Eastern Bolivia’s thriving Baroque-music tradition

Posted on: May 11, 2018

“While much of the work of 18th-century composer Domenico Zipoli has vanished in his native Europe, it has managed to survive in eastern Bolivia—along with his vast Baroque musical tradition,” writes Nicholas Casey in Tuesday’s (5/8) New York Times. “Here near the borders of Brazil and Paraguay, harpsichords and lutes can be found in the smallest villages. Luthiers have carved violins from local cedar for centuries. And troves of ancient manuscripts … have once again revived Zipoli and other composers of the period, whose music is played in elementary schools and on the radio…. Jesuit missionaries … left a musical time capsule in Bolivia…. ‘It was about building … a kind of utopia with education, self-sustainability—and of course, with music, which was the way the Jesuits evangelized,’ said the Rev. Piotr Nawrot, a Roman Catholic priest … who lives in Bolivia and was involved in recovering some of the original Baroque manuscripts…. Urubichá, a farming village … of 8,000, has a music school teaching 500 students, nearly every child there…. Across a field from the classrooms, Ideberto Armoye, a carpentry instructor [builds] violas and violins made from local cedar and mahogany.”

Posted May 11, 2018