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Walter Aaron Clark

Distinguished Professor of Musicology, University of California, Riverside

Walter Aaron Clark received his doctorate in musicology from UCLA (1992), where he wrote his dissertation under the guidance of Robert M. Stevenson. He also holds performance degrees in classical guitar from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (B.M., 1975), where he studied with Jesús Silva and performed in a master class with Andrés Segovia; and the University of California, San Diego (M.A., 1984), where he was a student of Pepe and Celin Romero. Clark studied early music with lutenist Jürgen Hübscher and concertized in Germany for two years on a Fulbright grant (1984-86). He returned to Germany as an exchange student (from UCLA) in 1988 to study musicology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Before coming to UCR, he was on the faculty at the University of Kansas for ten years, having previously taught various courses at Scripps and Pomona Colleges, California State University at Long Beach, and UCLA. He is a collaborating professor on the doctoral faculties in musicology at three universities in Spain: Valladolid, La Rioja (Logroño), and the Complutense in Madrid.

In addition to the Fulbright, he has received Del Amo Foundation and NEH grants. He was the recipient of a coveted Kemper Award for Teaching Excellence at KU in 2000, and he was named the Faculty Research Lecturer for 2020-21, the highest distinction that UCR’s Academic Senate awards to faculty. In over fifty years of the competition, he is the first faculty member of an arts department to receive an FRL. Also in 2020, he received a Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to the International Student Community, from UCR International Students and Scholars. In 2016, King Felipe VI of Spain conferred on him the title of Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (Commander of the Order of Isabel the Catholic), a Spanish knighthood, in recognition of his efforts to promote Spanish music and culture.

Prof. Clark’s specialty is the music of Spain and Latin America, and he is the founder/director of the Center for Iberian and Latin American Music at the University of California, Riverside. He was the founder/editor (2005-16) of Oxford University Press’s award-winning series Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music and is now editor-in-chief of both the online Grove Dictionary of Latin American and Iberian Music (OUP) and the refereed UC online journal Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review, He also serves on the editorial boards of Revista de Musicología, Monumentos de la Música Española, Cuadernos de Música Iberoamericana, Música em Contexto, Soundboard Scholar, Estudios Bandísticos, Cuadernos de Investigación Musical, Editorial Alpuerto, Euterpe book series (Tirant lo Blanc Publisher), and the Encyclopedia of Latin American Popular Music (ABC-Clio/Garland, 2014).

His research has appeared in The Musical Quarterly, Revista de Musicología, Journal of the Lute Society of America, Soundboard Magazine and Soundboard Scholar, Ópera Actual, Piano, Inter-American Music Review, Revista de la Fundación Juan March, Música oral del sur: Revista internacional, Anuario Musical, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2nd ed.), The New Grove Dictionary of American Music (online version), Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (2nd ed.), and Latin Music: Musicians, Genres, and Themes (Greenwood, 2014).

He is the author of Isaac Albéniz: A Guide to Research (Garland, 1998) and Isaac Albéniz: Portrait of a Romantic (Oxford, 1999; paperback, 2002), also available in Spanish translation (Turner, 2002). His book Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano (Oxford, 2006; paperback 2011) won the 2006 Robert M. Stevenson Award in Iberian musicology from the American Musicological Society and has appeared in Spanish as well (Boileau, 2016). He was the contributing editor of From Tejano to Tango: Latin American Popular Music (Routledge, 2002) and contributing co-editor (with Luisa Morales) of Antes de Iberia: de Masarnau a Albéniz (Asociación Cultural LEAL, 2009). In 2009, he edited a special issue of The Musical Quarterly devoted to Latin America.

