Born 2 April 1956 Sabadell, España
Widely regarded as one of the leading Spanish composers of his generation, Benet Casablancas studied in Barcelona and Vienna, and he graduated in Philosophy in the University of Barcelona, winning a PhD in musicology. His music, firmly rooted in the great modernist tradition, is notable for its great individuality, structural complexity and extraordinary richness of textural detail. In the 1990s he became more concerned with harmony, timbral differentiation and instrumental virtuosism. Critics highlight his concern for balancing constructional rigour and expressive strength, lyricism, dramatic character and whimsical register. His works are performed regularly around Europe, Canada, US, Japan and Latin America by orchestras such as London Philharmonic, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, the BBC Symphony or the NHK in Tokyo, and iconic venues such as the Miller Theater in New York, the Musikverein in Vienna and Bremen Sendesaal have presented monographic Portraits to his music. In 2013 he was appointed first composer in residence for the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and L´Auditori and was awarded with the most prestigious composition prize in Spain, the National Music Prize granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. In 2019, his first opera L'enigma di Lea (text by Rafael Argullol) was successfully premiered at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, achieving great critical and public acclaim.
Critical Acclaim…Densely expressive, Casablancas’s music has become more refined, poetic, and inviting. It combines explosiveness with periods of serenity, tiny cells of transparently scored ideas with large orchestral effects - Jack Sullivan, American Record Guide
In 2008 he made his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his New Epigrams (published by Tritó) represented Spain at the SIMC World Music Days held in Vilnius. His works have been programed in such emblematic concert halls like the Musikverein of Vienna, the London Barbican Hall, the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Bruxelles, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York, the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Auditorio Nacional and Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Palau de la Música de Barcelona. The 2007 was awarded the National Music Prize granted by the Generalitat de Catalunya. Early on in his career he began combining composition with teaching and research. An advisor for different institutions and patron of several foundations, he has published numerous historical and analytical articles (in The New Grove, Arietta, Quodlibet), and the book El humor en la música: broma, parodia e ironía (Reichenberger, 2000). He has been head of theory at a number of Spanish conservatories, educational director of the Catalan National Youth Orchestra (JONC) and associate professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona. He has also been a frequent member of the jury of several European composing and performing competitions and kept up a busy agenda as a guest professor at several international schools, between them and regularly, the Courses of Musical Specialization of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. In 2002 he assumed the direction of the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu (Barcelona), a post he now combines with his work in composition and research. His wide-ranging oeuvre, covering the most diverse genres and formats, is marked by a quest for radical personal and aesthetic independence. The critics have highlighted his concern for balancing constructional rigour and expressive strength, dramatic character and whimsical register, in the framework of a discourse in which a progressively luminous harmonic language, rhythmic spirit, a growing timbral differentiation and instrumental virtuosoism coexist. Recently he has published seven new recordings by Naxos (piano, chamber and orchestral), Stradivarius, Tritó, Columna Música and Anemos. For the last one, recorded by the Orquesta Nacional de España conducted by Josep Pons, he won a nomination for the 15th edition of the "Spanish Music Academy Awards 2011”. His most recent assignments include commissions from the Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York (Composer Portraits series), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble 88 in Maastricht, the Festival Atempo Caracas/Paris, the Ensemble Cantus Croatia (26th Zagreb Biennale), the Tokyo Sinfonietta, the OSV Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the pianists Diego Fernández Magdaleno and Daniel Ligorio, the American guitarist Adam Levin, the clarinetist Laura Ruiz Ferreres and Le Musiche Quartett, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (for the opera "Io”, based on the original libretto by the well-known Spanish writter Rafael Argullol, which was premiered in 2017).
In 2013 he was appointed first composer in residence for the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and L´Auditori and was awarded with the most prestigious composition prize in Spain, the National Music Prize granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/3858music
Updated by Unión Musical Ediciones 2020
- Introducing the music of Benet Casablancas
- Discover the music and inspiration behind Benet Casablancas, including some of his most noted works.
- Six New Operas Premiered in 2019
- Take a look at a selection of six new operas from the last year.
- The music of Benet Casablancas. Architectures of emotion / La música de Benet Casablancas. Arquitecturas de la emoción
- Benet Casablancas's published book 'La música de Benet Casablancas. Arquitecturas de la emoción' / 'The music of Benet Casablancas. Architectures of emotion' is available to purchase.