Pedro-Humberto Allende

Pedro-Humberto Allende - One of the most important Chilean Composers of the 20th Century. You never heard of him? No excuse.

Henri Nosco And The NBC Studio Orchestra Play Music Of Pedro-Humberto Allende – 1944 – Past Daily Weekend Gramophone

Pedro-Humberto Allende
Pedro-Humberto Allende – One of the most important Chilean Composers of the 20th Century. You never heard of him? No excuse.

Pedro-Humberto Allende – La Voz de las Calles (excerpt) – NBC Studio Orchestra – Henri Nosco, cond. – January 20, 1944 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The name may not ring many bells, but Pedro-Humberto Allende was one of the most influential and respected composers in Chile during the early part of the 20th century.

Allende was born in Santiago and studied composition at the National Conservatory in Santiago (1899–1908). He studied piano and violin, the latter under the guidance of Aurelio Silva. Early in his career he taught violin and general musical subjects in secondary schools and later taught composition and harmony at the National Conservatory. He was a key figure in revitalizing the music education system in Chile, both at the primary and secondary school levels.

In 1911, he traveled to Europe, with a grant from the Chilean government, to perfect his musical knowledge. He visited Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. On his return, he suggested certain reforms that were introduced in the National Conservatory. He soon made another trip to Europe, giving lectures on music in Germany, Spain, and France.

He had a long, respected career both as a composer and as a professor at the National Conservatory in Chile. His compositions drew inspiration from Chilean folk themes as well as the music of the Mapuche. His music was appreciated by noted composers worldwide, and he received letters of admiration from Claude Debussy, Florent Schmitt, and Federico Mompou. His best known works are:

La Voz de las Calles
Doce Tonadas para Piano
Concierto para violoncello y orquesta

During World War 2 and as part of a concerted effort to extended warmer relations with Latin-American countries, NBC Radio began a series of programs entitled Music Of The New World where a considerable number of works by South American composers was featured. These works, including this one, introduced the North American audience to an entire world of music many didn’t know about. It was an instructive and enlightening series – and listening to it almost 80 years later, it still is.

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