Blanco, Juan (1919–2008) By Quevedo, Marysol
Juan Blanco was a Cuban composer known for his work in the field of electroacoustic music. He did not limit himself to electroacoustic music composition, creating works for a variety of performing forces and settings, including chamber ensembles, choir and orchestra, symphonic orchestra, film music, ballet, and theatre. After 1959, he was an active figure in the cultural institutions established by the Revolutionary government. He not only promoted modern and avant-garde music but was also influential in the promotion of Cuban popular music and musicians.
Born June 29, 1919, in Mariel, Pinar del Río [Havana province], Cuba. Blanco moved to Havana in 1935, receiving a bachelors degree at the Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza in Havana. In 1942 he received his law degree from the Universidad de La Habana. He initially studied piano, solfege, and music theory with Leonor Feliú and, later, harmony and counterpoint with Manuel Llanes at the Conservatorio Peyrellade. In 1949, the foundation of the Sociedad Cultural Nuestro Tiempo, named Blanco secretary of the group, a position he filled until the group dissolved. Blanco ran the group’s music Section and administered the Revista Nuestro Tiempo. The Sociedad and its magazine was one of the main outlets for progressive intellectuals and for those interested in culture and the promotion of new literature, music, theatre, and visual arts in Havana society.