Benet Casablancas Domingo (Spain)

Benet CasablancasBorn in Sabadell (Barcelona) and widely regarded as one of the leading Spanish composers of his generation, Benet Casablancas studied music in Barcelona and Vienna, where he worked with, among others, Friedrich Cerha and Karl-­‐Heinz Füssl. He also has a degree in philosophy and a PhD in musicology, both from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His works, distinguished with numerous commissions and awards (Ciutat de Barcelona, Musician’s Accord of New York, Spanish National Recording Prize, Composer’s Arena of Amsterdam, Fundación Juan March in Madrid, Juventuts Musicals de Barcelona, Òscar Esplà, Ferran Sors, finalist at the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation Musical Competition, etc.), have been performed regularly around Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan and Latin America by prestigious ensembles, soloists and conductors (The London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Ensemble 13 de Baden-­‐Baden, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Arditti Quartet, Leipziger Streichquartett, Trio à cordes de Paris, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Orchestre National de Belgique, NJO of The Netherlands, L´Hermitage State Orchestra Saint Petersburg, Perspectives Ensemble New York, Ensemble 10/10 Liverpool, Tokyo Sinfonietta, Notabu Ensemble Düsseldorf, Nomad Ensemble Japan, Ensemble Modern Akademie, Grupo Encuentros de Buenos Aires, Reconsil Wien, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Zeitfluss Ensemble, Malmö Symfoni Orkester, Orquesta Nacional de España and all the main Spanish orchestras).

In 2008 he made his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his New Epigrams 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, the Morgan Library and the MoMA in New York, the Vatroslav Lisinski in Zagreb, the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid and the Palau de la Música de Barcelona, been presented at the most celebrated Contemporary Music Festivals. 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. 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 and composition at a number of Spanish conservatories, educational director of the Catalan National Youth Orchestra and associate professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona. He has also been a 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, including the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (Spain). In 2002 he assumed the direction of the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu (Barcelona).

His wide-­‐ranging oeuvre, firmly rooted in the great modernist tradition, is notable for its great individuality, structural complexity and extraordinary richness of textural detail, covering the most diverse genres and formats, and 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 six new recordings by Naxos (piano, chamber and orchestral), Stradivarius, Anemos (Late Orchestral Music) and Tritó (The Strings Quartets by Arditti). His most recent assignments include Premieres with London Philharmonic Orchestra (V. Jurowski), Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (O. Knussen), Münchener Kammerorkester (A. Liebreich), Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, and new commissions from the Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York (Composer Portraits), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble 88 in Maastricht, the Ensemble Cantus Croatia (Zagreb Biennale), the Tokyo Sinfonietta, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (for the opera L´Enigma di Lea, original libretto by Rafael Argullol; WP: 2017). Benet Casablancas has been distinguished with the National Music Prize 2013, granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.­‐bio/Benet-­‐Casablancas