Francisco Zapata Bello

(b. 10 September 1948, Caracas).

Venezuelan composer of mostly chamber and choral works that have been performed throughout the Americas.

Mr. Zapata Bello graduated from the class of Manuel Enrique Pérez Díaz at the Conservatorio José Ángel Lamas in Caracas in 1977. He then studied in Madrid and Tilburg for three years and subsequently studied composition with Modesta Bor, Inocente Carreño, Iannis Ioannidis, Antonio Mastrogiovanni, Raimundo Pereira, Francisco Rodrigo, and Héctor Tosar in Caracas. He also studied choral conducting and orchestral conducting with Michel Eustache, Alberto Grau and Gonzalo Castellanos Yumar.

Among his honours are the Premio José Clemente Laya for chamber music (1982), the Premio Municipal de Música Sinfónica (1987, for Densidades), an honourable mention in the competition for orchestral music of Seguros la Seguridad (1989, for El Secuestro de la Mujer de Antonio), Segundo Premio in the competition for choral music of Seguros Caracas (1990, for El Mar), and a performance at the ISCM World Music Days (2001, Yokohama).

He is also active in other positions. He served as producer and director of the radio programme La Guitarra in Caracas from 1992–96 and later as producer and director of the radio programme Entre cuerdas in Caracas. He is titular conductor of the vocal ensemble Entre Voces in Caracas, which he founded. He later founded the vocal nonet Ensamble CEA in Caracas in 2003 and served as its director from 2003–10.

He has taught choral conducting and guitar at the Escuela Prudencio Esaá.


Website: (Spanish only)



Densidades, large orchestra (93 players), 1983–86

Cinco Momentos en la Luna de Fausto, large orchestra (93 players), 1992–94

Preludio y Fuga Modal, string orchestra, 1999 (also version for 4 clarinets/4 winds)

Elegía modal, 60 strings, 2003

Sincretismos, 60 strings, 2001–05


Cuarteto para Cuerdas No. 1, string quartet, 1981

Merenguasa, clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet, 1987 (version of work for piano)

Suite anacrónica, guitar, 1980–90, revised 2009

Cuarteto para Cuerdas No. 2, string quartet, 1995

Variantes Suite, guitar, 1997–98, revised 2002

Cuatro Danzas, guitar, 1999 (also revised version as Danzante [suite], 1999–2005)

Preludio y Fuga Modal, 4 clarinets/4 winds, 1999 (version of work for string orchestra)

El Inquieto (Merengue), guitar, 1999–2000

Suite Popular venezolana, guitar, 1999–2000

Dos Bocetos, guitar, 2003

Antagonismos II, 3 guitars, 2007

Ostinato, 3 guitars, 2007

Valse breve (Estudio), guitar, 2007


Díptico (text by Federico García Lorca), mixed chorus, 1984

El Mar (text by Vicente Aleixandre), mixed chorus, 1986

El Secuestro de la Mujer de Antonio, dancer, speaker, mixed chorus, large orchestra, 1984–88

Ave Maria, mixed chorus, 1988

Missa brevis, mixed chorus, 1993 (incomplete)

Preludio Coral y Variaciones fugadas sobre 'El San Pedro', 3 mixed voices, 2001

Ave Maria, female chorus, 2003

Missa brevis, mixed chorus, 2003–04

Ave Maria, mixed chorus, 2008


Valse grotesco, 2 pianos, 1983

Antagonismos I, 1984

Merenguasa, 1987 (also version for clarinet, alto clarinet, bass clarinet)

Mikros, 2004–05

Tres Piezas características, 2012