(1904 - 1980)
The son of a French architect and a Russian pianist, Alejo Carpentier grew up in Havana and left for Paris in 1928; upon returning to Cuba in 1939, he began writing a study of his country’s music. “I turned myself into a scholar, a library rat, a paleographer, a midget historian,” he later said. He published Music in Cuba in 1946. The author of nine novels, Carpentier joined the Cuban Revolution and served as a diplomat in France until his death in 1980.