Faà di Bruno, Giovanni Matteo [Horatio, Orazio] 83

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Flores, Pedro

(b Naguabo, 9 March 1894; d Puerto Rico, 13 July 1979). Puerto Rican bandleader and composer. He was a schoolteacher in his native Puerto Rico, then moved to New York City in 1926, when small trios and quartets were forming on its Latin music scene to perform romantic boleros and other Cuban genres such as son and guaracha. In 1928, despite no prior musical training, Flores established his own group, the Cuarteto Flores which, through the 1930s, became internationally famous, with vocalists such as Davilita, Alfredito Valdes, Chenco Moraza and Daniel Santos. Flores was a prolific composer, writing such classics as Obsesión, Amor perdido, Perdón, Irresistible, Despedida, Bajo un palmar, Toma jabon pa’que laves and the patriotic Sin bandera. His arrangements were strongly influenced by the predominant Cuban style of the day, with heavy percussion and catchy riffs. While Flores lacked the skills and sophisticated compositional style of his contemporary and life-long rival Rafael Hernández, his songs had a broad appeal among working-class Latin Americans for their depictions of everyday life and ordinary people. See also R. Glasser: My Music is my Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and their New York Communities, 1917–1940 (Berkeley, 1995).


Flores Zeller, Bernal

(b San José, 28 July 1937). Costa Rican composer, musicologist and teacher. His first music teacher was Carlos Enrique Vargas. He trained at the Eastman School of Music in New York (1951–64; BM, 1961, MM, 1962, PhD in composition, 1964). At the Eastman School he studied the piano with José Echániz and composition with Wayne Barlow, Bernard Rogers and Howard Hanson. After graduating he went on a research tour in Central America, and from 1965 to 1966 he taught at the Castella Conservatory of the University of Costa Rica. He taught theory at the Eastman School of Music (1966–7), then returned to Costa Rica to teach at the Castella Conservatory, the Escuela Superior de Música and the University of Costa Rica. At the university he carried out a large-scale institutional reforms and in 1971 set up degree courses in musical science and composition. He also set up the School of Musical Arts of the Rodrigo Facio University (inaugurated in 1971) and the degree courses in music history and composition at the Autonomous University of Central America. In 1971 he was appointed director of the music department of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Together with Benjamín Gutiérrez Sáenz he trained a whole new generation of Costa Rican composers. He was also instrumental in propagating the theories of Hanson, whose Harmonic Materials of Modern Music he translated into Spanish.

Flores Zeller has dedicated his life to composition, research, teaching and research into Costa Rican music, and played a leading role in important reforms that have revitalized the musical development of Costa Rica.


Dramatic: The Land of Heart's Desire (op, 1, W.B. Yeats), 1964; Variaciones precolombinas (film score), 1974 [for documentary Punto de encuentro]

Orch: El espejo, str, 1962; Mar y nieves, 1962; Poes, cl, orch, 1962; Conc. ‘William’, pf, perc, orch, 1963; Sym. no.1, str, 1965; Sym. no.2, 1966; Concierto pentafónico, cl, orch, 1968

Vocal: Ciclo de canciones (F. García Lorca), A, orch, 1962; Ciclo de canciones, T, pf, 1969

Chbr: 7 tocatas, pf, 1959; Sonata, 2 pf, 1964; Variaciones, vn, pf, 1987; Variaciones Fu Hsi, vn, cl, pf, 1987


Una introducción a la historia de la música costarricense desde 1502 (San José, 1971)

Sonoridades ordenadas sistemáticamente (San José, 1971)

Breve reseña y comentario de la música en Costa Rica (San José, 1971)

Julio Fonseca (San José, 1973)

José Daniel Zúñiga (San José, 1975)

‘La vida musical de Costa Rica en el siglo XIX’, Die Musikkulturen Lateinamerikas im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. R. Günther (Regensburg, 1982), 261–75 [in Sp. with Eng. summary]

La música en Costa Rica (San José, 1978)

La creación musical en Costa Rica (San José, 1979)

La música tradidicional del Japón (San José, 1984)

Solfeo interválico-sistemático (San José, 1992)



R. Sider: The Art Music of Central America: its Development and Present State (diss., Eastman School of Music, 1967)

Compositores de America/Composers of the Americas, ed. Pan American Union, xv (Washington, DC, 1969), 191–205

G. Béhague: Music in Latin America: an Introduction (Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1979)

G. Béhague: ‘Bernal Flores: la música en Costa Rica’, Revista de música Latinoamericana, iii/1 (1982), 128–9


Flórez, Francisco

(fl 1784–1824; d Madrid, 1824). Spanish piano and harpsichord maker. He was born in Murcia. By 1784 he had established a workshop in the Calle de San Bernardo, Madrid, where his first advertisements in Madrid newspapers (dating from 1784 to 1787) were for ‘Forte Pianos’ based on the English model; one of those, advertised in 1786, had seven registers. Between 1789 and 1790 he travelled to London, with financial help from King Carlos IV, in order to perfect his craft. On 20 January 1795 he was named organ builder and harpsichord maker to the Royal Chamber of Carlos IV, although his work consisted of making, repairing and tuning the pianos of the royal palaces. He worked first from a shop in the Calle de San Andrés before moving to the Carrera de San Jerónimo in 1814. He also made harpsichords and pianos for the Duchess of Benavente and for other members of the aristocracy in Madrid.

In 1795, following his trip to London he advertised combined harpsichord-pianos based on the models of J.J. Merlin. In addition, he offered glass harmonicas and barrel organs. In 1797 he made a piano with a compass of six octaves (C'–c''''), which was, according to him, the first with that compass in Madrid. In the same year he made a harpsichord-piano for the king in the English style, possibly modelled on the 1796 Broadwood piano now preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which had been a present from chief minister Manuel de Godoy to the queen. At his death he left unfinished an upright piano-organ intended for the king, the description of which indicates that it was to have been a luxurious and expensive instrument. His main rival was Francisco Fernández, who was also given a position at the Royal Chamber of Carlos IV.

Few pianos with Flórez’s signature survive. Six square pianos are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Palacio Real, Madrid, the Museo Municipal, Madrid, and various private collections. There is also an upright piano, dated 1807, with six registers and a compass of five and a half octaves (F'–c''''), at the Palacio Real, Madrid.


B. Kenyon de Pascual: ‘Harpsichords, Clavichords and Similar Instruments in Madrid in the Second Half of the Eighteenth Century’, RMA Research Chronicle, xviii (1982), 66–84

B. Kenyon de Pascual: ‘English Square Pianos in Eighteenth-Century Madrid’, ML, lxiv (1983), 212–17

C. Bordas Ibáñez: ‘Dos constructores de pianos en Madrid: Francisco Flórez y Francisco Fernández’, RdMc, xi (1988), 807–51

C. Bordas: ‘Otros pianos de F. Flórez y F. Fernández’, RdMc, xiii (1990), 227–30


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