Just Call Him Lord Clark

UC Riverside music professor Walter A. Clark granted knighthood by Spain

Walter A. Clark dancing the “Sevillanas,” in 1969, when he was 17 years-old, in Minneapolis, MN.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – Walter A. Clark, professor of music history at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded one of the highest honors a civilian can be granted by Spain – a knighthood. A formal ceremony will be held on campus on Friday, Dec. 2, in the Performance Lab located at ARTS 166, from 3-4 p.m.

The Spanish custom is to present the knight’s cross in a ceremony presided over by the Spanish consul general in the area – an official appointed by a government to live in a foreign city and protect and promote the government’s citizens and interests there. Clark is the first professor on the UCR campus to be granted a knighthood by Spain.

“There are no words to describe how honored and elated I am to receive this recognition by the Spanish government,” said Clark, who has devoted his career to studying Spanish and Latin American music.

The Spanish consul general in Los Angeles, Francisco Javier Vallaure de Acha, informed Clark that King Felipe VI of Spain has conferred on him the title of Comendador de la Orden de Isabel la Católica (Commander of the Order of Isabella the Catholic). The title of Knight Commander is one of the higher ranks of knighthood and entitles Clark to be addressed as “Lord.”

Walter A. Clark

Walter A. Clark

“I fell in love with Spanish music at age 14, and at that moment I knew this was my life’s calling,” Clark said. “So, to be honored by those who know their culture, music, and language best—to know that they respect and value my work—means that my labors have not been in vain. There’s nothing more I can ask for, though the work goes on, regardless. I will continue to do everything I possibly can to recover, understand, explain, and promote the musical heritage of Spain.”

Clark has been with UC Riverside for more than 13 years and is the founder and director of UCR’s Center for Iberian and Latin American Music, which was established in 2004 to foster research and performance in an interdisciplinary spirit, embracing the entire musical heritage of Iberia and Latin America. He was the founding editor (2005-16) of Oxford University Press’s award-winning series “Currents in Latin American and Iberian Music” and is now editor-in-chief of both the “Grove Dictionary of Latin American and Iberian Music” (from OUP in online and print editions) and the new, refereed online journal Diagonal: An Ibero-American Music Review.

He received an M.A. in classical guitar at the University of California, San Diego, where he was a student of Pepe Romero, of the celebrated Romero Guitar Quartet. After studying early music in Germany on a two-year Fulbright scholarship, he earned a Ph.D. in musicology from UCLA. He is the author of books on Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados and Federico Moreno Torroba, all published by Oxford University Press. He is also the editor or co-editor of several books on Spanish and Latin American music. He has recently finished the manuscript of a book on the Romero family of guitarists and is researching a biography of Spanish composer and pianist Joaquin Rodrigo.

The Dec. 2 event is free and open to the public, but attendees must have tickets. Tickets will be distributed at the venue an hour before the ceremony begins. Seating is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Complimentary parking permits are available at the information kiosk located at the University Avenue entrance to campus. Pepe and Celin Romero will perform Spanish classics during the ceremony.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-5893
E-mail: mojgan.sherkat@ucr.edu
Twitter: mojgansherkat

Additional Contacts

Kathy DeAtley
Tel: (951) 827-3245
E-mail: kathleen.deatley@ucr.edu

Walter A. Clark
Tel: (951) 827-2114
E-mail: walter.clark@ucr.edu

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