He has published articles and chapters on topics as diverse as the lute and vihuela intabulations of Josquin’s Mille Regretz; Isaac Albéniz’s opera Merlin; the Hollywood musicals of Carmen Miranda; the choral, stage, and piano works of Enrique Granados; the guitar music of Fernando Sor, Francisco Tárrega, Federico Moreno Torroba, and Joaquín Rodrigo; choral music in nineteenth-century Ibero-America; music during the Franco dictatorship; contemporary music in Latin America; and the Romero family of guitarists. He was the 1992 recipient of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Research Fellowship in England, and his essay on the opera Riders to the Sea appeared in Vaughan Williams Essays, edited by Byron Adams and Robin Wells (Ashgate, 2003); he also contributed an essay on music and politics to Música y cultura en la Edad de Plata, 1915-1939, edited by María Nagore, Leticia Sánchez de Andrés, and Elena Torres (Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2009), as well as a chapter on the Philippines and Ibero-America to Nineteenth-Century Choral Music, edited by Donna Di Grazia (Routledge, 2012).

He has provided reviews to the Journal of the Society for American Music, Journal of Musicological Research, Nineteenth-Century Music Review, Latin American Music Review, Music & Letters, Hispanic Review, Revista de Musicología, Art Music Review, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, Notes of the Music Library Association, and Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review; he also served as a contributing editor to the Handbook of Latin American Studies. In addition, he has written CD liner notes for Hyperion, Naxos, DGG, BIS, Tritó, EMEC, MDG, SOMM Classic, PlayClassics, Piano Classics, Blue Gentian Records, Chesky Records, and Decca. He has read papers at numerous conferences in Europe, Australia, Mexico, and throughout the U.S., and he was a member of the program committee for the 2015 Bard Festival in New York, devoted to Carlos Chávez.

Prof. Clark’s most recent publication projects have included a reprint of his essay “Doing the Samba on Sunset Boulevard: Carmen Miranda and the Hollywoodization of Latin American Music,” in The Tide Was Always High: The Music of Latin America in Los Angeles, edited by Josh Kun (University of California Press, 2017); an annotated bibliography of Isaac Albéniz for the online Oxford Bibliographies series (2017); a chapter on “The Malagueñas of Breva, Albéniz, and Lecuona: From Regional Fandango to Global Pop Tune,” in The Global Reach of the Fandango in Music, Song, and Dance: Spaniards, Indians, Africans, and Gypsies, edited by Meira Goldberg (Cambridge Scholars, 2016); a second edition of his Albéniz guide to research, Isaac Albéniz: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2015); co-authoring (with William C. Krause) Federico Moreno Torroba: A Musical Life in Three Acts (Oxford, 2013; paperback 2016; Spanish translation, Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 2021); the first-ever edition of Granados’s Catalan opera Follet (Tritó, full and p/v scores, 2012/2016); co-editing (with Michael O’Connor) and contributing to a collection entitled Treasures of the Golden Age: Essays on Music of the Iberian and Latin American Renaissance in Honor of Robert M. Stevenson (Pendragon, 2012); and serving as contributing editor (with Robin Moore, managing editor) of the groundbreaking textbook Musics of Latin America (W. W. Norton, 2012).

His book Los Romeros: Royal Family of the Spanish Guitar was published by University of Illinois Press in its Music in American Life series (2018). His critical edition of Granados’s three-act opera María del Carmen is forthcoming from Tritó, as are his critical editions of Granados’s Catalan operettas Picarol and Gaziel. The editions of Follet, Picarol, and Gaziel have made possible first-ever recordings of these important but neglected works. A new article, “Enric Granados and His Catalan Literary Associations,” has appeared in Dissonances of Modernity: Music in the Literature of Modern and Contemporary Spain, edited by Irene Gómez Castellano and Aurélie Vialette (University of North Carolina Press, 2021). His most recent book is Joaquín Rodrigo: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2021). He has also just published an annotated bibliography of Joaquín Rodrigo for the online Oxford Bibliography series. He also contributed an article on Rodrigo and the Romeros to a volume of Rodrigo essays published by the Instituto Cervantes at Harvard University.

