Alcides Lanza | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Alcides Lanza

Lanza, Alcides (Emigdio). Composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, b Rosario, Argentina, 2 Jun 1929, naturalized Canadian 1976. In Buenos Aires he studied piano with Ruwin Erlich, conducting with Roberto Kinsky, and composition with Julián Bautista and Alberto Ginastera.

Lanza, Alcides

Lanza, Alcides (Emigdio). Composer, conductor, pianist, teacher, b Rosario, Argentina, 2 Jun 1929, naturalized Canadian 1976. In Buenos Aires he studied piano with Ruwin Erlich, conducting with Roberto Kinsky, and composition with Julián Bautista and Alberto Ginastera. He was a pianist and coach-accompanist 1959-65 at the Teatro Colón and received a scholarship 1963-4 from the Instituto Torcuato di Tella of Buenos Aires, where he took advanced studies in composition, including electronic music. A Guggenheim fellowship assisted his stay 1965-71 in the USA, and he worked with Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center, in addition to teaching and composing. During this period he received grants from the Ford Foundation in 1966 and the Pan American Union 1967-9. He studied composition mainly with Olivier Messiaen, Riccardo Malipiero, Aaron Copland, and Bruno Maderna, as well as piano with Yvonne Loriod.

In Latin America, the USA, and Canada, Lanza has striven, both as pianist and conductor, to promote contemporary and avant-garde music. To this end he founded the Composers/Performers Group, whose multimedia presentations in several cities, including New York and Montreal, have aroused a great deal of controversy. While continuing to be active on the international scene, he settled in Montreal in 1971 to teach composition at McGill University and in 1974 became director of its electronic music studio. In 1972 he conducted the SMCQ Ensemble and presented works by Argentinian composers and his own composition Eidesis II.

In 1975, on commission for the SMCQ, Lanza wrote Plectros IV which was premiered the same year by Bruce Mather and Pierrette LePage, to whom the work was dedicated. Lanza's numerous works make use of traditional instruments, of electronic sounds and extensions, and of lights. Many are listed in the US catalogue of Boosey & Hawkes, which also handles rental of material, tapes, and scores. Lanza owns Shelan Editions which publishes and reproduces his works in the form of scores and cassettes.

Lanza was president of the Agrupacion Música Viva of Buenos Aires and associate director of the Composers' Group for International Performance. He was composer-in-residence 1972-3 at the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst of Berlin and toured Scandinavia and Germany at that time. In 1975 he helped organize the Week of New Music in Montreal, at which his work Penetrations VII was presented with the participation of his wife, the actress and singer Meg Sheppard. In 1986 he and Sheppard toured Argentina and Brazil, performing more than 50 pieces of Canadian music. The next year he gave a five-hour recital comprised of works by 27 composers from different countries, including a few of his own pieces. Lanza has recorded piano works by Henry Cowell (Little Concerto, McGill University Records 79008, released in 1980) and Serge Perron (Fusion, McGill University Records 80011, released in 1981). He is a member of the CLComp and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Compositions

Eidesis V. 1981. Chamb orch. Shelan 1982

Bour-drones. 1985. Chamb orch. Shelan 1985

Soloist and Orchestra

Eidesis VI. 1983. Pf, string orch. Shelan 1983

Guitar Concerto. 1988. Amplified guitar (elec guitar), synthesizer modules, orch. Shelan 1988


Cuarteto IV. 1964. 4 horn. Shelan 1983

Interferences I. 1966. 2 fl, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, horn, tuba, tape. Shelan 1983

Cuarteto V. 1967. Str quartet. Shelan 1983

Penetrations II. 1969. Winds, percussion, keybd, strings, voices, elec. Shelan 1983

Sensors I. 1976. Perc. Shelan 1982. McGill University Records 77003 (Béluse)

Eidesis IV. 1977. Winds, percussion, elec. Shelan 1984. (1980). McGill University Records 79008 (McGill Wind Ens)

Acúfenos V. 1980. Tpt, piano, tape. Shelan 1983

Sensors II. 1980. 16 (or more) trombone. Shelan 1982

Modulos II. 1982. Guit, elec. Shelan 1982

Sensors III. 1982. Org, percussion. Shelan 1982

Interferences III. 1983. Chamb ensemble, elec, piano, percussion. Shelan 1983. (1986) McGill University Records 85027 (Group of the Elec Music Studio, McGill)

Interferences IV. 1984. 3 clarinet, double-bass (violoncello), percussion. Shelan 1984

Ektenes I. 1985. Columbine, amaranth, optional tape. Shelan 1985

Sensors V. 1985. Perc. Shelan 1985. RCI 652 (Béluse)

Arghanum I. 1986. Acc, clarinet, vibraphone, synthesizer. Shelan 1986

Modulos IV. 1986. Guit, elec. Shelan 1986

Sensors VI. 1986. Perc. Shelan 1986

Arghanum II. 1987. Fl, double-bass, violin, clarinet, saxophone, piano, synthesizer, percussion. Shelan 1987

Ektenes II. 1987. Ob, percussion. Shelan 1987


Plectros III. 1971 (rev 1982). Pf, elec. Shelan 1982

Plectros IV. 1974. 2 piano, percussion, elec. Shelan 1984

Voice or Choir

Three Songs. 1963. Sop, fl, clarinet, bass clarinet, trombone, vibraphone, percussion, piano. Shelan 1983

Penetrations VII. 1972. V, lights, tape, elec. Shelan 1982

Ekphonesis V. 1979. Vs, lighting, elec. Shelan 1982

Sensors IV. 1983. Chor, elec and computer sounds. Shelan 1984

Ekphonesis VI. 1988. Voice, elec. Shelan 1988

Electronic Music

Arghanum III, IV. 1987. Tape

... There Is a Way to Sing It... 1988. Tape. 4-ACM 37 (CD)

Further Reading