Olimpia Barbera Recording Fund for the Latin American Music Center
Olimpia Barbera, a pianist, has been actively involved in supporting music education all her life, beginning with helping to establish a free music school for underprivileged children in Argentina. She and her husband, Anthony Barbera, spent 25 years living throughout Uruguay, Venezuela, and Brazil before eventually returning to the United States. "No matter where we lived or worked," Mrs. Barbera remarked, "our family was always enriched by these countries and their people. Since my life and work revolves around music, establishing this music scholarship at IU was a way of helping students from South America further their education at this prestigious school."
In Venezuela, she formed and conducted a remarkable musical group of children from the School for the Deaf who played percussion and wind instruments as well as traditional native instruments. The ensemble performed throughout the country, often times accompanying a children's choir from the School for the Blind. This pro bono work was recognized nationally when Mrs. Barbera was named Woman of the Year in Venezuela. Mrs. Barbera continues to be involved as a teacher and patron of the arts.
The Latin American Music Center at the Jacobs School was founded in 1961 by the Rockefeller Foundation. The LAMC fosters the academic study, performance, and research of Latin American art, popular, and traditional musics. It partners with the Cook Music Library to hold one of the largest archives of 20th century Latin American art music in the world, including unpublished scores, original manuscripts, rare recordings, and other important special collections. In addition to its archival work, the LAMC organizes free public concerts, guest lectures, courses, performance ensembles, and its own recordings.
The CDs produced by the LAMC include multiple genres and performances by current and past students, as well as professional musicians. The LAMC also hosts the Latin American Recording Competition, open to Jacobs students, with a prize of having the winners' performances recorded and distributed by the LAMC.
The Olimpia Barbera Recording Fund for the Latin American Music Center supports the production and related costs of an annual audio recording of the LAMC.