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Alberto Williams


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Alberto Williams (November 23, 1862 - June 17, 1952) was an Argentine symphonic composer and conductor.

Alberto Williams was born to in Buenos Aires, in 1862. A maternal grandfather, Amancio Jacinto Alcorta, had been a respected government and banking policy-maker, as well as a well-known composer of sacred music. Williams began attending a local music school in early childhood and, at age 7, he performed in his first public concert. He received a scholarship from the Argentine government in 1882 to study music composition at the Paris Conservatoire, where he was mentored by pianist Georges Mathias and composer César Franck.

Williams composed his first piano concertos during this interim, which consisted of lullabies, and he returned in 1889. Instead of settling in Buenos Aires, however, he toured the then-rural pampas and became steeped in the folklorical music of Argentina. His first composition to earn him notice, The Abandoned Ranch, was an elegy to the rural pampas in the form of classical music; after 1893, however, his compositions were modernist adaptations of milongas, zambas and other forms of local folklorical music.[1] Williams established the Buenos Aires Conservatory of Music in 1893.

A renowned instructor, as well as composer, Williams became the first prominent composer to infuse Argentine folklore into symphonic music. He composed his only sonata, Primera Sonata Argentina, in 1917. He created lyrics for all his compositions and authored numerous texts on music theory, including an instruction text for children; a collection of his lyrics was published as Versos Líricos, in 1924. Williams was inducted into the National Academy of Fine Arts and National Commission for Culture.

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