The Rhythm of Life

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Alfredo Rolando Ortiz is an internationally acclaimed soloist on the Paraguayan harp, and a prolific composer, author, educator and recording artist. You can read our interview with Ortiz in the July/August 2009 issue of Harp Column.

—by Alfredo Rolando Ortiz

Music perseveres through ups and downs

Born in Cuba, I moved to Venezuela in February of 1958 when I was 11. Days after my 15th birthday, on Dec. 23, 1961, my 14-year-old friend, Fernando Guerrero, gave me my first lesson on a borrowed Venezuelan harp that a family friend had as decoration. Months later, Paraguayan harpist Alberto Romero became my teacher, and he helped my family to obtain my first Paraguayan harp. Knowing we had a house full of Cuban refugees sleeping on the floor, Alberto never accepted payment for my lessons. 

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