Leonardo Balada

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Leonardo Balada (born September 22, 1933, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain), is a Catalan American composer, now teaching and composing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Life[edit]

After studying piano at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona, Balada emigrated to the United States in 1956 to study at the New York College of Music on scholarship.[1] He left that institution for the Juilliard School in New York, from which he graduated in 1960.[2] He studied composition with Vincent Persichetti, Alexandre Tansman and Aaron Copland,[2] and conducting with Igor Markevitch.[3] In 1981, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.[4] Since 1970 he has been teaching at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[2]

Music[edit]

Balada's works from the early 1960s display some of the characteristics of Neoclassicism, but the composer was ultimately dissatisfied with his technique, and in 1966 began to move towards a more avant-garde style, producing works such as Guernica. Balada felt a need for a change again in 1975, his work from then onward being characterized by the combination of folk dance rhythms with the avant-garde techniques of the previous period. Harmonically, Balada's mature period work displays a combination of the tonality of folk music with atonality. Compositions representative of this period include Homage to Sarasate and Homage to Casals. No matter the stylistic phase, Balada's music features extensive rhythmic variance and unique orchestration, often in service of a haunting atmosphere.

Some of Balada's works have been recorded by Naxos Records.[5]

Works[edit]

Opera[edit]

  • Hangman, Hangman!, chamber opera (1982)
  • Zapata, opera (1984)
  • Christopher Columbus, opera (1986)
  • Death of Columbus, opera (1996)
  • The Town of Greed, chamber opera (1997) (sequel to Hangman, Hangman!)
  • Faust-bal, opera (2007)
  • Resurrection of Columbus, opera (2013)

Orchestral[edit]

  • Symphonies
    • Symphony No. 1 Sinfonia en Negro, a homage to Martin Luther King (1968)
    • Symphony No. 2 Cumbres, a short symphony for band (1972)
    • Symphony No. 3 Steel Symphony (1972)
    • Symphony No. 4 Lausanne (1992)
    • Symphony No. 5 American (2003)
    • Symphony No. 6 Symphony of Sorrows (2005)
  • Guernica (1966)
  • Homage to Sarasate (1975)
  • Homage to Casals (1975)
  • Sardana (1979)
  • Quasi un Pasodoble (1981)
  • Fantasias Sonoras (1987)
  • Zapata: Images for Orchestra (1987)
  • Columbus: Images for Orchestra (1991)
  • Divertimentos, for string orchestra (1991)
  • Celebracio (1992)
  • Folk Dreams (1994-8)
  • Passacaglia (2002)
  • Prague Sinfonietta (2003)

Concertante[edit]

  • Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra (1970)
  • Concertino for Castanets and Orchestra Three Anecdotes (1977)
  • Music for Oboe and Orchestra Lament from the Cradle of the Earth (1993)
  • Double Concerto for Oboe, Clarinet and Orchestra (2010)
Piano
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (1964)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 for piano, winds, and percussion (1974)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 (1999)
String quartet
  • Miniatures[6] (2009)
Violin
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 (1982)
  • Caprichos No. 2 (2004)
  • Caprichos No. 3 (2005)
Viola
  • Viola Concerto for viola and wind ensemble (2009–2010)
Cello
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 for cello and nine players (1962)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 New Orleans (2001)
  • Concerto for Three Cellos and Orchestra A German Concerto (2006)
Flute
Clarinet
  • Caprichos No. 7 (2009),[7] Composed for and dedicated to Grup21;[8] Peter Bacchus, artistic director - for clarinet and instrumental ensemble.
Guitar
  • Guitar Concerto No. 1 (1965)
  • Sinfonia Concertante for Guitar and Orchestra Persistencies (1974)
  • Concerto for Four Guitars and Orchestra (1976)
  • Concierto Mágico for guitar and orchestra (1997)
  • Caprichos No. 1 (2003)

Vocal/choral[edit]

  • Maria Sabina (1969)
  • La Moradas (1970)
  • No-res (1974)
  • Ponce de Leon, for narrator and orchestra (1974)
  • Torquemada (1980)
  • Thunderous Scenes (1992)
  • Dionisio: In Memoriam (2001)
  • Ebony Fantasies, cantata (2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howard Klein. "LEONARDO BALADA" (PDF). New World Records 80498. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b c Wright, David (2007–2012). "Balada, Leonardo". In: Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online, accessed 26 March 2012.(subscription required)
  3. ^ "Balada, Leonardo" In: Kennedy, Michael (ed) The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed rev. Oxford Music Online, accessed March 26, 2012.(subscription required)
  4. ^ Webber, Christopher (2007–2012). "Balada, Leonardo". In: Latham, Alison (ed). The Oxford Companion to Music. Oxford Music Online, accessed 26 March 2012.(subscription required)
  5. ^ Leonardo Balada, Naxos Classical Music, naxos.com, accessed 27 March 2012.
  6. ^ Miniatures, published by DINSIC
  7. ^ Caprichos No. 7 published by DINSIC
  8. ^ Grup XXI collection published by DINSIC

External links[edit]