Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is ILAMS?

ILAMS is a music society  which supports the study, performance and promotion of Iberian and Latin American classical music in the UK.

When was ILAMS founded?

ILAMS was founded in 1997 by a group of classical performers, musicologists and music journalists responding to a perceived need to create a representative body to support Luso-Hispanic classical music in the UK; music which was hitherto unjustly neglected on the British music scene and seriously under-valued.  The founding commitee included: Lionel Salter (Vice-Chairman), Gerald Crowson (Secretary), David Walton (Treasurer), Clara Walton (Membership Secretary), José Luis García, and Enrique Pérez de Guzmán.

What does ILAMS do?

ILAMS organises Iberian and Latin American classical music events for its members and external organisations.  Events range from concerts and lectures to film-screenings and masterclasses.  ILAMS also provides consultancy on Luso-Hispanic repertoire programming for external events.  

In addition, ILAMS provides benefits for its members, including a newsletter, participation opportunities, exclusive member events and concert discount offers.

Which types of music does ILAMS promote?

Strictly speaking, ILAMS exists to promote 'serious' Luso-Hispanic music (that is, 'classical' music, or 'art' music).   ILAMS is generally not involved in the promotion of 'folk' music or 'commercial' music per se, mainly because these areas of Iberian and Latin American music are already well-represented in the UK by some very active exponents. 

Due, however, to the pluralistic, symbiotic/synthetic approach to music that Latin 'serious' composers have traditionally adopted (in contrast to their European contemporaries), it is not always possible to separate Luso-Hispanic music out into such discreet, mutually exclusive categories; 'classical' Latin music is often heavily influenced by its popular relatives.  It should be recognised that part of the appeal in promoting the music of these regions is indeed the opportunity to challenge and subvert the hierarchy inherent in 'Northern' 'serious' music. 

In practice, this means that ILAMS programming usually therefore comprises some element of popular Iberian/Latin American music.  For example, an ILAMS concert might not feature a cumbia band, but it might feature a portion of cumbia music in the programme, or repertoire influenced by cumbia.

Is ILAMS interested in mainstream classical music?

It is not possible to separate Iberian and Latin American 'serious' music from mainstream classical music.

In Latin America, a hemisphere 'discovered' and conquered by Europeans during the Renaissance, classical music culture was introduced from Europe, along with other extraneous imports such as slaves and infectious diseases.  And whilst its composers went on to combine African and indigenous influences into something rich and strange, its origins and heritage remain inextricably European, and its characteristics are firmly rooted in the European classical music tradition.

It is not desireable to separate Iberian and Latin American 'serious' music from mainstream classical music.

As a descendant of mainstream classical music, it is only natural that Luso-Hispanic classical music should occupy the same platform.  Latin American composers have traditionally looked to their European forebears for approval and validation, yet their contribution to Western classical music has largely been occluded. 

Since Villa-Lobos, composers have attempted to forge a new identity for Latin American art music which negotiates the practices of European classical music with a Latin American perspective and sensibility.  It remains to be seen whether ILA composers will ever be able to resolve this postcolonial conundrum facing the cultural identity of their 'serious' music.  

ILAMS therefore considers it important to programme mainstream classical music alongside Luso-Hispanic repertoire, for two reasons.  Firstly, this places them both on an equal platform.  Secondly, it allows audiences to better understand and appreciate Luso-Hispanic music in a wider context and in relation to its own origins. 

Is ILAMS interested in tango/salsa/flamenco/samba?

Although ILAMS is generally not in the practice of promoting popular music (see above), some genres within Latin 'popular' music present elements which are integral to classical music, and these may be featured frequently in the Society's programming.  The technical demands of flamenco, for example, are equal to those of the most exacting classical guitar repertoire, whilst tango generally follows the 'classical' tendency towards prescriptive notation; in the case of Piazzolla - a tango composer initially of  'classical' ambitions - discussions about oppositions between 'classical' and 'popular' music become truly meaningless.  Tango and flamenco are also at home in the concert hall because they share many of the same musical instruments of classical music. 

Other genres such as salsa and samba, which require various popular percussion instruments and fretted folk instruments do not automatically translate onto a classical format (although recently composers such as Paquito D'Rivera have managed to score popular Latin styles for classical ensembles very successfully).  These therefore feature less frequently in our programming.

Is ILAMS only interested in music?

ILAMS is interested in other media, wherever these relate to classical Iberian and Latin American music.  For example, we also organise film-screenings and lectures relating to serious Latin music.

How does ILAMS select its programme of events?

The ILAMS programme of events is determined by the Artistic Director, in conjunction with our concert sub-committee.  The programme seeks to strike a balance between topical events that celebrate important musical anniversaries, and more general events which arise out of the particular interests of our collaborators. 

ILAMS also welcomes suggestions and proposals for events.  Artists should send a dossier with a live recording, if possible, to the Artistic Director.  Please contact us for further information.  Please note that we cannot guarantee the return of material sent to us from abroad.

Will ILAMS list my concert?

ILAMS is happy to help promote external events via the Society web listings and monthly diary Emailing, provided that the programme is compatible with the Society's aims.  Due to limited resources, priority is given to member events, or parties who in turn support the Society by offering discounted tickets for ILAMS members and/or visually acknowledging the Society logo in the event's promotional materials.  General mutual promotion agreements with larger organisations may also be considered.  Please click here to request a copy of the submission requirements.

Why join ILAMS?

ILAMS is the Society for you if:

  • You are familiar with Flamenco/Salsa/Tango/Samba and would like to discover a whole new world of Iberian and Latin American music.
  • You are an adventurous classical music-lover fed-up with listening to the Western canon replayed ad infinitum and would like to hear something different for a change.
  • You are interested in broadening your musical horizons and sampling new repertoire which is exciting, intuitive, intellectual and has a lot of soul.
  • You would like to connect with interesting, outgoing people who appreciate good music.
  • You would like access to discounts to music events with major venues and ensembles.
  • You would like to support us in the struggle to promote wonderful music which is routinely occluded but which deserves to be heard.

Can anyone join ILAMS?

Yes!  ILAMS welcomes people of all ages, genders, races, religions, nationalities, professions and musical tastes.

Can I join ILAMS if I don’t live in the UK?

Yes, you can still provide valuable support to ILAMS as an overseas member.  Membership fees for residents outside the UK are slightly higher to cover the increased postal costs of keeping you up to date with the Society and its activites.  Please click here for full information about subscription fees.

How can I donate to support ILAMS?

As a not-for-profit organisation, ILAMS welcomes donations of all types and amounts to help us in our work to promote Iberian and Latin American repertoire.  ILAMS is run by volunteers so all donations go directly to service delivery, not overheads or administration and if you pay UK income tax Gift-Aid can increase the value of your donation even more.  Contributions can take the form of a simple cheque, a more regular financial commitment, or a donation in kind (for example, a professional printer might like to provide the printed materials for a particular event).  Please contact our Treasurer for further information (select 'Donations' in the drop-down menu).  Members of the public can also make a significant contribution to ILAMS by becoming volunteers and donating their time.

How can I volunteer for ILAMS?

Please click here to register your interest in volunteering for ILAMS.  Remember to select 'Volunteer' in the drop-down menu.  Please tell us about your background and which of the following you are interested in:

  • Event management
  • Logistics management
  • Communications co-ordination
  • Press and PR
  • Development and fundraising
  • Stewarding
  • Publishing
  • Administration
  • Research
  • Transcription
  • Arranging
  • Lecturing
  • External relations and sponsorship






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