The Khan Variations for Solo Marimba by Alejandro Viñao: Musical Analysis and Performance Practice Page: 2
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Roberts, John Francis. The Khan Variations for solo marimba by Alejandro
Vifiao: Musical analysis and performance practice. Doctor of Musical Arts (Performance), May
2010, 55 pp., 6 tables, 10 figures, 14 musical examples, bibliography, 35 titles.
The Khan Variations is the first work for solo marimba by Argentinean composer
Alejandro Vifiao (b. 1951). Since publication in 2001, Khan Variations has been performed at
many international percussion festivals and is often a repertoire choice for performers in the final
round of numerous marimba competitions. This thesis and accompanying lecture recital provide
a supplemental guide to Alejandro Vifiao's Khan Variations, focusing on analytical and
structural theory, as well as performance practice, thus filling the void of information on this
piece in the percussion community.
Khan Variations was jointly commissioned by twelve of the world's prominent marimba
performers and educators, including: Michael Burritt, Jack Van Geem, William Moersch, Robert
Van Sice, and Nancy Zeltsman. The project organizer of the Khan Variations commission was
Nancy Zeltsman, Chair of the Percussion Department at the Boston Conservatory and a leader in
the field of commissioning new marimba works. Utilizing William Moersch's organization New
Music Marimba as the financial conduit, Zeltsman and her group issued this commission in
Alejandro Vifiao studied composition with the Russian composer Jacobo Ficher in
Buenos Aires, and Vifiao later went on to complete his doctorate in composition from City
University in London. His works span the genres of opera, choir, orchestra, electroacoustic
chamber music, and more than twenty film scores. Vifiao's composing style is influenced by
Mexican-American composer Conlon Nancarrow and Islamic religious music known as
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Roberts, John Francis. The Khan Variations for Solo Marimba by Alejandro Viñao: Musical Analysis and Performance Practice, dissertation, May 2010; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28467/m1/2/: accessed January 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .