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Profile of Manuel de Falla

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Born:

Born on November 23, 1876 to parents José María Falla y Franco and María Jesús Matheu y Zabala.

Birthplace:

Cádiz, Spain

Died:

November 14, 1946 in Alta Gracia, Argentina due to heart attack.

Also Known As:

Manuel María de los Dolores Falla y Matheu was a leading Spanish composer of the 20th century. During his early years, he went on tour as pianist of a theatre company and later, as a member of a trio. He was a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Granada and in 1925, became a member of the Hispanic Society of America.

Type of Compositions:

He wrote music for ballet, chamber music, opera, Spanish songs, piano music and zarzuelas.

Influence:

His first piano teacher was his mother. He then furthered his piano studies with Eloísa Galluzo and later, Alejandro Odero. His other teachers include Enrique Broca (counterpoint and harmony), José Tragó (piano) and Felipe Pedrell with whom he studied in Madrid. By 1907 he was in Paris where he met several notable composers, namely Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas. Manuel de Falla was also influenced by the works of Igor Stravinsky and Domenico Scarlatti.

Musical Work:

His notable works include: "La vida breve (opera)," "El amor brujo (ballet)," "El sombrero de tres picos" (ballet), "El corregidor y la molinera," "Noches en los jardines de España," "Harpsichord Concerto," "El retablo de maese Pedro" (puppet opera) and "Atlántida" (left unfinished).

Interesting Facts:

In 1899, Manuel de Falla won first prize for piano at the Escuela Nacional de Música y Declamación. He was a close friend of the poet Federico García Lorca. The assassination of Lorca on August 19, 1936 deeply affected de Falla.

More Information:

More information is available at Manuel de Falla's official Web site.

Related Video:

Listen to Manuel de Falla's "El amor brujo" performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra courtesy of YouTube.
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