CELSO GARRIDO-LECCA (b 1926 )
Celso Garrido-Lecca was born in Piura, Peru, in 1926. He studied composition at the National Conservatory of Lima and at the University of Chile in Santiago. He later took private lessons in Santiago with the Dutch teacher Fré Focke, who introduced him to serial technique. In 1954 he became musical adviser and composer for the Theatre Institute at the University of Chile. He won scholarships enabling him to study in New York, and in 1964 studied with Aaron Copland at Tanglewood.
Returning to both his alma maters, Garrido-Lecca taught composition first at the University of Chile beginning in 1965, then from 1973 at the National Conservatory of Lima, where he served as director from 1976 to 1979. In his later years he retired from teaching to devote himself to composing. Garrido-Lecca has received many governmental honours, both for his compositions and for his work in conserving native musical traditions.
Following an early period steeped in European avant-garde techniques, Garrido-Lecca began incorporating indigenous Latin-American styles into his music. As he explored an increasingly wider range of folk-songs, particularly those of Chile, he found his own individual voice, which he describes as avoiding both “a rootless, academic cosmopolitanism and a naive, provincial Indianism”. Best known for his chamber and symphonic works, Garrido-Lecca has also composed ballets, incidental music, film scores, choral and solo vocal music, and music for solo instruments.