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Dr. Aurelio de la Vega...

CSUN Emeritus Professor/Composer Aurelio de la Vega receives a most prestigious award (May 20, 2009, update)

Aurelio de la Vega, for 34 years Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge, and at present a CSUN Distinguished Emeritus Professor, has been chosen to receive the prestigious and coveted William B. Warren Cintas Lifetime Achievement Award for his long and notable career as a classical music composer. This award is given by the Cintas Foundation -- a grant giving institution established in New York in 1968 by Cuban industrialist magnate Oscar B. Cintas, Cuban Ambassador to the United States during the pre-Castro era, for the purpose of providing substantial creative grants to painters, composers, writers, architects and playwrights of Cuban origin. On rare occasions, the Cintas Foundation bestows its Lifetime Achievement Award upon individuals who have distinguished themselves as major creative and cultural figures.

De la Vega's creative life began in his native land and later flourished in the United States. Having been born in La Habana, Cuba, in 1925, he was already active as a composer during the decade of the 1940s. He established himself in Los Angeles from 1959 onward. That same year he was appointed to the faculty of San Fernando Valley State College, today California State University, Northridge. His catalogue of compositions includes more than 70 works, among them orchestral compositions, chamber music works, piano pieces, electronic music compositions, song cycles, ballet music, choral works and several compositions for solo instruments.

In addition to his constant activities as an internationally known composer, De la Vega is also a well known writer on contemporary art music subjects and on the pictorial art of Latin America. He has lectured extensively throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Since 1962 most of his compositions have been commissioned by orchestras, institutions, singers, instrumentalists and private patrons. His most recent commission came from the Moldenhaver Foundation of the Library of Congress. Many of his works are published and commercially recorded.

Throughout his long professional career, Aurelio de la Vega has received numerous distinctions, prizes and decorations from foreign governments. The William B. Warren Cintas Lifetime Achievement Award crowns de la Vega's long list of honors.

el Nuevo Herald, GALERIA/ARTES Y LETRAS, Domingo 7 de septiembre del 2003
Aurelio de la Vega
Rebelde de la Música cubana
"De todas las artes, la música es, en su esencia, la más abstracta y ala más difícil de comprender. Su naturaleaa intemporal, unida al primitivismo del sentido del oído, la hace remota y hasta indescifrable para los muchos que sólo la conciben y gustan..."

article by
Especial/El Nuevo Herald

el Nuevo Herald; 31 de julio del 2003
Díselo a Marcel Proust
En esa vertiginosa galaxia de la música cubana, la obra de Aurelio de la Vega es un sol de virtud formal. Con el añadido de que este habanero de 77 años es también una fuerza mayor del panorama musical norteamericano. Profesor de música durante más de 30 años en California State Unicersity, sus obras han sido incluidas en el repertorio de importantes orquestas y programas sinfónicos alrededor del mundo. Exiliado en este país desde 1959, De la Vega es igualmente una autoridad en la música electrónica. Hombre afable y vital, de inteligencia descarnada y precisa, ha cosechado notables honores en Europa, América Latina, Asia y Estados Unidos, En fin, todo un clásico.

PEDRO PORTAL/El Nuevo Herald

Curiosity Compels the Composer
Aurelio de la Vega has created works as eclectic as his career, as a birthday tribute shows.
Summarizing the work of a composer as vigorously curious as Aurelio de la Vega is not easy. Serialism and pantonality, Cuban dance rhythms and chance operations, graphic notation and electronic tape, all have interested De la Vega, and have come together in a powerful and idiosyncratic musical personality.

