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Who we are / 100 years

From National Conservatory to National University.

The idea of ​​creating an institution for music teaching was born in 1919 with Maestro Ernesto de la Guardia, who as a Member of the Wagnerian Association of Buenos Aires, presented a project to create a National Conservatory.

The association was chaired by Argentinean composer Carlos López Buchardo and since the beginning of the second decade of the XXth. century, it became one of the most important cultural centers of the Argentina and Latin America.

How much the National Conservatory owes to the Wagnerian Association of Buenos Aires is easy to understand. Without its initiative, this would not have been possible. The task of the Association was cyclopean and it should be noted that its actions had a decisive influence from the decade of 1920s in the development of the musical life both in the city of Buenos Aires as in the rest of Argentina.

When the Wagnerian Association of Buenos Aires presented the project to create the “National Conservatory of Music and Declamation” to the Superior Government of the Nation, the President of the Republic was Dr. Marcelo Torcuato de Alvear, an art lover, whose wife was Regina Pacini, a prestigious Portuguese opera singer.

The dream of the country having such a high caliber institution became a reality through the Executive Decree No. 1236 of July 7, 1924 signed by the President of the Nation and his Minister of Justice and Public Instruction, Dr. Antonio Sagarna.

The decree itself represented a fine example about the importance and interest that cultural and public musical education had for the President at that time.

The first authorities of the National Conservatory were designated through Article XI of the Decree were Carlos López Buchardo (professor of music and composition) and Vice-Director Professor Enrique García Velloso.

The new musical institute depended on the Fine Arts Commission, chaired by the Architect Martín Noel, and it was organized on the basis of the schools that existed in the world-famous Teatro Colón. Thus a brand new era had begun in the teaching of music in Argentina.

Since its creation, the National Conservatory has undergone several transformations. In 1939 it ceased to be the National Conservatory of Music and Declamation to become the National Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts.

In 1948, Maestro Carlos López Buchardo died while still directing the Conservatory and a few months later his name was officially added to the institution: “Carlos López Buchardo” National Conservatory of Music and Performing Arts, as a tribute for his 24 years in office.

Between 1957 and 1958 by successive Decrees and Government Resolutions, the Performing Arts section was separated from the Conservatory, creating the National Theater School.

After been located in different buildings in Buenos Aires city throughout its history, between 1982 and 1983 the National Conservatory of Music “Carlos López Buchardo”, settled permanently in its current headquarters at the “Rocca Palace”, in Córdoba Avenue 2445, Buenos Aires. That magnificent building was acquired by the National Ministry of Education so that the Conservatory could use it exclusively, so the institution had its first own building ever.

In 1996, the Argentinean President created the National University Institute of Arts (IUNA), which was born through Decree No. 1404. All art schools became dependent on this new body and the National Conservatory thus achieved the university hierarchy, although it had to change its name, becoming the Department of Musical and Sound Arts “Carlos López Buchardo”.

Nowadays called “Department of Musical and Sound Arts (DAMus)” – still young when compared to the great European institutions that served as a model for its creation – it has been developing its own history from tradition, excellence and prestige since 1924.

In 2014, due to the disciplinary diversity that converged in the IUNA and due its growth during the first eighteen years of existence, the National Congress changed its name by law to the current National University of the Arts (state university)

Original text in Spanish by Maestro Julio César García Cánepa.

Contact Mr. Guillermo Rehermann | International Affairs Coordinator