Turina was born in Seville. He studied in Seville as well as in Madrid. He lived in Paris from 1905 to 1914 where he took composition lessons from Vincent d'Indy at his Schola Cantorum de Paris, and studied the piano under Moritz Moszkowski. Like his countryman and friend, Manuel de Falla, while there he got to know the impressionist composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy.
In 1908 he married Obdulia Garzón, who was to bear him five children. She was the dedicatee of the Danzas fantásticas, which he completed in 1919.
Along with de Falla, he returned to Madrid in 1914, working as a composer, teacher and critic. In 1931 he was made professor of composition at the Madrid Royal Conservatory. He died in Madrid. Among his notable pupils were Vicente Asencio and Celedonio Romero.
His works include the operas Margot (1914) and Jardín de oriente (1923), the Danzas fantásticas (1919, versions for piano and orchestra), La oración del torero (written first for a lute quartet, then string quartet, then string orchestra), chamber music, piano works, guitar pieces and songs. Much of his work shows the influence of traditional Andalusian music. He also wrote a short one-movement Rapsodia Sinfonica (1931) for piano and orchestra. His music often conveys a feeling of rapture or exaltation.
He wrote several pieces for the Classic Guitar, including "Fandanguillo" and "Hommage a Tarrega", which were written for Andrés Segovia.
- 3 Arias, Op.26
- Bailete, Op.79
- Canto a Sevilla, Op.37
- El Circo, Op.68
- Círculo, Op.91
- Concierto sin Orquesta, Op.88
- Cuentos de España, Series 1, Op.20
- Cuentos de España, Series 2, Op.47
- 3 Danzas Andaluzas, Op.8
- Danzas fantásticas, Op.22
- 5 Danzas Gitanas, Series 1, Op.55
- 5 Danzas Gitanas, Series 2, Op.84
- 2 Danzas sobre temas populares españolas, Op.41
- En el Cortijo, Op.92
- Jardín de niños, Op.63
- Jardines de Andalucía, Op.31
- La Leyenda de la Giralda, Op.40
- Mallorca, Op.44
- Miniaturas, Op.52
- Mujeres de Sevilla, Op.89
- Mujeres Españolas, Series 1, Op.17
- Mujeres Españolas, Series 2, Op.73
- Navidad, Op.16
- Niñerías, Series 1, Op.21
- Niñerías, Series 2, Op.56
- Partita in C major, Op.57
- Piano Quintet, Op.1
- El poema de una sanluqueña, Op.28
- Poema en forma de canciones, Op.19
- El Poema Infinito, Op.77
- Por las Calles de Sevilla, Op.96
- Radio Madrid, Op.62
- Recuerdos de la Antigua España, Op.48
- Recuerdos de mi rincón, Op.14
- Rincón mágicos, Op.97
- Rincones Sevillanos, Op.5
- Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Op.24
- Scene andalouse
- Sevilla, Op.2
- Silhouettes, Op.70
- Sonata fantasía, Op.59
- Sonata Romántica, Op.3
- String Quartet, Op.4
- Tarjetas Postales, Op.58
- La Venta de los Gatos, Op.32
- Encyclopædia Britannica online (2014). "Joaquín Turina"
- Marco, Tomás (1993). Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century, pp. 36–44. Harvard University Press
- Draayer, Suzanne Rhodes (2009). Art Song Composers of Spain: An Encyclopedia, pp. 320-330. Scarecrow Press
- Romero, Justo (2004). Liner Notes: Joaquín Turina (1882–1949): Piano Music, Vol. 1. Naxos Records.
- List sourced from Turina, Joaquín on the International Music Score Library Project
- Official website
- Further biographical information
- Free scores by Joaquín Turina at the International Music Score Library Project