Recovering lost music

Thanks to the collaboration of several institutions, private donors, and the work of the professors and students of the University Of New Mexico Honors College, the 2014 goal to begin the dissemination of the musical and historical research of the Manuel Areu Collection was accomplished as planned in two years.

The Manuel Areu Project continues with several goals for the near future, including continuing with the musical transcriptions and historical research that will be the basis for future publications, musical recordings, lectures, concerts, and a traveling exhibition.  There are many works that await their transcription and performance and a new score, possible never played before.

Our goals for 2017-2018 are:

The legacy of Manuel Areu:

Historical research about Manuel Areu, his times and influence.


The music of Manuel Areu and his brother Ricardo Areu:

Recover the music from the collection and produce concerts and recordings.


Areu’s art back in the community:

Developing educational activities around his music, theater plays, and art to promote this recovered genius in the community.

UNM Honors College

UNM Honors Research Institute is overseeing the work done to date. Work continues on the original collection. However, in April of 2016, as a result of the Areu festival and the premier of some of his zarzuelas (Spanish Operettas), descendants of Areu donated new documents to the collection. These new documents are an important addition.

Scholarship “Manuel Areu”

In order to recognize the work of outstanding students in the Areu Project, Honors Research Institute is establishing the “Manuel Areu” scholarship for Honors students to promote the research in Hispanic music and repertoire.

Traveling Photographic Exhibition

The photographic exhibition was a great success and the Cervantes Institute has expressed interest in travelling it in the United States and, possibly, Spain.

New Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra

A main goal of the Areu Project is performing Areu’s music once it has been recovered. New Mexico Philharmonic is incorporating this music to the regular repertoire by promoting it in educational concerts in schools and incorporating audition guides and educational materials. This closes the circle giving back to the community a form of art that was lost for 120 years and promotes the music and theater among young people.

The supporting materials include program notes, audition guides, talks, supporting videos and video conferences before the concert.

The future

Among the plans for the future are the publication of an anthology and biography about Areu, his life, and work.

Once the music is performed it must be recorded thus preserving it in perpetuity after being lost for decades.

The story of Areu and the rediscovery of his papers and music in a town dump is as spellbinding as the effort in its transcription and dissemination.