Guillermo Morphy

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Guillermo Morphy
Black and white image a bearded man
Born Guillermo Morphy y Ferríz de Guzmán
(1836-02-29)February 29, 1836
Madrid, Spain
Died August 27, 1899(1899-08-27) (aged 63)
Other names Conde Morphy or Count Morphy
Alma mater Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Occupation Spanish aristocrat, music critic, musicologist, historian, educator, composer and politician

Guillermo Morphy y Ferríz de Guzmán, best known as Conde Morphy or Count Morphy (February 29, 1836 – August 27, 1899 in Madrid) was a Spanish aristocrat, music critic, musicologist, historian, educator, composer and politician. He became personal secretary to King Alfonso XII of Spain in 1875. He became a highly admired figure in artistic circles of late nineteenth century Madrid, and for his service to the Crown of Spain. He was a friend of Isaac Albéniz, who he arranged a grant for to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He served as director of the Royal Concert Society at the Teatro Real in Madrid until 1891.

Biography[edit]

Born in Madrid on February 29, 1836, he was of Irish descent, son of Joseph Morphy.[1][2] He spent his childhood traveling through France, Italy and Germany, among other countries, where he had a European renaissance education becoming a lover of art and literature. He lived for two years in Germany between 1846 and 1848.[1] In 1858, he took over his father's law firm.[3] In 1863 he took classes under the composer François-Joseph Fétis in Brussels.[4] When he returned he entered the Royal Palace of Madrid on November 28, 1863 as a gentleman of the then Prince of Asturias and future King Alfonso XII of Spain, a position he held until the Revolution in 1868 that overthrew Isabel II.[1]

He moved to France to engage in musicology, and during the Franco-Prussian War he traveled to Vienna to be with Prince Alfonso. There he composed the opera Lizzie and other orchestral parts.[5] On the Bourbon Restoration, he returned to Spain with the King, who appointed him his personal secretary on January 18, 1875 and granted him the title Count Morphy on May 3, 1882.[1][6] He published several studies and translated into Spanish a biography of Beethoven, and in 1892 entered the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. He also served as director of the Royal Concert Society at the Teatro Real in Madrid until 1891.

Morphy was also an acquaintance and benefactor of several notable musicians of the time, such as Tomás Bretón, Pablo Casals and Isaac Albéniz.[5] The count was a close friend of Albéniz in particular and was highly enthusiastic towards his talent,[7] and it was Morphy who arranged for a grant for him to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.[1] Morphy also arranged for violinist Enrique Fernández Arbós to study under Henri Vieuxtemps in Brussels.[1] Albéniz dedicated his composition Sevilla to Count Morphy's wife when he premiered in a piano performance in Paris on January 24, 1886.[8]

Bibliography[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f Clark 2002, p. 36
  2. ^ "Guillermo Morphy". Filomusica.com. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Guillermo MORPHY Y FERRIZ DE GUZMAN (Conde de)". Qlinks.net. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ Clark 1998, p. 7
  5. ^ a b boileau-music.com 2012
  6. ^ Ruvigny, Massue & Ruvigny 2000, p. 352
  7. ^ "Albéniz". Gaudiallgaudi.com. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ Clark 2002, p. 69
References