He remains active in collaborating with other scholars and is currently working on a full-length biography of Rodrigo (co-authored with Javier Suárez-Pajares) for W. W. Norton. He co-edited (with Ana Benavides) and contributed to the catalogue of the exhibition El paisaje acústico de Joaquín Rodrigo, organized by the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid for the twentieth anniversary of the composer’s death (May-September 2019). He co-edited (with Antoni Pizà and Meira Goldberg) a volume devoted to Spaniards, Natives, Africans, and Roma: Transatlantic Malagueñas and Zapateados in Music, Song, and Dance (Cambridge Scholars, 2019), and served as contributing co-editor (with Luisa Morales and Michael Christoforidis) of Enrique Granados: La escuela española de piano y los movimientos artísticos entorno a la Gran Guerra (Asociación Cultural LEAL, 2020). Finally, he is contributing co-editor (with Álvaro Torrente) of The Cambridge History of Music in Spain, a major addition to the historiographical literature and currently in the initial stages of preparation.

Prof. Clark teaches a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses, including Introduction to Western Classical Music (MUS 2), Latin American Folk and Popular Styles (MUS 15), Latin American Classical Heritage (MUS 16), Music of Spain (MUS 18), History of Western Music (MUS 112A-C), Representations of Spain in Music and Dance, 1700-Present (MUS/DNC 155E), Bibliography and Research Methods (MUS 200), Proseminar in Musicology (MUS 206), as well as graduate seminars (MUS 262-63) on Flamenco and Spanish Nationalism; the Tango and Piazzolla; and Music Theory from Antiquity to the Renaissance. As an advisor at KU and now UCR, he has guided eleven dissertations, twenty-three DMA documents/lecture-recitals, twelve master’s theses, and two senior-honors theses. In addition, he has served as external evaluator or on the tribunals of thirteen doctoral documents at Spanish universities, and one each at CUNY Graduate Center, the University of Southhampton, Sydney Conservatorium, and Australian National University. He has also given dozens of presentations for continuing-education organizations such as the OsherLife Lecture Series at both UCR and UCSD, as well as for the Continuing Education Center at Rancho Bernardo, the Oasis Lecture Series in Albuquerque, and the LA Opera’s Opera for Educators series.

He has performed on the guitar as a soloist at various functions on campus, especially Thursday Night Live at the HUB. He has appeared as a guitarist with UCR’s Philippine Rondalla Ensemble and playing the charango with UCR’s Andean music group Mayupatapi. He now aspires to learn the vihuela so that he can perform with UCR’s Mariachi group Los Alteños. Also an accomplished tubist, he has performed with the UCR Orchestra in several concerts. As a guitarist, he has devoted many years to the study of flamenco, in both the U.S. (with Michael Hauser and René Heredia) and Spain (with Ricardo Modrego), and he performed frequently as guitar accompanist and soloist with the flamenco dance troupe Olé in Kansas City. He developed the educational video Flamenco: Art and Soul in collaboration with Eugene Enrico and his Early Music Television production company at the University of Oklahoma, serving as author and narrator of the DVD, which was filmed on location in Sevilla in 2005 (available at He has also assisted in the production of and been interviewed for documentaries on Granados (2008), Torroba (2012), Falla (2012), and Sor (2015), by Halpern Productions in New York (available at and In addition, he was interviewed for López-Li documentary films on Albéniz (2009) and Granados (2018), and a documentary on Albéniz’s Iberia for Albany Records (2019).

In addition to directing CILAM, his service to the university has included two three-year stints on the Committee on Academic Personnel and five years as chair of the Music Department. He is currently Faculty Athletics Representative, the chief liaison between the Athletics Department and the Chancellor and was recently elected Vice President of the Big West Conference Council (he will serve as President in 2021-22). In his spare time, he reads philosophy, rides his bicycle, watches Doc Martin reruns on television, and cares for three pet rabbits and a schnoodle.


  • –present
    Distinguished Professor Musicology, University of California, Riverside


Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (Spanish knighthood); UCR Faculty Research Lecturer (highest award for research given by UCR)