Piñera (Infante), Juan (Manuel)
- Victoria Eli Rodríguez
(b Havana, Jan 18, 1949). Cuban composer and pianist. He studied the piano with César Pérez Sentenat, Silvio Rodríguez Cárdenas, Margot Rojas and Ninowska Fernández-Britto, and composition with Enrique Bellver. When the Instituto Superior de Arte was established (1976) he studied composition with Ardévol, as his last pupil. He has won numerous prizes for composition, the most outstanding of which include La Edad de Oro, for music for children, the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba awards for both symphonic and electro-acoustic music, the 12th International Electro-acoustic Music Competition in Bourges (France) in 1984, and the 3rd TRIMALACA in Rio de Janeiro (1985). As the composer himself affirms, his music can be both profoundly lyrical and an obvious joke at the expense of conventionality. His earliest composition, La ‘cosa’ no está en el título for piano (1972–3), is in sonata form and exploits the rich effects produced by the pianistic treatment of avant-garde concepts. His songs are based on complex poetic texts, especially the work of poets such as José Martí, Mirta Aguirre, Nicolás Guillén, Humberto Arenal, and Virgilio Piñera. Associated with theatre music from an early age, his pieces have included reworkings of music originally from zarzuelas or musical comedies to create highly contemporary versions for original productions (...