Juan José Castro

Biography

Born: March 7, 1895; Avellaneda   Died: September 5, 1968; Buenos Aires, Argentina  
The second and most highly regarded of the four Castro brothers who took the Argentine music scene by storm during the first half of the twentieth century, composer and conductor Juan José Castro was born in the outskirts of Buenos Aires in early March of 1895. He learned the piano and violin as a child (two of the brothers learned violin, two learned cello) and as he grew a little older, took lessons in theory and composition in Buenos Aires. In Read more the mid-'20s, he found his way into the composition class of Vincent d'Indy in Paris and then, after returning to Argentina, he began building a career as a conductor. He directed the newly formed Orquesta de Nacimiento in 1929 and one year later conducted for one season for the Teatro Colón Ballet. He was promoted to director of music at the Teatro in 1933 and henceforth appeared regularly at the Teatro and as guest conductor for orchestras both in Argentina and abroad (including the Melbourne Symphony in Australia and the Havana Philharmonic in Cuba). He never felt much suited to teaching; nevertheless, Pablo Casals talked him into serving as the head of music at the Puerto Rico Conservatory from 1959 to 1964. He died in Buenos Aires in 1968.

Castro's music was never played much outside of South America, but he did earn some prestigious awards for it, including a Guggenheim Grant (1934) and an ISCM Award (1931, for the orchestral piece Allegro lento e vivace). Theater and orchestral music are the genres best represented in his catalog of compositions, but there are also some three dozen songs, a fair bit of chamber music, some film scores, and several fine solo piano works. As can be said of so many South American composers of his era, Castro developed a musical style that blends traditional Spanish and Spanish-derived gestures with academic, French-oriented techniques. Sometimes the results Castro achieved are electrifying; sometimes the fusion is more mundane. Read less
Browse 1-8 of 8 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Label: Cemca Records   Catalog: 5637928425 Release Date: 09/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juan Morel Campos,  Juan José Castro,  Manuel Ponce,  Héctor Campos-Parsi  ... 
    Performer:  Ivonne Figueroa,  Francisco Caban
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    Fiesta Criolla: Latin American Orchestral Works
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10675 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juan José Castro,  Gómez Carrillo,  Guillermo Uribe Holguin,  Francisco Mignone  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriel Castagna
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Württemberg Philharmonie Reutlingen
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  • 3.
    Mostly Tangos / Oscar Macchioni
    Label: Eroica Classical Recordings   Catalog: 3442 Release Date: 07/07/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alberto Ginastera,  Astor Piazzolla,  Juan José Castro,  Manuel Ponce  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Macchioni
    CD: $15.99
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  • 4.
    Argentine Piano Music Of The Last 50 Years - A Lecture Recital / Hugo Goldenzweig
    Label: Cd Baby (Dvd)   Catalog: 5637311831 Release Date: 12/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Juan José Castro,  Alcides Lanza,  Alberto Ginastera
    Performer:  Hugo Goldenzweig
    DVD: $41.99
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  • 5.
    Mannes College Of Music Faculty Recital
    Label: Hugo Goldenzweig   Catalog: 5637311830 Release Date: 12/05/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Juan José Castro  ... 
    CD: $31.99
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  • 6.
    Looking South - Piano Music From Argentina / Mirian Conti
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 837 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mario Broeders,  Luis Gianneo,  Julián Aguirre,  Juan José Ramos  ... 
    Performer:  Mirian Conti
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  • 7.
    Music Of Latin America - Villa-lobos, Revueltas, Et Al
    Label: Phoenix Usa   Catalog: 140 Release Date: 12/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Chavez,  Juan José Castro,  Alberto Ginastera,  Silvestre Revueltas  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Somer,  Samuel Baron,  Ronald Roseman,  Robert Sylvester
    CD: $15.99
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  • 8.
    Sonoric Rituals - Latin American Piano Music / Marchena
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 242 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alicia Terzián,  Isabel Aretz,  Marta Garcia-Renart,  Mariza Rezende  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Marchena
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