honduras”, “La Alegría de la Huerta” y “La Sultana de Marruecos”. He also collaborated with his friend Teófilo Vargas in the preparation and scene-setting of the melodramas “Aroma” and “Coronilla”. Secondly, as an instrumentalist integrating orchestras to accompany zarzuelas, operettas, “cuadros de ópera” and ballet companies, that arrived regularly to the city. When Vargas died the Conservatory was closed, then Victor Rodriguez became a violin professor at the Instituto Eduardo Laredo.

María Luisa Velarde Guzmán (Cochabamba, November 21st, 1905-Cochabamba, April 1998) was an out-standing violinist that arose in a musical environment dominated by men. Her violin studies began in the Conservatorio Musical “Cochabamba”, and it is possible that Professor Teófilo Vargas was her professor. In 1926, she moved with her family to the United States where she continued and improved her technique with the violin at the “Arrillaga Musical College” in San Francisco and obtained her degree in music with a mention in this instrument. In January 1933, she returned to Cochabamba where she was welcomed with a lot of expectation. Endowed with an exquisite technique, she gave several recitals for the benefit of the soldiers of Chaco. For her artistic quality and her charitable character stand out two of her recitals: one carried out in August 4th of that same year, organized by the Amigos del Arte, the employers of the pianist Félix Aranibar, and the other carried out on February 10th, 1934.

Immersed of the art world of the city, she began her pedagogic work linked with private education. As a promoter of musical activity, she founded with other out-standing intellectuals like Eduardo Laredo, Rafael Anaya, Luis Castell Quiroga and Jorge D’Avis, the Sociedad Filarmónica de Cochabamba (April, 1939).

Some dancers seemed to be very devout and were dancing for the virgin. Some were drinking beer while they were dancing. It was hard to make a conclusion about the religious element of the festival. A lot of old people were drinking while dancing, not just the young people. On the other hand there were plenty of people dancing their hearts out even though they looked like they were about to faint. The virgin is still important to a lot of people and their devotion is why Urkupiña remains one of biggest festivals in Bolivia.

In 1952 – with her family – she returned to the United States where she retook her musical activity. This is when she concluded her specialty as an instrumentalist and became the second violin of Montgomery County’s Orchestra, Maryland. In the second half of the decade of 1970 she cames back to Bolivia and joined - invited by one of her friends, Franklin Anaya - as a violin teacher, the Instituto “Eduardo Laredo”.

Though with different courses, the lives of these three distinguished violinists can be linked not only by their talent, the music and the violin, but also by being central agents in the history of music in Cochabamba as soloists, pedagogues and by forming the principal centers of artistic - musical training.

Cultural Agenda

Teatro Achá

Calle Espana entre Av. Heroínas y Bolívar Martes 1

Presentación Recital de Piano Delfin Sejas

Miércoles 2 Presentación Ballet España

Salón Gildaro Antezana

Exposiciones de los artistas

Del 31 al 12 de septiembre Grupo Ultramart

14 al 26 de septiembre José Gonzales René Gamboa Edgar Martínez

Salón Mario Unzueta

Exposiciones de los artistas

1 al 12 de septiembre Janina Camacho Rolando Muriel

14 al 19 de septiembre Exposición SOMEC

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