Amauta for baritone and piano by Jimmy López Bellido.

Dedicated to Enrique Iturriaga.

Programme Notes

Back in 1995, when I was a 16-year-old high schooler and aspiring composer, I was admitted to the counterpoint class of Enrique Iturriaga at the Béla Bartók Institute in Lima, Peru. I only lasted a few weeks. I rebelled against the seemingly endless amount of rules to which two simple melodic lines were incessantly being subjected, and I would often knowingly break the rules, only to get humorously reprimanded by Enrique and, as a result, embarrassed in front of my fellow pupils. I came to the conclusion that I was too good for that class, continued ignoring the rules, and searched for a new teacher. A couple of years later, I was begging Enrique to take me back as a private student.

Enrique Iturriaga is one of the greatest musical personalities in the history of Peru. One of South America’s foremost composers, he is also remembered for teaching several generations of musicians and non-musicians from all backgrounds and walks of life. His good-humored demeanor, passion for music and love for teaching touched countless lives; I was one of them. I met this patriarch when he was 77 years old, and had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege to have him as my composition teacher.

At the time of his passing I was very close to completing this song, which was intended to be premiered at a private event for his 102nd birthday in 2020. He won’t get to listen to it with his ears, but I am hopeful that it will reach his soul. This song, for which I wrote the lyrics myself, is an outpouring of love, appreciation and respect for all he did for me personally, and for many others whom he touched during his wonderfully long and blessed life. May it stand as an homage to the man who, like no other, encapsulates the meaning of the Quechua word Amauta: master, teacher, the wise one. May you rest in peace, beloved Enrique.

- Jimmy López Bellido

Duration: c.8 minutes