Cordero, Ernesto

Foto with permission of the artist
Classical musician and composer Ernesto Cordero was born in 1946 in New York and raised in Puerto Rico.

Cordero’s musical training began in 1961 when he studied guitar from with Jorge Rubiano. In 1963 he enrolled at the Conservatory of Music in Puerto Rico and later continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid, Spain until 1971. Cordero then did post-graduate work in composition with Roberto Canggiano in Rome, Italy from 1972 to 1974 and with Julian Orbón in New York from 1977 to 1978.

Cordero has been affiliated with the University of Puerto Rico since 1971, where he is now Professor in both the Departments of Composition and of Guitar. In addition to his activities as composer, performer and teacher, Ernesto Cordero, was music director of the International Guitar Festival of Puerto Rico from 1980 to 1997.

As a composer, Cordero has a written a diverse and rich catalogue of works that is infused with the Afro-Hispanic flavor so typical of Caribbean music. He has written five concertos, including one for violin’ three for guitar, such as the Concierto Antillano (the 3rd movement: Seis Milonga, performed here by guitarist Angel Romero and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Roselín Pabón conducting). Cordero also composed a concerto for the native Puerto Rican cuatro. In addition, he composed a number of chamber works featuring the guitar in diverse ensembles and many guitar solos.

Cordero’s music often evokes nostalgic feelings of longing for the island of Puerto Rico, through such works as the romantic “Bacetos Sonoras” or the “Vineta Criolla” with its clave rhythm. An example of this is the hauntingful beautiful 2nd movement, Andante Lontano e Misterioso, of his Concierto de Bayoán, performed by guitarist Iván Rijos and the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, Roselín Pabón conducting. It is also quite evident in his songs which have a romantic quality, such as recorded by popular Puerto Ricn singer, Danny Rivera and soprano Ilca López, on Entre Guitarra y Voz.

Some of Cordero’s major works as a composer include the Concierto Evocativo, which was first performed in 1978 in Puerto Rico and was recorded with Leonardo Egúrbida as guitar soloist; the Concierto Antillano, which debuted in 1988 in Paris, performed by the Philharmonic of Radio France, conducted by Leo Brouwer and recorded by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Liege and several others; the Concierto Bayoán which premiered in 1991 at the Sixth International Congress of Guitar in Mettmann, Germany; Tres Conciertos del Caribe, recorded by the San Juan Orchestra directed by Roselín Pabón; and the Concierto Criollo with Edwin Colón Zayas as soloist on the cuatro.

While Cordero is best known as a composer, he is also ackowledged to be an accomplished musician as well. Lauded for his expertise on the guitar as demonstrated during his debut concert appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1978. The artist has had many appearances ssince then and continues to be in demand as a performer.


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Bella: The Incomparable Artistry of Angel Romero (2001)

Zenobia (2000)

Caribbean Souvenirs (2000)

La Guitara Latina (1999)

New York Sally (1999)

Ponciana (1999)

O Boto (1998)

Tres Conciertos del Caribe (1998)

Flauto and Chitarra In Concerto (1997)

Histoire du Tango (1995)

Guitar Music of the Americas (1994)

Concierto Antillano (----)

Descarga (----)

Fantasía Mulata (----)

Entre Guitarra y Voz (----)

Songs of the Americas (----)

Música de las Américas (----)

Concertino Tropical (----)