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"You Can't Have a Revolution Without Songs"

                                                                                 —Salvador Allende


After years of social and political unrest, the 1970 victory of the Popular Unity government led by Salvador Allende in Chile was seen as a beacon of hope by the Left, both in Chile and throughout the region. As the new president-elect took the stage to greet cheering citizens, a banner above his head read, "You Can't Have a Revolution Without Songs." It was a powerful statement about the role of music in social and political change that had fueled the emerging popular musical movement in South America known as la nueva canción (New Song Movement). *

Rooted in the blending of distinct musical traditions of Native populations with European styles as people were moving from the rural country into the cities as social conditions declined, la nueva canción often made use of folk instruments, such as the quena (Andean flute), zampoñas (pan-pipes), and the ten-stringed charango (a lute like Andean guitar), to stress dignity and pride in Native cultural roots.

The Alturas Duo will work with your faculty to tailor a program to fit your course objectives and can collaborate with your university's music department as well should it be of interest (e.g. world music, music history, music 101 presentations in addition to master classes for individuals or small ensembles). To create depth of programming, Alturas Duo encourages the participation of Andean woodwind specialist Gonzalo Cortés and, when possible, vocalist Alexandra Aubert.

At ease with the music learned in the oral tradition in the Andes mountains as well as their formal classical training, the Alturas Duo is in a unique position to lead engaging lecture-demonstrations suitable for university Latin-American studies programs. Violist and charango player Carlos Boltes and guitarist Scott Hill bring years of performing folk-influenced classical music throughout the Americas and Europe into the classroom setting with programs designed to stimulate dialogue about la nueva canción and role of poetry and music as a means for social change as well as the impact of cultural icons such as Violeta Parra and Victor Jara.


Having premiered dozens of new works by a number of South American composers with various orchestras, choirs, instrumentalists, and vocalists, the gentlemen of the Alturas Duo also introduce an interesting perspective that fuses the traditional with contemporary culture in Latin America as well as  the United States.

Programs Include 


Each program is designed to include descriptions and backgrounds of the instruments the performers play including the charango, quena, zampoña, bombo leguero (percussion)... and even goat toenails!

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