Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla

Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (ca. 1590 – 1664) was a Renaissance-style Spanish composer, most of whose career took place in Mexico.

The Choir of the Cathedral of Puebla where Gutierrez de Padilla would work the last 42 years of his life.

Life and careerEdit

He was born in Málaga, Spain.[1] He moved to Puebla, Mexico, in 1620. At the time New Spain was a viceroyalty of Spain that included modern day Mexico, Guatemala, the Philippines and other parts of Central America and the Caribbean. Padilla is one of the more important composers represented in the manuscripts at Puebla, Mexico and the Hackenberry collection in Chicago, Illinois. He worked at Puebla de Los Angeles, Mexico, which in the 17th century was a bigger religious center than Mexico City itself. He was appointed maestro de capilla of Puebla Cathedral in 1628.[2] The Mexican composer Juan García de Zéspedes was a boy soprano in the cathedral choir under Padilla, and later succeeded him to the office of maestro in 1664.

He is to be distinguished from a younger Juan de Padilla, who was maestro de capilla at Zamora, Spain (1661-1663), and Toledo (1663-1673).[3]


The majority of his vast output (over 700 pieces survive) include sacred motets, often for double choir, in the Renaissance style or stile antico as well as sacred villancicos. It often includes accompaniments for organ or various stringed instruments.


Padilla's music is rather difficult to get hold of: Mapa Mundi, publish singing scores of some of this music including the double choir piece Deus in Adiutorium Meum Intende. Alfredston Music can provide instrumental parts for the smaller pieces in their collection.

There are at least 2 Ph.D. theses with Padilla's music in the appendices: S. Barwick, Sacred Vocal Polyphony in Early Colonial Mexico, (diss., Harvard Univ., 1949), includes the 2nd St. Matthew Passion; and A. Ray / A. R. Catalyne, The Double-choir Music of Juan de Padilla, (diss., Univ. of Southern California, 1953).[1]


Benjamín Juárez Echenique has recorded a Mass and two sets of Christmas villancicos for Urtext digital classics:

  • Padilla; Maitines de Natividad 1652 (Mexican Baroque, Vol. 7) Angelicum de Puebla, dir. Echenique Urtext UMA2011 46'07"
  • Padilla; Maitines de Natividad 1653 (Baroque Mexico, Vol. 1) Angelicum de Puebla, dir. Echenique Urtext UMA2004
  • Padilla; Missa Ego flos campi (excerpts) 1653 (Baroque Mexico, Vol. 3) Angelicum de Puebla, dir. Echenique Urtext UMA2005 1996
  • Padilla; "Streams of Tears". Missa Ave Regina and motets. The Sixteen, Harry Christophers COR16059


  1. ^ a b Stevenson, Robert (1974). Christmas music from baroque Mexico (in English and Spanish). University of California Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-520-02036-8.
  2. ^ Bernstein, Martin (1977). A Musical Offering: Essays in Honor of Martin Bernstein. Pendragon Press. pp. 53–54. ISBN 978-0-945193-83-8.
  3. ^ Stevenson, Robert M. (2022-05-24). Music in Aztec and Inca Territory. Univ of California Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-520-31721-5.

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