I had not, either. Douglas Riva told me about her. He's a fine pianist/recording artist in his own right, who has almost completed recording all of Granados' music for Naxos, and was a friend of hers. Here is some information on Dr. Barela:
Margaret M. Barela, 1946-2009
Pianist, Violinist, Instructor, Doctor of Music, Arts Critic, Writer
Margaret M. Barela, an internationally recognized
pianist, arts critic, and writer on classical music, died
January 2, 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after
a six-year battle against ovarian cancer. She was 62
A native New Mexican, Dr. Barela began piano
study at age 5 while a student at St. Mary’s School
in Albuquerque. She began violin study soon after.
She continued her piano study with George Robert at
the University of New Mexico and also studied
violin there with Yoko Hayashi and Henri Bittar.
During those years she was organist in Albuquerque
Dr. Barela graduated from the University of New
Mexico with a B.M. magna cum laude in 1969. She continued her studies at Indiana University
School of Music. At Indiana, she was a student of Menahem Pressler and Alfonso Montecino,
graduating with an M.M. with Highest Distinction in 1970 and a D.M.A. with high distinction in
1977. While still a student at Indiana, Dr. Barela was an Associate Instructor of Piano and Music
Dr. Barela began an active career as a pianist, performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with
Arthur Fiedler and the Sioux City Symphony and a Mozart Concerto with the Lansing Chamber
Orchestra conducted by Attila Farkas. She performed piano solo recitals at important music
centers, colleges and universities throughout the United States, including the American
Conservatory of Music, University of Oklahoma, Huntington College, Louisiana State
University, University of Southern Mississippi, Roosevelt University, Jacksonville University,
Mississippi Art Museum, and the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. She was also
active in chamber music, performing in ensembles with the Little Orchestra of Chicago, the
International Double Reed Society, the Williams Trio, and collaborating with violinist Dylana
Jenson and cellist Douglas Moore. An advocate of contemporary music, Dr. Barela performed in
contemporary music festivals at Texas Tech University, University of Kansas, Florida State
University, and Tulane University, and she played annual concerts as a piano soloist in
Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, and other venues in her home state.
Along with her performing, Dr. Barela branched out into teaching, arts writing and music
criticism. In 1980, she received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence and its
contribution to the field of music for her article, “Motion in Musical Time and Rhythm” which
appeared in the Spring, 1979 issue of College Music Symposium. She also served as a faculty
member at Florida State University, University of Kansas, Texas Tech University, Morningside
College, Tulane University, and Williams College. In July, 2006 Dr. Barela presented a lecture
titled “From a Critic’s Viewpoint” at the Chautauqua School of Music.
Dr. Barela’s articles and reviews were published in national and international arts magazines
and journals, including Americas, American Record Guide, Chamber Music, Musical America,
Clavier, International Piano, Opera News, and Mundo Clásico. She was a guest editor of two
issues of College Music Symposium and edited Jonathan Kramer’s The Time of Music: New
Meanings, New Temporalities, New Listening Strategies (New York: Schirmer Books, 1988).
She also reviewed books and music for the Albuquerque Journal and the Albuquerque Tribune,
where she was a respected critic of performances at the Santa Fe Opera and the National
Hispanic Cultural Center’s Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts in Albuquerque.
She was a member of the Music Critics Association of North America, the College Music
Society, the Music Teachers National Association, the International Society for the Study of
Time, and she served as a grant review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. Along
with her ASCAP-Deems Taylor award, she was elected to the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music
Honorary Society and the Mortar Board National Women’s Honorary Society. She was listed in
Musician’s Directory and International Who’s Who in Music.
Among her many music reviews and articles, here are a few that are available online:
“Classical Echoes, Modern Rhythms,” Americas (English Edition), July-August, 1994.
“Celebrating the Fortieth Anniversary of the Museum of Modern Art Tape Music Concert:
Reflections on the History and Future of Electroacoustic Music,” CMS Report Number 11
(Editor), Computer Music Journal, Volume 22 No. 2, Summer, 1998.
“The Ockeghem Legacy” (Sydney Chamber Choir), American Record Guide, March, 2002.
“Pietro De Maria, piano,” American Record Guide, May/June, 2002.
“The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival 2006,” Mundo Clásico, July 21, 2006.
“An Overdue Welcoming from Obscurity,” a review of Enrique Granados’s Cant de les
Estrelles (Song of the Stars), Poem for Piano, Organ and Voices. Douglas Riva, piano, Mark
Kruczek, organ, Erica Kiesewetter, violin, Mundo Clásico, March 22, 2007.
And one of her last reviews:
“Vintage Spanish Operetta a Rare Comic Delight; Zarzuela at Hispanic Cultural Center finds
humor in biblical themes,” Albuquerque Journal, April 15, 2008.
Dr. Barela was the daughter of Eugene P. and Esther G. Barela of Albuquerque. Her father
was founder of Southwest Housewares, a sprawling Old Town institution that supplied
household goods, small farming and ranching implements, and more esoteric items to Indian
trading posts and country stores across the Southwest. The elder Barela opened the store in 1945
and ran it until his death in 1987. Dr. Barela returned to Albuquerque in 1986 and, after her
father’s death, she kept the family business going for thirteen years before closing up shop for
good in 2000.
She is survived by a brother, Paul Barela of Houston, Texas, and a sister, Carla Barela of
A Mass and memorial service will be celebrated Saturday, January 10 at 10:00 a.m. in the
chapel at Mt. Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, 1900 Edith Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
Donations may be made in Dr. Barela’s name to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund,
14 Pennsylvania Plaza, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10122, or online at www.ocrf.org
CONTACT: Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, CandSNYC@aol.com