jueves, 27 de marzo de 2008

Catalan personalities

Singers

Enrique Granados

He was born in Lleida (in Spanish Lérida), Catalonia (Spain). As a young man he studied piano in Barcelona, where his teachers included Francisco Jurnet and Joan Baptista Pujol. In 1887 he went to Paris to study with De Beriot and, most importantly, Felipe Pedrell. He returned to Barcelona in 1889. His first successes were at the end of the 1890s, with the zarzuela Maria del Carmen, which earned the attention of King Alfonso XIII.
In 1911 Granados premiered his suite for piano Goyescas, which became his most famous work. It is a set of six pieces based on paintings of Goya. Such was the success of this work that he was encouraged to expand it; he wrote an opera based on the subject in
1914, but unfortunately the outbreak of World War I forced the European premiere to be canceled. It was performed for the first time in New York City on January 28, 1916, and was very well received. Shortly afterward he was invited to perform a piano recital for President Woodrow Wilson. Prior to leaving New York Granados also made live-recording player piano music rolls for the New-York-based Aeolian Company's "Duo-Art" system all of which survive today and can be heard - his very last recordings.
Unfortunately the delay incurred by accepting the recital invitation caused him to miss his boat back to Spain. Instead, he took a ship to England, where he boarded the passenger ferry
Sussex for Dieppe, France. On the way across the English Channel, the Sussex was torpedoed by a German U-boat, as part of the German unrestricted submarine warfare policy during World War I. In a failed attempt to save his wife Amparo, whom he saw flailing in the water some distance away, Granados jumped out of his lifeboat, and drowned. Ironically, he had a morbid fear of water for his entire life, and he was returning from his first-ever series of ocean voyages.

Isaac Albéniz

Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz i Pascual (
May 29, 1860May 18, 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music.
Born in
Camprodon, Catalonia (Spain), Albéniz was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of four. At age seven he passed the entrance examination for piano at the Paris Conservatoire, but he was refused admission because he took out a ball from his pocket and broke a glass window while playing with it. By age fifteen, he had already given concerts worldwide. After a short stay at the Leipzig Conservatory, in 1876 he went to study in Brussels. In 1880, he went to Budapest to study with Franz Liszt, only to find out that Liszt was in Weimar, Germany.
In 1883, he met the teacher and composer
Felipe Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Suite Española, Op. 47. The fifth movement of that suite, called Asturias (Leyenda), is probably most famous these days as part of the classical guitar repertoire, even though it was originally composed for piano and only later transcribed to guitar. Many of his other compositions were also transcribed to guitar, notably by Francisco Tárrega — Albéniz once declared that he preferred Tárrega's guitar transcriptions to his original piano works.
During the 1890s Albéniz lived in
London and Paris and wrote mainly theatrical works. In 1900 he started to suffer from Bright's disease and returned to writing piano music. Between 1905 and 1909 he composed his most famous work, Iberia (1908), a suite of twelve piano "impressions". His orchestral works include Spanish Rhapsody (1887) and Catalonia (1899).
In 1883, the composer married his student Rosina Jordana. They had three children, Blanca (who died in 1886), Laura (a painter), and Alfonso (who played for
Real Madrid in the early 1900s before embarking on a career as a diplomat). Albéniz died on 18th May 1909 at age 48 in Cambo-les-Bains and is buried in the Cementiri del Sudoest, Barcelona. Cécilia Sarkozy, the former wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is the great-granddaughter of Isaac Albéniz.

Painters

Joan Miró

Joan Miró i Ferrà (
April 20, 1893December 25, 1983) was a Catalan (Spanish) painter, sculptor, and ceramist born in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain to the family of a goldsmith and watchmaker. His work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. In numerous interviews dating from the 1930s onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods and his desire to "kill", "murder", or "rape" them in favor of more contemporary means of expression
In 1926, he collaborated with
Max Ernst on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered the technique of grattage, in which he troweled pigment onto his canvases. Miró married Pilar Juncosa in Palma de Mallorca on October 12, 1929; their daughter Dolores was born July 17, 1931. Shuzo Takiguchi published the first monograph on Miró in 1940. In 1959, André Breton asked Miró to represent Spain in The Homage to Surrealism exhibition together with works by Enrique Tábara, Salvador Dalí, and Eugenio Granell.
Miró dabbled in architecture when he designed the
Maeght Foundation museum in Saint-Paul-en-Forêt, France, which was completed in 1964.[verification needed]

