Panamanian composer and flutist Eduardo Charpentier was born in 1927. He began his musical studies with his father, Eduardo Charpentier Herrera. In 1945, he entered the national conservatory, where he studied flute, music theory and harmony. A scholarship provided by the Panamanian government allowed him to travel to the United States, where he studied composition with Dr. Karel Jirak (1891-1972) at Roosevelt College in Chicago. After receiving a bachelors degree in 1950, he became a student at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris, France, where he studied flute and orchestral conducting. He later returned to the U.S., where he earned a doctoral degree at the Eastman School of Music. He taught for a short time at the Birmingham Conservatory of Music in Alabama as a U.S. State Department grant recipient. From 1966 to 1988, he served as the director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Panama. He also founded the music department and a chamber orchestra at the University of Panama. He died on July 13, 2019.
Although Charpentier wrote his first work, a prelude for piano, in 1948, his catalog of approximately 50 works consists mainly of pieces for large instrumental ensembles, such as orchestra and concert band, as well as short characteristic pieces for the flute. His music reveals an eclectic style that features a variety of melodic and harmonic idioms within largely episodically structured forms.
Maestro Charpentier’s Compositions