Ludovic Lamothe

1882-1953

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Ludovic Lamothe (12 May 1882 - 4 April 1953) was a Haitian composer and virtuoso pianist. He is considered one of Haiti's most important classical composers. As a composer, Lamothe wrote exclusively for his own instrument, and became known especially for his songs and short piano pieces. Lamothe's repertoire included a range of méringue, from the most formal, elite-oriented forms to the méringue of the low orders. He was not only influenced by traditional European classical music, but he was influenced by local traditions including Haitian Vodou ceremonial music and carnivals and Haitian peasant culture and influences which reflected a shared African heritage. One scholar has described Lamothe's repertoire as "predominantly classical in form, but creole in inspiration. Another musical scholar, Claude Carré of the online magazine Boutoures has described Lamothe as "representing the nationalist movement in Haitian classical music" and being "an emblematic figure, a piano virtuoso and a performer of Chopin, who left us a number of important compositions for piano."


Lamothe's drew upon influences from Haitian vodou ceremonial music in his compositions
His fusion of styles and class influences in his music were regarded by scholars as reducing the polarisation in classes in Haiti in the early to mid-twentieth-century Haiti and giving them a unique shared identity through a musical spectrum. One of his notable works is entitled, La Dangereuse, a slow tempo piece with gentle, restrained dynamics, was warmly received by the Haitian aristocracy.

In 1934, Lamothe won a Port-au-Prince city council competition for his "Carnival méringue", which he entitled Nibo. Well received by all walks of society in Haiti, Nibo became known as a Liberation Anthem. a piece to mark the withdrawal of American forces from Haiti in August of that year.

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