Óscar Esplá

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Óscar Esplá y Triay
Óscar Esplá (Vicente Bañuls) MRABASF 01.jpg
Bust of Óscar Esplá by Vicente Bañuls, 1923
Born(1886-08-05)5 August 1886
Alicante, Spain
Died6 January 1976(1976-01-06) (aged 89)
Madrid, Spain
Other namesÓscar Esplá
Home townAlicante
Oscar Espla - signature.png

Óscar Esplá y Triay (5 August 1886[a] – 6 January 1976) was a Spanish composer.[1] The Conservatorio Superior de Música (conservatory) of the city of Alicante is dedicated to him. The Premio internacional de composición Óscar Esplá (Óscar Esplá international prize for composition) was created in 1955 and is awarded by the city of Alicante.[2]


Óscar Esplá was born on 5 August 1886[a] in Alicante, at that time in the Kingdom of Castile. His early musical studies were with his father, Trino Esplá, and with Fernando Lloret and Juan Latorre Baeza [es].[3]:399 In 1903 he went to Barcelona to study industrial engineering, but later changed to study philosophy. He studied composition with Francisco Sánchez Gavagnac. In 1911, after winning an international prize, he went to Austria and Germany; he met Ferdinand Löwe in Vienna, and Max Reger in Meiningen.[4]:51 In 1912–13 he was in Paris; he met Saint-Saëns, but there is no evidence that he studied with him.[3]:399[4]:52

In 1936 Esplá was appointed director of the Conservatorio Nacional de Música y Declamación in Madrid, but did not take up the position. Instead, because of the Spanish Civil War, he left Spain and went with his family to Belgium, where he worked for Le Soir, which at that time was under Nazi control. He was not permitted to return to Spain until 1950.[3]:399 With Roberto Gerhard, Frederic Mompou and Adolfo Salazar, he was a part of the Spanish Grupo de los cuatro.[3]:389

He died in Madrid on 6 January 1976,[1] and was buried in the church of the Monasterio de la Santa Faz [es] in Alicante.[5]:81


Esplá was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris on 9 May 1956.[6] In 1959 he received the Grand Cross of the Orden de Alfonso X el Sabio.[7] He was elected an honorary member of the International Society for Contemporary Music in 1965.[8]


  • El sueño de Eros (1910), symphonic poem
  • Suite levantina (1911)
  • La nochebuena del diablo (1923), cantata
  • Don Quijote velando las armas (1924), symphonic poem
  • Himno republicano (1931), which contributed to the official version of the Himno de Riego under the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939)
  • Tres Canciones (1952)[3]:401
  • Sinfonía Aitana (1964)


  1. ^ a b The date of his birth is in question, and is sometimes given as 1889; there is no birth certificate.[3]:399


  1. ^ a b Emiliano García Alcázar, "Esplá (y Triay), Óscar", Grove Music Online. Accessed February 2013.
  2. ^ Pere Miguel Campos (13 November 1982) "Josep Solé Sardá ganó el premio de composición Oscar Esplá" El País. Accessed February 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Suzanne Rhodes Draayer (2009). Art Song Composers of Spain: An Encyclopedia. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810863620.
  4. ^ a b Tomás Marco (1993). Spanish Music in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674831025.
  5. ^ Rosa María Castells González (2005). Sempere ha dibujado proyectos de alturas sobre los que llueve blanco de un cielo claro (in Spanish). In: Pedro Aullón de Haro (editor) (2005). Óscar Esplá y Eusebio Sempere en la construcción de la modernidad artística: un paradigma comparatista, volume 2. Madrid: Editorial Verbum. ISBN 9788479623524.
  6. ^ "Associés étrangers" (Fauteuil VI), Académie des Beaux-Arts de l"Institut de France. Accessed February 2013.
  7. ^ [Ministerio de educacion nacional] (2 April 1959). Decreto por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio a don Oscar Esplá Triay (in Spanish). Boletin Oficial del Estado XXIV (79): 4987. Accessed August 2015.
  8. ^ Esplá, Óscar. International Society for Contemporary Music. Accessed April 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Luis Español Bouché (2005) "Oscar Esplá: la música en el exilio", Ateneístas Ilustres, Madrid: Ateneo de Madrid, pp. 261–270
  • Jan de Kloe (2001) Oscar Esplá in Belgium (1936-1949), Columbus: Editions Orphée
  • Jeannine Bouché (1998) Cancionero de Joaquín Turina y Óscar Esplá, Madrid: J. Bouché
  • [various] (1996) Sociedad Arte y Cultura en la obra de Óscar Esplá, Madrid: Instituto Nacional de Arts Escénicas y de la Música
  • Emiliano García Alcázar (1993) Óscar Esplá y Triay: (Alicante, 5-8-1886, Madrid, 6-1-1976): estudio monográfico y documental, Alicante: Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert; CAM, Fundación Cultural
  • Antonio Iglesias (1973) Óscar Esplá, Madrid: Servicio de Publicaciones de Educación y Ciencia

External links[edit]