Angel Illarramendi

b. 1958



Born: 1958

Ever since his entry into Spanish cinema in the mid-80s, facilitated by producer Elías Querejeta, Ángel Illarramendi has composed the music for some of the most outstanding films of the last twenty years.

In the field of concert music, he is a leading figure in Spain. Composer of a long list of chamber and choral music, he has composed seven symphonies since 1984. Illarramendi completed his last symphony at the end of 2007. It was recorded with the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra and choir. Further examples of this creative double life are the Chamber Opera commissioned by Euskal Kamara in 1999, Zapatos de Mujer, and the suite Una Historia Reciente, which addresses his need to humanise nature.

Illarramendi has received numerous awards: El Último Viaje de Robert Rylands and Héctor both won the C.E.C. Prize (Círculo de Escritores Cinematográficos – Film Writers’ Circle) as well as nominations for the Goya Prizes, awarded by the Spanish Film Academy. Also from C.E.C. Prizes were nominations for Cuando Vuelvas a mi Lado, Aunque Tú no lo Sepas, and La Buena Nueva, for which he received the prize to the best soundtrack for motion picture by the Film Festival of Toulouse. He has twice been nominated for the Condor prize (Association of Argentinean Critics) for El Hijo de la Novia and Luna de Avellaneda. For his 3rd Symphony he was considered best classical author by the Spanish Music Academy in 2011 and for his 7th, the CD Compact 2009 Prize for the best Spanish music recording of the year.

Miguel Ángel Ordóñez.  
Updated by Unión Musical 2012


Ángel Illarramendi Larrañaga, was born in Zarautz (Gipuzkoa) in April 1958. At the age of six he took his first steps into music, singing at several festivals around the Basque Country, introduced by Manolo Urbieta. From 11 years old, he started composing his first songs and taught himself to play the guitar. At the same time he studied music and piano with María Bárbara Aranguren. At the age of 16 he began harmony, counterpoint, fugue and composition studies with Francisco Escudero at San Sebastian's Music Conservatory.

In 1978 his first recording was published, containing not only songs - it was a singer-songwriter album mainly - but also his first instrumental pieces. He then embarked on a tour around the Basque Country in order to introduce the album, from which the concert performed at La Trinidad Square in San Sebastián stood out, due to a string quartet accompaniment.

In 1981, once he had finished his musical studies, he started a brief but fruitful collaboration at the new-born Basque Theatre School 'Antzerti'. He composed the score for various scenic works as well as his first soundtracks whilst teaching harmony at different music schools. From the 1990's he withdrew from teaching to dedicate his time entirely to composition for both the concert and cinema.

Included in his various concert works are his Concerto for clarinet, piano, viola and orchestra, the symphonic poems Espacio sonriente (Smiley space) and Zarautz, his suite Una historia reciente, his Mass for 4 mixed voices and organ, and also the chamber opera Zapatos de mujer, together with his chamber music output.

As a film score composer, he has worked with several directors and producers; his collaboration with the producer Elías Querejeta being especially remarkable.

Illaramendi has received the following awards and nominations:

Premio del Círculo de Escritores Cinematográficos (C.E.C.) (Cinematographic Writers' Circle Award), Premio EL MUNDO DEL PAÍS VASCO (Basque "EL MUNDO" Award -newspaper-) and a nomination for the Best Soundtrack at the 1996 GOYA Awards edition for Robert Rylands' Last Journey, by Gracia Querejeta.

Nominations to C.E.C. and GOYA in 1999 for Cuando Vuelvas a mi Lado, by Gracia Querejeta.

2001 C.E.C. Prize Nomination for Aunque tú no lo Sepas, by Juan Vicente Córdoba.

2002 CÓNDOR Prize Nomination (Argentina) for Son of the Bride (El Hijo de la Novia), by Juan José Campanella.

Teledonosti Prize 2003 (award given by a Basque TV channel) to a professional career.

CLARIN ESPECTACULOS 2004 Nomination and Argentinian CONDOR Prizes 2005 Nomination for Juan José Campanella's "Luna de Avellaneda".

Prize C.E.C. 2005 for Héctor by Gracia Querejeta.

Nomination to GOYA 2005 for Héctor by Gracia Querejeta.

Nomination to CONDOR 2005 (Argentina) for the film Luna de Avellaneda directed by Juan José Campanella.

The Seventh Symphony received Best Spanish music record of the year CD Compact 2009 award.
Updated by Unión Musical 2012



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