Guillermo Espinosa in the Americas

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Espinosa in Europe

In 1932 Espinosa began a Latin American tour through Venezuela, Puerto Rico and finally Colombia. Once in Colombia he devoted a decade to his native country and his musical career. From Colombia, Espinosa continued to foster relationships with Latin American composers, performers and other musicians through the Americas. In the late 1940s, Espinosa began a campaign to promote the idea of an Inter-American Music Festival, a vision he made possible with the support of the Pan American Union (today’s Organization of American States) in Washington D.C.

Colombia

Espinosa arrived in Colombia after touring Puerto Rico as part of the Latin American tour which began in Venezuela in 1932. What was supposed to be one stop in the tour turned into a longer stay in his home country. This signaled the beginning of fruitful career, including the founding of the National Symphony Orchestra of Colombia. With the NSOC Espinosa brought classical music to children and adults from every social strata, and also promoted the idea of a national opera. In 1938 the Ibero-American Music Festival of Bogotá allowed Espinosa to continue the work initiated with the Ibero-American  Music Festival of 1932 in homage to Teresa Carreño. While in Colombia he also established the Music Festivals of Cartagena in 1945. Through these activities he expanded his relationship with composers, performers and musicologist of Latin America.

United States

In 1947 Guillermo Espinosa begins to campaign for an Inter-American music festival. After a decade his efforts paid off with the First Inter-American Music Festival taking place in Washington D.C. in 1958. As an officer of the Pan American Union, which would later be known as the Organization of American States, he produced six more Inter-American Festivals in Washington D.C. After his retirement from the OAS he continued to contribute to eight more Inter-American Festivals as Music Director Emeritus.