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali, the great master of surrealism holds a great appeal for visitors to the Costa Brava. Figueres, Cadaques - Portlligat and Pubol form the three corners of Salvador Dali's Triangle.Salvador Dali Domenech (1904 – 1989), was a Catalan-Spanish artist who became one of the most important painters of the 20th century. A skilled draftsman, he is best known for his surrealist work identified by its striking, bizarre, dreamlike images. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931. In addition to painting, his artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, photography, and an Academy Award–winning short cartoon, "Destino," on which he collaborated with Walt Disney; it was released posthumously in 2003.An artist of great imagination, Dali had an affinity for doing unusual things to draw attention to himself. This sometimes irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed his critics, since his eccentric manner sometimes drew more public attention than his artwork.
Dali was born on May 11, 1904, at 8.45 am local time in the town of Figueres, in the Emporda region close to the French border in Catalonia, Spain. His father, Salvador Dali i Cusi, was a middle-class lawyer and notary. Dali's father, a strict disciplinarian, was tempered by his wife, Felipa Domenech Ferres, who encouraged her son's artistic endeavors. Dali had an older brother, also named Salvador, who died of meningitis prior to the artist's birth. When he was five, Dali was taken to his brother's grave and told by his parents that he was his brother reincarnated. "Dali came to believe that he was the reincarnation of this older brother." Dali also had a sister, Ana María, who was three years his junior. "In 1949 his sister, Ana Maria, published a book about her brother, Dali As Seen By His Sister,"


Picasso
125 years back the most important artist of century XX was born in Malaga, Pablo Picasso. In 1895 he is transferred to Barcelona with his family, circumstance that puts the sketcher, painter and Spanish escultor in contact with the artistic scope of vanguards presents/displays in the Condal City of century principles. As of this moment, an intimate relation with one of the cities begins more and more that greater influence have exerted on the artistic race of the genius.

writers

Salvador Espriu

Espiru was born in
Santa Coloma de Farners, Catalonia. He was the son of an attorney. His childhood was divided between his home town, Barcelona, and Arenys de Mar, a village on the Maresme coast. At the age of sixteen, he published his first book, Israel, written in the Spanish language. In 1930 he entered the University of Barcelona, where he studied law and ancient history. While traveling (1933) to Egypt, Greece and Palestine, he became acquainted with the countries that originated the great classical myths, and which would be so influential in his work.
During the
Spanish civil war he was mobilised and served in military accounting.
Translated into several languages, Espriu's work has obtained international recognition, most notably the Montaigne prize (
1971). He was also given the Award of Honour of Catalan Letters (1972), the Ignasi Iglesias prize (1980), the City of Barcelona Prize (1982) and the Gold Medal of the Generalitat de Catalunya (1982). He was awarded honorary doctor's degrees by the universities of Toulouse and Barcelona. He died in Barcelona in 1985, and was buried in the Arenys de Mar cemetery, which gives name to his poem Cementiri de Sinera.

Josep Pla

Josep Pla i Casadevall (
March 8, 1897, Palafrugell, Girona - April 23, 1981, Llofriu, Girona) was a journalist and a popular author. As a journalist he worked in France, Italy, England, Germany and Russia, from where he wrote political and cultural chronicles in Catalan. The use of Catalan and therefore his works however was illegal in post civil war Spain.
His figure is somewhat controversial for present day Catalans. On the one hand, his prose is widely acknowledged as the finest standard of contemporary literature in Catalan but, on the other hand, his -nowadays, usually downplayed- ties to
Francoist Spain are frowned upon by the Catalan establishment today.
Pla lived completely dedicated to writing. The extent of his Obres Completes - Complete Works (46 volumes and nearly 30,000 pages), which is a collection of all his journals, reports, articles, essays, biographies, novels, and some poems gives an idea of its daunting work ability while complicating its chronological classification. Many of these pages are the fruit of a hard process of rewriting texts from his youth and weekly articles that were published in Destino for nearly 40 years, as well as hundreds of articles published in different newspapers and an abundance of correspondences.