Stamp of the Month: July 2022

Ignacio Cervantes

The Cuban pianist and composer Ignacio Cervantes Kawanag was born on July 31, 1847 in Havana. He died in his hometown on April 29, 1905. July 2022 will be his 175th birthday.

Cuba 15.9.1997

Cuba 27.6.1959
Cervantes was considered a child prodigy and was taught by the American composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, among others. Gottschalk encouraged him to study at the Conservatoire de Paris (1866-1870), where he received first prizes for composition (1866) and harmony (1867) and gave concerts with Christina Nilsson and Adelina Patti.
Cervantes was one of the first musicians to emphasize the special character of the Central and South American peoples in their music.
As a supporter of the Cuban rebels, he had to leave the country temporarily in 1875 and lived in Mexico and the United States for several years. Ignacio Cervantes composed an opera, various pieces of chamber music, zarzuelas and the famous forty-one “Danzas Cubanas”. He wrote his “Fusión de Almas” for his daughter María Cervantes (1885-1981), who became a well-known pianist, composer and singer.

The video shows the Orquestra De Guiarres De Barcelona conducted by Sergi Vicente performing a medley of Ignacio Cervantes’ “Danzas Cubanas”. All members of the orchestra are teachers, graduates or master students of the Conservatorio Superior de Mùsica del Liceo in Barcelona.