Ricardo Castro Herrera (complete name, Rafael de la Santísima Trinidad Castro Herrera) (Property of Santa Barbara, Mmunicipality of Nazas, Durango, 7 of February of 1864 - City of Mexico, 28 of November of 1907 ), it was a Mexican pianist and composer, considered as “The last romantic of Porfiriato ”.

First years

Ricardo Castro was born in 1864, son of the marriage formed by Vicente Castro (delegated federal in VIII the Legislature of the Congress of the Union) and Maria de Jesus Herrera. He attended the basic studies in the City of Durango, where its birth is registered and at the age of six years old he took music lessons  with Pedro H. Ceniceros. In 1879 moved with its family to the City of Mexico in order that studied the baccalaureate but at the age of 13 years they registered in National Conservatory of Music where Juan Salvatierra studied piano with and Julio Ituarte, besides Harmony and Composition with Melesio Morals . Its musical vocation was evident and the Ricardo young person concluded in only five years a training program that in general took ten.

He initiated his concertista race as of piano and composer before finishing his studies and in 1882 gained two prizes, one like pianist in the Exhibition of Querétaro and another one like composer in the Exhibition of Veracruz . To the 19 years, in 1883, concluded his First Symphony in smaller Do titled " Sagrada" that 1988 were released hardly in to 81 years of its death.

Composer and concertista

In 1884 represented Mexico in the Cotton Exhibition the International of New Orleans and in that year and the following one realized a tour of concerts by several cities of the United States : Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington and New York . For 1883 the Government of Mexico selected several of its works to send them to Venezuela, like part of the commemoration of the first centenary of the birth of the liberator Simon Bolivar .

Along with Gustavo C. It stands out, Juan the Castilian Hernandez A. and Pablo, founded the Musical Institute Stands out Hernandez Acevedo, where it gave theoretical and practical classes of piano. By then, Ricardo Castro was already very famous as much in Mexico as abroad by its compositions and their virtuosity to the piano. On 1892, along with other composers, Ricardo Castro founded the Joint-stock company of Concerts, in whose functions it released several works for piano and orchestra. Also was founding of the Mexican Philharmonic Society in 1895, created for the diffusion of the camera music.

In 1896, when being inaugurated the Concert hall of the Wagner House, today “Sahieffer" Room;, it was entrusted to Castro the opening concert and in that same year Renaissance was released in the Theater its opera " Atzimba". By the way, on this opera that deals with the conquest of Michoacán, it is known that the second act is lost but at the moment, with regard to the first centenary of his death ( 28 of November of 2007 ), with base in original scores of the composer, works in the reconstruction of the piece. In 1900 published musical chronicles in several newspapers of City of Mexico and in 1902 made a tour by 17 cities of Mexico where it offered 30 concerts. In the city of Guadalajara, State Capital of Jalisco, appeared in Degollado Theater in the month of September.

The trip to Europe

The composer and concertista was granted a scholarship by Government of Mexico to perfect its musical formation and of 1903 to 1906 was in several cities of Europe where in addition it distributed skillful courses, conferences and concerts in the conservatories of Paris, Berlin, London, Brussels, Rome, Milan and Leipzig . The scholarship that received Castro was from the managements that such effect stops realized the then undersecretary of Public Instruction, Right Mountain range to that, for that reason, the Mexican composer dedicated two works to him: variable Subject and Suite . In Europe, Ricardo Castro took classes from piano with the Venezuelan pianist Teresa Carreño, to that dedicated Pres de Ruisseau to him.

Director of the National Conservatory of Music

To its return of Europe, in 1906, was named director of the National Conservatory of Music and Declamation, by Right Mountain range . Ricardo Castro was to the front of the Conservatory from 1 of January of 1907 to the day of its death, 28 of November of that year. The modernization of the Conservatory is attributed to him but it did not conclude it. Pulmonía passed away at the age of 43 years as a result of one.

Style and works

Between their works Whim emphasizes vals (most popular and well-known), their operas Atzimba (1901, on the conquest of Michoacán ), the Legend of Rudel, Don Juan of Austria, overcome Satán and the kiss of the Rousalka . The first two were released. The score of Atzimba was lost in century XX, the existence of last the three operas is known by references, but it is not known if it composed really them. Also it composed music of camera and another one Symphony in smaller Re ( 1893 ), besides a Concert for violonchelo and orchestra ( 1902 ) that was released in Antwerp, Belgium like his Concert for piano and orchestra ( 1904 ), the first writing in Latin America . The pianist Eva Maria Zuk, one of its main interpreters describes, it like a concert of great virtuous content, in whom although they can be appraised influences of the European music of the time, especially of the French, also are Latin characteristics, in specific of certain Mexican traditional dances, mainly in first of its three movements; the third party, by the way, is a polonesa. The style of the first concert for piano and orchestra is romantic delayed and in that sense it had a discussion with the music of his time on world-wide scale. Until before this concert of Castro, the works for piano written in Mexico and the rest of Latin America was catalogued like minors, by their brevity.

