Women Composers

Composers from Spain

Isaac Albéniz

May 29, 1860 -

Late Romantic Period

Isaac Albéniz was one of Spain's great national composers. He was a child prodigy who gave his first public piano performance at the age of 4. As a youngster, he studied at the Madrid Conservatory and in 1879 won the Brussels Conservatory’s first prize. Franz Liszt was also one of his teachers.

Albéniz traveled widely, living at various times in London and Paris where he taught, composed and performed. He is most famous for his piano music, including, Iberia, an impressionistic 12-section suite that describes Spanish places and dances. Because Albéniz wanted to create authentic serious music for his native country, Iberia includes traditional folk melodies and rhythms. It was completed shortly before his death in 1909 and remains a favorite with audiences today.

 


Manuel de Falla

November 23, 1886 -

Late Romantic Period

Manuel de Falla was one of the greatest Spanish composers of the 20th century. His music education started with piano lessons. At the age of 20, he moved to Madrid to continue his studies. At that time, he composed several Spanish musical comedies in order to support his parents, who had fallen on hard times. He was strongly influenced by traditional Spanish gypsy and folk music. De Falla later went to Paris, where he studied with Ravel and Debussy and started work on one of his most famous works, The Three Cornered Hat, for the Russian Ballet.

During World War I, de Falla returned to Spain. In 1939, he moved to Argentina, where he died before completing his most ambitious work, an oratorio called Altantida.

 


Joaquín Rodrigo

November 22, 1901 -

Modern Period

When Spanish-born Joaquín Rodrigo was three years old, he contracted diptheria. The disease left him virtually blind, but this handicap did not prevent him from becoming one of the most well-known and popular figures in contemporary classical music.

Rodrigo studied first in a college for blind children and then in Valencia, Spain. In his late twenties, he moved to Paris to study with the famous Paul Dukas. There, he met other Spanish musicians, artists and writers, including Manuel de Falla, who became a close friend and long-time supporter. In 1933, Rodrigo married a Turkish pianist, Victoria Kamhi, who devoted her life to the career of her husband. In addition to performing and composing, Rodrigo led a very busy life as a professor of music, a music critic and head of music broadcasts for Spanish radio. Governments, universities and musical organizations from many different countries have honored him for his extraordinary contribution to Spanish music.

The music of Rodrigo draws on many different aspects of his native country's spirit. It is noted especially for its beautiful melodies. He wrote songs, concertos, piano works and music for the theatre and movies. One of his most famous compositions is the Concierto de Arunjuez, a concerto for guitar.

 


Women Composers

Composers from Spain

Isaac Albéniz

May 29, 1860 -

Late Romantic Period

Isaac Albéniz was one of Spain's great national composers. He was a child prodigy who gave his first public piano performance at the age of 4. As a youngster, he studied at the Madrid Conservatory and in 1879 won the Brussels Conservatory’s first prize. Franz Liszt was also one of his teachers.

Albéniz traveled widely, living at various times in London and Paris where he taught, composed and performed. He is most famous for his piano music, including, Iberia, an impressionistic 12-section suite that describes Spanish places and dances. Because Albéniz wanted to create authentic serious music for his native country, Iberia includes traditional folk melodies and rhythms. It was completed shortly before his death in 1909 and remains a favorite with audiences today.

 


Manuel de Falla

November 23, 1886 -

Late Romantic Period

Manuel de Falla was one of the greatest Spanish composers of the 20th century. His music education started with piano lessons. At the age of 20, he moved to Madrid to continue his studies. At that time, he composed several Spanish musical comedies in order to support his parents, who had fallen on hard times. He was strongly influenced by traditional Spanish gypsy and folk music. De Falla later went to Paris, where he studied with Ravel and Debussy and started work on one of his most famous works, The Three Cornered Hat, for the Russian Ballet.

During World War I, de Falla returned to Spain. In 1939, he moved to Argentina, where he died before completing his most ambitious work, an oratorio called Altantida.

 


Joaquín Rodrigo

November 22, 1901 -

Modern Period

When Spanish-born Joaquín Rodrigo was three years old, he contracted diptheria. The disease left him virtually blind, but this handicap did not prevent him from becoming one of the most well-known and popular figures in contemporary classical music.

Rodrigo studied first in a college for blind children and then in Valencia, Spain. In his late twenties, he moved to Paris to study with the famous Paul Dukas. There, he met other Spanish musicians, artists and writers, including Manuel de Falla, who became a close friend and long-time supporter. In 1933, Rodrigo married a Turkish pianist, Victoria Kamhi, who devoted her life to the career of her husband. In addition to performing and composing, Rodrigo led a very busy life as a professor of music, a music critic and head of music broadcasts for Spanish radio. Governments, universities and musical organizations from many different countries have honored him for his extraordinary contribution to Spanish music.

The music of Rodrigo draws on many different aspects of his native country's spirit. It is noted especially for its beautiful melodies. He wrote songs, concertos, piano works and music for the theatre and movies. One of his most famous compositions is the Concierto de Arunjuez, a concerto for guitar.

 


 

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