The correspondence of Alberto Ginastera at the Library of Congress

Deborah Schwartz-Kates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The city of Washington, D.C., held a special place in the creative life of Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983). It was there that the Argentine composer achieved many important successes, beginning with the premiere of his Second String Quartet (1958), which was commissioned by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation, and performed in the Library of Congress. Given these achievements, it is no surprise that Ginastera considered Washington his lucky city. The U.S. capital also proves providential for Ginastera researchers, since much of the documentation about the composer's U.S. activities is housed at the Library of Congress. This article explores the highlights of the Ginastera letters at LC - a resource that yields fresh perspectives into the composer's connections with music and musicians from the United States. Ginastera's letters to Aaron Copland open a window into the composer's relationship with his teacher, mentor, and friend. His correspondence with Harold Spivacke illustrates the role that the former chief of the LC Music Division played in shaping his career. Together these collections offer a glimpse into the interior world of a musician whose thoughts and words are little known. They illuminate important moments of his life, reveal insights into his creative process, and question traditional assumptions about his musical development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-312
Number of pages29
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Music
  • Library and Information Sciences


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