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Ariel Ramírez (Santa Fe, September 4, 1921 – Monte Grande, February 18, 2010) was a musician, composer and pianist with a long career, considered one of the most important figures outstanding of the Argentine nativism. Diffuser of traditional culture through an extensive discography and his performances at the helm of his folklore company from 1955 to 1980. Author of numerous extremely popular criollist songs and the Misa Criolla, one of the most important works of Argentine music . He was elected as President of SADAIC (Argentine Society of Authors and Composers of Music), in five periods: 1970/74, 1974/77, 1993/97, 1997/2001 and 2001/2005.
Ariel Ramirez’s Biography
He studied piano in his hometown. His composition studies would be done many years later in Buenos Aires with Luis Gianneo and Erwin Leuchter. Driven by Atahualpa Yupanqui, who listened to him in Córdoba, he undertook a long touring season in 1941 through several provinces in the center and northwest of the country, to become familiar with regional music. During that time he offered piano recitals performing traditional Argentine and South American music, among which he interspersed his first compositions. In 1943 he arrived in Buenos Aires, where he gave numerous concerts and had a permanent contract on Radio El Mundo. In 1946 he recorded his first albums for RCA Victor, one of which included La Tristecita, a work that gave him popularity.
In 1950 he traveled to Europe, where he spent about four years with permanent residence in Rome, but making numerous tours as an interpreter of Argentine music in different concert halls and theaters in Italy, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium and England. In Spain he was awarded a scholarship by the Institute of Hispanic Culture to carry out studies on Spanish music of oral transmission. In 1954 he settled in Lima, where he continued his solo career making presentations in different cities of that country, as well as in others in Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay.
In 1955 he returned to Argentina, where he organized the Ariel Ramírez Folklore Company to carry out a musical choreographic show, summoning artists from different regions of the country. From its debut at the SODRE Theater in Montevideo, thanks to the encouragement of its director, maestro Hugo Balzo, the company developed its activity for more than twenty years throughout the Argentine territory. Among the most outstanding musicians who started or developed their incipient careers acting with Maestro Ariel Ramírez, we can mention Jorge Cafrune, Jaime Torres, Raúl Barboza and Los Fronterizos. In 1957 the group, which at that time was composed of twenty musicians and dancers, made a five-month tour of the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia. At the end, Ramírez continued to offer concerts as a piano soloist in Europe. Several of his compositions became popular in his country: Triste pampeano n ° 3, Agua y sol del Paraná, The flooded ones, I will always return to San Juan, Far away and long ago, El Paraná in a zamba, and they were acquiring great diffusion in versions of the most important nativist interpreters.
In the 1960s he made countless tours of Argentina and began recording for Philips a series of LPs with his works, and piano alone or in collaboration with other musicians, and also a collection that constitutes an anthology of the music of some Argentine regions (Pampean, Litoral or Mesopotamian) and some musical genres (the criollo waltz, the zamba and the tango). Of all his LP as an interpreter, the one that acquired the greatest significance was Coronación del Folklore, one of the fundamental landmarks of nativism, recorded in 1963 with Eduardo Falú and Los Fronterizos. On September 4, 1967, he was part of the folkloric show that together with Jaime Torres presented the exhibition of the film Crónica para un futuro.
As a composer he wrote, in addition to a long list of songs, several integral cycles, all of them presented through record editions that had a notable impact. The first of these discs includes the Criolla Mass and, also in the nature of a premiere, the Christmas carols gathered under the title Nuestra Navidad with texts by Félix Luna. In 1965 he recorded with Ramón Navarro the epic cantata Los Caudillos written in collaboration with the historian and poet Luna. A new great event was the appearance in 1969 of the album Mujeres Argentinas, sung by Mercedes Sosa and also with texts by Luna. Some of his songs, Alfonsina and the sea and Juana Azurduy, are among the most successful of their extensive production.
Cantata Sudamericana (1972) and Mass for Peace and Justice (1981) are his last long-range productions. In these years he also composed music for some Argentine films. In another field, with didactic aims, he wrote the 15 Studies for piano on rhythms and forms of the Argentine musical tradition and the provincial Songs, for equal voices.
He continued his tours and presentations uninterruptedly both in his country and abroad, although less frequently than in previous decades. On August 5, 1992, a concert was held in his tribute at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires under the title Ariel Ramírez, 50 years with national music, in which some of the most important performers of Argentine popular music participated, and in the course of which his works were exclusively executed.
More Facts about Ariel Ramirez
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