to study violin at age seven under the guidance of Natalia Gudkov of the
Julliard School of Music in New York City. Once back in his native city of
Puebla, Mexico he took up the classical guitar in the local Conservatory and
later continued at the famous Estudio de Arte Guitarristico with Manuel Lopez
Ramos, graduating in 1979. He also studied flamenco guitar with Robert Amaya,
nephew of Carmen Amaya.
In 1972 he
won 2nd place in the National Guitar Competition in Monterrey
and in 1978 he made 1st prize in the International Classical
Guitar Competition in Paracho, Michoacan. In 1982 he was a finalist in the
Manuel M. Ponce International Guitar Competition.
In 1980 he
founded the Classical Guitar School in the Casa de Cultura of Puebla. Later, at
the University of the Americas, he established the Flamenco workshop and
initiated the Fuego Flamenco group. He also taught Spanish guitar at the
Escuela de Musica Antigua. He has lectured extensively on Mexican music in
universities, Casas de Cultura and at the International Congress of Art and
Culture of the University of Puebla (BUAP). He is currently on the faculty of
the Conservatory of Puebla where he teaches guitar.
He has been
“tutor” of grant recipients of the Puebla State Fund for the Arts and Culture
and member of the Technical and Planning committees of this fund. He is also a
member of the Seminar of Mexican Culture, a group of experts who council
government on questions of art, culture and education in general. In the year
2004 he received a grant from the FOESCAP/CONACULTA in the category of
Creadores con Trayectoria to play his compositions on a tour of his native
state and to compose a series of pieces allusive to this tour.
As a concert
guitarist he has played all over Mexico and in some US cities. Just to mention a
few: in 1978 he carried out a tour of 16 cities for the Mexican petroleum
company (PEMEX); in 1979 he inaugurated the Friends of the
Texas Boy’s Choir Concert
Series. More recent participations have been at the International Palafox
Festival, The International Festival of Puebla, The Historic Center Festival,
the Cleofas Villegas Guitar Festival of Atlixco, The international
Cultural Fair of Huamantla and the Second International Guitar Fest of
Zihuatanejo. He has also organized and played at the International
recorded several CD’s. The latest, Festones, is a collection of his
recent classical guitar opus. Regina
in three movements of this collection is published by
VP Music Media of Italy.
Many of his musical works have
suggestive titles, but this does not mean they are programatic; the titles are a
means and a link to the listener. As Silvestre Revueltas once exclaimed: “It all
depends on the good or bad faith of the listener”.
Saraba has roots in the
Zarabande but its structure is freer.
Almain, diferencias para Mister Robert Johnson
takes after an Alman by the XVII
century English composer where an eight bar theme is followed by several eight
Una tarde en el parqne (An Afternoon in the Park)
was inspired while in the gardens
of the town square in Mixtla, Puebla. Gaspar was in Mixtla to play for the
“Variaciones sobre Bajo los festones” project which is described below. The
concert was to be in the local church which is, as is common in Latin America,
across the street from the town square or “zocalo”. This park has several
fountains and the ancient trees there were gently swaying their branches in the
Spring breeze. The afternoon sun’s rays illuminated the front of the church,
recently painted white and yellow thus standing out neatly against the
transparent blue sky. When Gaspar took out his camera for a picture he was
approached by a local citizen who told him that picture taking was now
prohibited: Robbers had recently attempted to break into the church to loot some
of its colonial period treasures. In the end the spirit of freshness and freedom
prevails in the piece.
Romanza is conceived
much as the well known “Spanish Romanza” in three voice parts with the middle
voice in triplets.
Llovizna (Drizzle). On
a grey rainy day sounds are dampened when suddenly the clouds open and a beam of
sunlight makes the raindrops sparkle.
A mi Nena was composed
for his daughter when she was six.
Bajo los festones de la parroquia Suite (Under the Parish Festoons).
Gaspar has travelled extensively all over Mexico and particularly throughout his
native state of Puebla playing his guitar. The concerts have on countless
occasions been in a church or chapel. These are often festooned with multi-colored
banners for religious festivities. The activities carried out under these
festoons make for a rich variety of ideas for musical thought.
A Regina is based on
the book of the same name written by Antonio Velasco Piña. She was born on a
Spring day (Vino con la primavera, She came with spring-time), she died
during the student movements of 1968 (Un angel se la llevo, She was taken
away by an angel) and she sleeps eternally somewhere in Iztaccihuatl, the snowy
volcano. Her friends take flowers there for her (La
flor en la nieve,
A flower in the snow).
Toquìdo (Knockìng). One
fine afternoon Gaspar was standing outside the Conservatory and upon hearing
somebody honk their horn, he imagined a piece based on that rhythmic pattern.
The piece was composed thanks to a grant from the National Council for Culture
and the Arts (Conaculta) and the Department of Culture of the State of Puebla in