        Somewhat to the composer's surprise, however, his collected music for solo piano seems satisfyingly to sum up his evolution, particularly regarding harmonic language and general stylistic stance. That body of music--10 works from 1944 to 1987--will be played by Martha Marchena this afternoon at Cal State Northridge, where De la Vega was on the faculty for 34 years.
        "I have never heard these pieces all played together," De la Vega says, before Marchena played the same program three weeks ago at the University of Miami. "I am not easy to please and I hear my music very objectively in performance, but this was very satisfactory. The impact was profound--kind of a canvas of 50 years of music. She really takes it seriously, and the results were beyond my imagination."
        Marchena, a Cuban American pianist who has already recorded two discs of Latin American music, takes the program to the Smithsonian in June, then on to three more venues this year, including the Music Department of Kean University, New Jersey, Thurs. Oct. 11, 2001, before recording the collection in December. There are also performances in Chicago and Cleveland lined up for 2002. The composer will be present at most of the performances.
The Second concert of the North/South Consanance season will be SPOTLIGHT ON AURELIO DE LA VEGA, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2001, @ 3 pm. Complete Piano Music - Martha Marchena/piano at the visually appealing and acoustically superior setting of Christ and St. Stephen's Church, 120 West 69th Street - New York City USA.
In the Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, April 24, 2001 www.calendarlive.com:
MUSIC REVIEW - An illuminating survey of the piano works of Cuban-born composer Aurelio de la Vega:

At CSUN, Illuminating Survey of De la Vega's Piano Pieces
        How does one best survey a half-century in the life of a composer like Cuban-born Aurelio de la Vega? Sunday afternoon at CSUNs Recital Hall, the answer came in a focused theme, his Complete Piano Works. For the occasion, sponsored by the Cuban American Cultural Institute and also honoring the composer's 75th birthday, Martha Marchena ventured boldly and insightfully through the composer's piano oeuvre.
        The program offered an illuminating if selective summary of the composer's eclectic vision. De la Vega enjoys an international reputation, and wears his Cuban heritage in subtle ways through his music. Northridge has been a home base for him, having spent 34 years teaching at CSUN, retiring in 1991.
        The program--which will be recorded and performed on tour, showcases the composer's evolving voice, from the disarming neo-impressionism of his Three Preludes, of 1944, to on of his best-known works, the "Homenagem (In Memoriam Heitor Villa-Lobos)," from 1987.Played with requisite flair and objective cool by Marchena, the latter piece is a marvel, its dance-like rhythmic energy surging beneath an arid, atonal thicket. Artful paradox is the upshot.

The Volume 22: Number 1: Spring/Summer 2001 issue of Latin American Music Review was dedicated to Aurelio de la Vega on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday (28 November 2000)
        Cuban-American Aurelio de la Vega has been one of the most daring and inovative Latin American composers of his generation. He first studied music at the Instituto Musical Ada Iglesias in Havana under Harold Gramatges. While in Los Angeles as cultural attachè to the Cuban consulate he took private compoosition lesons with Ernst Toch. From 1953 to 1959 he directed the music department at the Universidad de Oriente in Santiago de Cuba. He then settled in California where he taught composition and founded the electronic music studio at the California State University, Northridge (formerly the San Fernando Valley State College). He retired from that institution in 1994 as Distinguished Emeritus Professor after over thirty years of instructional activities.
From the Editor : Gerard Behágue

      in its special fifth anniversary edition, included
Homage to AURELIO DE LA VEGA - "Nacionalismo y universalismo"

Living Music is publishing a reprint in Spanish in our online journal.

Dr. Aurelio de la Vega
                                  Northridge, August 8, 2000

The FACE Award is a most prestigious recognition and it is an honor to receive it this year. It is also an event which gives me joy, since it also gives due recognition to Cuban art music and to its historical importance.

I will travel to Miami on Monday, September 4 and will remain there until the morning of Sunday, September 10. If by any chance your are in the city during those days, please contact me at (305) 470-3692. I will be staying with my friends Mr. and Mrs. Amaro Gómez-Boix.

All my very best personal regards and good wishes.

