In this Book

In Search of Alberto Guerrero
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In Search of Alberto Guerrero is the first full biography of the influential Chilean-Canadian pianist and teacher (1886-1959), describing Guerrero’s long career as virtuoso recitalist, chamber music collaborator, concerto soloist, and teacher. Written by composer John Beckwith, who was a student of Guerrero, the book blends research and memoir to piece together the life of a man who once insisted he had no story.

Guerrero was part of the intellectual scene that introduced Chileans to Debussy, Ravel, Cyril Scott, Scriabin, and Schoenberg. He and his brother played an active role in founding the Sociedad Bach in Santiago. In 1918 Guerrero moved to Toronto, making the Hambourg Conservatory, and later the Toronto (now Royal) Conservatory, his new base. He soon became one of Canada’s most active pianists. In what was then a novel activity, he played regular radio recitals from the mid-1920s to the early 1950s. He was also deeply engaged with issues in piano pedagogy, and worked with young talents including Canada’s much-acclaimed Glenn Gould. But unlike the shadowy role Guerrero is assigned in Gould biographies, here he is given proper credit for his technical and aesthetic influence on the young Gould and on other notable musicians and composers.

Guerrero left few written records, and documentation of his work by others is incomplete and often erroneous. Aiming for a fuller and more accurate account of this remarkably influential and well-loved man, Beckwith’s In Search of Alberto Guerrero gives an insider’s story of the Canadian classical music scene in mid-twentieth-century Toronto, and pays homage to the influential musician William Aide has called an “unsung progenitor.”

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Acknowledgements
  2. pp. xi-xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Chapter 1: Chile / Canada—Beginnings in La Serena—Young Pianist, Young Composer—A Composer for the Stage—Two Composer-Associates—Writings
  2. pp. 1-27
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  1. Chapter 2: A Wedding, a Tour—New York and Back: A Farewell— Why?
  2. pp. 29-46
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  1. Chapter 3: Toronto: The Hambourgs—El cónsul—Personal Crises— Toronto: The Late 1920s and Early ’30s; The TCM— Performances
  2. pp. 47-69
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  1. Chapter 4: The Andison Concerts; Malloney’s—Friendships—“A Great Piano Town”: The Five Piano Ensemble—The 1940s
  2. pp. 71-90
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  1. Chapter 5: Lessons—Changes—Glenn Gould—A Letter— The Final Public Recital
  2. pp. 91-110
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  1. Chapter 6: The 1950s—A Funeral—“Boswell”—Legacy
  2. pp. 111-126
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  1. Appendix 1: Alberto Guerrero, "The Discrepancy between Performance and Technique"
  2. pp. 127-129
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  1. Appendix 2: Boyd Neel, "Alberto Guerrero"
  2. pp. 130-132
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  1. Appendix 3: Reunion: Participants
  2. pp. 133-134
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  1. Appendix 4: Excerpts from the Program Note for the Symposium "Remembering Alberto Guerrero," Toronto, 25 October 1990
  2. pp. 135-136
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 137-148
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 149-151
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 153-159
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