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Héctor Alterio y José Luis Merlín
"Como hace 3000 años..." Music & Poetry

Alterio's theatre debut came in 1948 as the lead in Cómo suicidarse en primavera ("How to commit suicide in spring"). After finishing drama school, he created the Nuevo Teatro ("New Theatre") company in 1950, where he worked until 1968 and helped change the Argentine theatrical scene of the 1960s.

He also worked in the Argentine cinema. His debut on the silver screen took place in Alfredo Mathé's Todo sol es amargo (Every sun is bitter) in 1965. He then participated in many of the most important Argentine movies of the 1970s, including La Patagonia rebelde (The Rebel Patagonia), which was awarded a Silver Bear at the 24th Berlin International Film Festival.[2] His voice was used in Ya es tiempo de violencia (1969), an anonymous film about the Cordobazo riots which took place the same year. The film was produced by Enrique Juárez, close to the Grupo Cine Liberación.

While in Spain in 1975, he received death threats from the Argentine Anticommunist Alliance. He decided not to return to Argentina and remained in exile.

Consequently, Alterio began to work in Spanish films, including A un dios desconocido (1977) and received the Best Actor award at the Donostia-San Sebastián International Film Festival, and El nido (1980), and for his effort received the Best Actor award from the Association of Latin Entertainment Critics in 1983.

After the restoration of democracy in Argentina in 1982, Alterio worked in films produced in both countries and some co-productions.

In 2004 he received an Honorary Goya Award for his lifetime body of works.


With an extraordinary career spanning more than 50 years, guitarist, composer, arranger, teacher and creative visionary José Luis Merlin imagines dazzling musical works that celebrate both his classical background and his passion for folk music. Profoundly moved by visual art, dance, literature and film and also influenced by his Latin American, Ukrainian-Jewish and Spanish roots, his original pieces feature contemporary and traditional elements as well as diverse Argentinian rhythms, the haunting melodies of Eastern European folk songs and the resonant, romantic melodies of Western European classical music.

Often referred to as a “poet of the guitar,” Merlin’s guitar pours out magical, musical elegies about his own personal journey, which has been marked by moments of love, loss, longing, sorrow, joy and hope. Because his own story has also been colored by geographical upheaval, the refrain of the immigrant is a recurring theme in his music. Merlin’s contagious energy, enthusiasm for playing both chamber music and folk music and his fondness for collaborating with painters, photographers, dancers, actors, puppeteers, writers, filmmakers and a wide range of other artists inspire him to continue to evolve his craft and keep his mind open to life’s many possibilities.

Merlin has been a performer and composer as well as a researcher and teacher of instrumental technique since 1967. His study of guitar began with the prestigious Argentinian guitarist and composer Vicente Degese and continued with Abel Carlevaro and Leónidas Arnedo. His humanistic, personal approach to music and devotion to folk, contemporary and classical music has garnered admiration from folk and classical guitar legends, mentors and contemporaries such as Abel Carlevaro and Paco de Lucía. Merlin’s compositions are at the core of the most distinguished conservatory and university programs in the world, including the Royal Conservatory of Music in Spain, London, Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, the Shanghai Music Conservatory and many more. They are also being performed and recorded by eminent artists including Jasón Vieux, Eric Cabalo, Lisa Schroeder and David Tannenbaum (USA), Yang Xuefei (China), Antigoni Goni (Greece), Etienne Plasman (Luxembourg), Ana Archiles (Spain), Luis Andrés Campos Yépez (Ecuador), César Amaro (Uruguay), Eduardo Martín (Cuba), Alexandra Syniakova (Ukraine) and others.

As a gifted orchestrator and arranger, Merlin has created scores for films such as City of Your Final Destination. He also adapted Christoph Willibald Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Euridice for “La Mar de Marionetas” (The Sea of Puppets) theater company as well as the music for “Agua” at the Expo Zaragoza. He has arranged and adapted works by Beethoven, Scarlatti and Bach and has set the poetry of Nicandro Pereyra and Antonio Esteban Agüero to music. Merlin also composed the music for the children’s songs album, Estaciones que Cantan. Canciones Infantiles with the poet Cristina Alvarez Puerto.

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