As ever,
Aurelio de la Vega

The Magic Labyrinth
Aurelio de la Vega, THE MAGIC LABYRINTH

Aurelio de la Vega is featured in the Library of Congress Classical Music 2001 Calendar.
          His scores for "The Magic Labyrinth" and "Olep Ed Arudamot" from the Nicolas Slonimsky Collection are featured as "music in print" with Ottaviano Petrucci's "Harmonice Musices Odhecaton A" and Boguslaw Schaffer's "Four Pieces for String Trio" for the month of May, 2001.

May 3, 2000

Mr. Aurelio de la Vega
18800 Stare St.
Northridge, CA 91324-0320

Dear Dr. de la Vega:

It gives us great pleasure to inform you of your selection as one of the recipients of the 14th Annual FACE Excellence Awards. You will be receiving the award in Music.

FACE was founded in 1980 as a result of the Mariel freedom flotilla. Our organization has only one purpose - to counteract ill-founded perceptions about Cuban exiles and Cuban Americans and to highlight the community's accomplishments by recognizing the achievements of exiled Cubans and their descendants in different arenas.

The FACE awards were established in 1984 for the purpose of honoring Cuban exiles who have made significant contributions in the United States and other countries. FACE also recognizes outstanding non-Cubans who have made a mark for themselves in ways that are consistent with FACE objectives. Past recipients make up a distinguished list.

The awards will be presented at our annual FACE Excellence Award dinner, which though originally scheduled for June 1, will now be held Thursday, September 7, 2000, at the Wyndham Miami located at 1601 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, Florida.

After careful consideration, we decided to postpone this year's banquet because of the continued distress in the community resulting from the Elían González case.

3700 West 125h Avenue, Suite 328 · Hialeah, Florida 33012
Telephone (305) 825-0840 · Fax (305) 825-3929


Internationally aclaimed composer Aurelio de la Vega, California State University, Northridge Emeritus Professor, and author of innumerable symphonic, chamber and vocal works, has been awarded one of the FACE Awards, given each year to someone of Cuban origin who has excelled in a given field of endeavour. De la Vega travelled to Miami to receive personally this Award on September 7, during a televised ceremony at the Wyndham Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard.

The fact that one of De la Vega's music manuscripts -his "The Magic Labyrinth" of 1975- has been included in the 733 pages volume "Music History from Primary Sources," published last July by The Library of Congress, is an outstanding milestone in the composer's career. The reproduction of said manuscript is accompanied by an essay on its origin and aesthetic meaning, and by a list of several other De la Vega manuscripts and letters which form part of the Moldenhauer Archives a Harvard University. The name and reproduction of the Aurelio de la Vega manuscript appears together with manuscripts of works by Bartók, Beethoven, Berg, Boulez, Brahms, Chopin, Dallapiccola, Gluck, Handel, Hindemith, Honegger, Liszt, Lutoslawski, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Moussorgsky, Penderecki, Puccini, Rossini, Schoenberg, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky and Webern, among other great names of the history of music. De la Vega is the only Latin American composer who has been included in the volume, and his name is followed by some manuscript pages from Verdi's "Attila." Only five other composers from the United States (Cage, Gershwin, Ives, Rochberg and Gunther Schuller) complete with De la Vaga the representation from the Americas included in the book.

Also, the 2001 wall Calendar of the Library of Congress, entitled Classical Music, devotes the month of May to two of the series of pencil colored graphic scores of De la Vega, dating from 1974 and 1975. Other months in the Calendar are dedicated to violinist Jascha Heifetz, pianist Harold Bauer, educator Nadia Boulanger, soprano Geraldine Farrar, conductor Serge Koussevitzky, Middle Ages illustrated manuscripts, and composers Johann Sebastian Bach, Vincenzo Bellini (commemorating the 200th anniversary of his birth), Charles Martin Loeffler, Richard Strauss, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, and Boguslaw Schaeffer.



A Certificate of Recognition was presented to De la Vega by the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles in early September of 2000, "in honor of his innumerable symphonic, chamber, and vocal works in addition to having received a FACE Excellence Award."

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