Ricardo Castro was great admirer of Chopin and is the unique Mexican composer author of several polonesas only for piano. Also it composed mazurkas, like other composers of his time, but between their works is a far-reaching ones, " Subject variado" that is sustained in the symphonic studies of Schumann. Ricardo Castro comprised of the call “integrated Group of the Six” in addition by Gustavo C. Stands out, Juan Hernandez Acevedo, Carlos J. Meneses, Ignacio Quesada and Felipe Villanueva . The group distinguished itself by its Frenchified cut but it was Castro the unique one of the six mainly that penetrated in the impressionism, inspired by the music of Debussy .

Except for vals Whim, the work of Ricardo Castro is not known even for the Mexicans. This must to a great extent that to three years of its death exploded the civil war badly call Mexican Revolution and as much the town, as that acceded to the power, people of very low cultural level and, in not few occasions, illiterates, rejected all the references to the government of the gentleman President Don Porfirio Diaz that weighed the culture at any moment. After Castro, in several disciplines including music, arose Modernismo .

Centenary of its death

28 of November of 2007 turned the first centenary of its death and in the cities of Durango and Mexico the program of activities initiated in September and will conclude in December . In the State Capital of Durango, the most important theater takes its name and opposite, on Av. 20 of November is a statue of the composer. During the tribute in this city, the positioning of a plate on the foot of the statue seted out where the poetry is registered that dedicated Luis to him Urbina . 28 of November the authors Emilio Diaz Cervantes and Dolly de Diaz presented/displayed the book Ricardo Castro, Genius of Mexico . Before, 17 of November, the musical investigator Gloria Carmona distributed the conference Ricardo Castro in the centenary of its death, part of the biography in which it works and that hopes soon is published by National Center of Investigation, Documentation and Musical Information Carlos Chávez . It is considered like last romantic of Porfiriato and their compositions, most of they, know a clearly influence of French classic music, although Chopin was a great inspiration. Author of polonesas is considered like the unique Mexican musician.

Work catalog for piano

•filial Love, poetic fantasy (1880)

•Vals Whim, Op. 1
•Nerveux ET Gracieux, Deux mazurkas, Op. 3
•Elegant Clotilde, vals, Op. 4
•Ballade in sun mineur, Op. 5
•Scherzino, Op. 6
•Douze etudes pour piano d'apres Clementi, Op. 7
•Trois pensées musical, Op. 8
•Valse intime, Op. 1
•Minueto in the flat, Op. 2
•Mexican national airs, shining Whim, Op. 10
•Polonaise, Op. 11
•Laender, Op. 1
•Valse-bluette, Op. 2
•Six préludes, Op. 15
?Feuille d'album
•Près du Ruisseau, Op. 16
•Valse impromptu, Op.17
•Suite, Op. 18
?Prélude - Moderato
?Sarabande - Andante
?Caprice - Alive
•Valse rêveuse, Op. 19
•Study of concert, no. 20
•Minué, Op. 23
•Deux morceux of concert, Op. 24
?Gondoliera (Souvenir de Venice)
•Valse of concert, Op. 25
•Valse arabesque, Op. 1
•Berceuse, Op. 2
•Impromptu in the form of valse, Op. 1
•Impromptu in the form of polca, Op. 2
•Mexican improvisations, 8 characteristic dances, Op. 29
•Deux pieces intimes, Op. 30
?Valse sentimentale
•Loving Vals, Op. 2
•Menuet to Ninon, Op. 32
•Moment of valse, Op. 1
•Petite Marche militaire, Op. 2
•Berceuse, Op. 1
•Valse mélancolique, Op. 2
•Barcarolle, Op. 1
•Valse fugitive, Op. 2
•Rococo Menuet, Op. 1
•Plainte, Op. 2
•Valse printanière, Op. 39
•Menuet humoristique, Op. 40
•Impromptu, Op.41
•Scherzando, Op. 42
•Fileuse, Op. 43
•Nostalgie, Op. 44
•Gavotte ET Musette, Op. 45
•Mazurka, Op. 46
•Thème Varié, Op. 47
•First nocturne in If smaller, Op. 48
•Secondly nocturne in smaller Fa#, Op. 49
•Joy of heart
•Song without words
•Song of love
•Four dances
?In vain
•Frivolous dance
•Deuxième polonaise
•Josefina, Vals
•Mazurca in if smaller
•Melancholic Mazurca
•Soirées mondaines (Cinq valses legéres)
?Vibration d'amour
?Parfums de Vienna
?Paris entrainant
?Fleurs, femmes ET chant
?Frivole passionnée
•Valse capricieuse
•Caressante Vals (affectionate Vals)


* Atzimba (1901)
* the Legend of Rudel
* Don Juan of Austria
* payable Satán
* the kiss of the Rousalka

other works

* orquestration of the opera Zulema of Ernesto Romance Elorduy
* Op. 21 for violin and piano to Joseph White
* Melody Op. 35 for violin and piano
* Minuetto Op. 23 for arc instruments

It is also seen
•Ernesto Elorduy
•Felipe Villanueva
•Juventino Rosas
This biography was most recently edited by...
Rodrigo Castilla - 9 Nov 2010
Rodrigo Castilla - 17 Sep 2010
Rodrigo Castilla - 4 Sep 2010
Rodrigo Castilla - 23 Jul 2010
Rodrigo Castilla - 23 Jul 2010