Home > Regions > South America > Venezuela
Alfredo del Mónaco Blanca Estrella Luis Ernesto Gómez
Angel Hernández Lovera Andrés Levell Juan López-Maya
Luis Pérez Valero Juan Bautista Plaza Juan Francisco Sans
Miguel Angel Santaella Masters of the Fin de Siècle
Clicking on any of the above names takes you to that composer's page on our website.


A Brief Synopsis of Music in Venezuela.


The beginnings of academic music in Venezuela originate with the arrival of Franciscan and Dominican priests around the year 1500. The first school of composition identified by musicologists, known as the “Escuela de Chacao” or “Escuela del Padre Sojo,” dates back to the 18th century and consists of a significant group of composers of secular and liturgical music. From about the second half of the 19th century the production of music in the Romantic style and the influence of zarzuela companies within the country became important; the activities of pianist and composer Teresa Carreño (1853-1917) are particularly worthy of mention. The first half of the 20th century is dominated by the figure of Vicente Emilio Sojo (1887-1974), who, upon becoming the director of the Superior School of Music, launched an important series of transformations that included the creation of the Symphonic Orchestra of Venezuela and the José Angel Lamas Orpheon, as well as the development of a school of musical nationalism in Venezuela, of which Antonio Estévez’s “Cantata Criollo” is considered as one of its most representative examples. During the 1970s an intensive vanguard production of contemporary composition began to take hold in Venezuela that consisted of serialistic, atonal, musique concrète and electronic musical styles. The presence of Uruguyan composer Antonio Mastrogiovanni (1936-2010) and Greek composer Yannis Ioannidis (1930-) inspired an incursion into new techniques and marked the beginning of new lines of aesthetic development within the country. Today there are a multiplicity of syncretic styles currently being developed in Venezuela, such as nationalistic styles that incorporate indigenous and Afro-Caribbean influences or that blend serialistic and atonal music with popular melodies and rhythms, among others. In addition to its many conservatories, one of the most important musical institutions in Venezuela is the Vicente Emilio Sojo Foundation in Caracas.

Contributed by Luis Pérez Valero.

For more information about the music of this country, including links to conservatories, university music departments and other institutes and organizations, please see our country resource page for Venezuela.

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