Agurto y Loaysa [Loaysa y Agurto], Joseph [José] de
- Craig H. Russell
(b ?Mexico City, c1625; d ?Toluca, 1695). Mexican composer. He was named as a singer in Mexico City Cathedral on 20 May 1647 with a salary of 100 peso; this was reduced to 90 peso, because of the cathedral’s financial difficulties, some time after 1646, but increased to 120 peso on 30 April 1665. In 1676 Agurto was made maestro de los villancicos, in 1677 maestro compositor and in 1685/6 maestro de capilla. On 3 September 1688 he was succeeded by Antonio de Salazar, but he remained active at the cathedral at least until 1695, the probable year of his death. By then he was living in nearby Toluca.
Agurto collaborated with the celebrated Mexican poet Juana Inés de la Cruz, and with other librettists, on several villancico cycles between 1676 and 1686. The music of only one villancico survives (ed. F. Ramírez Ramírez: Trece obras de la colección J. Sánchez Garza...