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Biennale Musica 2020

Luis de Pablo

Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

Award Ceremony

Friday 25 September 2020, 8:00 pm
Arsenale, Teatro alle Tese

Luis de Pablo

La Biennale di Venezia has attributed the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Spanish composer Luis de Pablo.

“The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement is an acknowledgment to the masterful opus of the greatest living Spanish composer: Luis de Pablo. A consummate artist who has catalyzed the most significant experiences of contemporary languages into an extremely personal, profound and expressive idiom that turns to “mixed” genres as one of its preferred areas of inquiry. His fertile craftsmanship has often merged the experiences of western contemporary music with the concerns of extra-European music for which the Master has always had a particular predilection. A great teacher and popularizer, Luis De Pablo must also be credited for having brought to Spain, at a time of political turmoil, a powerful idea of freedom of expression not limited to the field of art”.
Ivan Fedele

Luis de Pablo will open the 64th International Festival of Contemporary Music (25 September > 4 October) with a concert dedicated to his music and performed by the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto conducted by Marco Angius. The concert is scheduled at the Teatro alle Tese on the occasion of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement award ceremony.

Biographical Notes

Luis de Pablo (Bilbao, 1930) began his musical studies at the age of 7 in Fuenterrabía, later pursuing them privately. He graduated in Law from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and began a career as a lawyer. All the while his interest in contemporary music grew, leading him to further his musical training and begin his first experiences in composition as a self-taught musician. After definitively abandoning law, in 1958 he founded the group Nueva Música with Ramón Barce, and actively dedicated himself to the dissemination of today’s music, working hard to spread the works and thought of the Second Viennese School. In the early 1960s, he went to Darmstadt, where his works were premiered by Maderna and Boulez, and to Paris, where he studied with Max Deutsch, a pupil of Schoenberg’s, experimenting with Serialism and Aleatoric music. He founded the «Tiempo y Música» concert series (1963), the First New Music Biennale in Madrid (1964), the «Alea» group and the first electro-acoustic studio in Spain (1965): critical experiences for Spain as it emerged from the cultural isolation into which it has been forced by Francoism. Internationally acknowledged on both sides of the Atlantic, in 1972 he organized the “Encuentros de Pamplona”, an interdisciplinary festival that opened him up to attacks, for opposite political motives, by both the Francoists and the ETA. He then fled to the United States, where he taught at the University of Buffalo, and to Canada (where he was a professor at the Universities of Ottawa and Montréal), returning to Spain after Franco’s death. In the 1980s, which opened with a series of international acknowledgments on the occasion of his 50th birthday, he held prestigious positions in institutions to which he was appointed by the Spanish government and by French theatres and festivals, while composing an impressive catalogue of music which extended to opera and was gratified by a great number of commissions and performances.

Luis de Pablo’s music is notable for its extreme openness. Receptive to every artistic form, not only European, it has the capacity to integrate a range of stimuli (not just musical, but more expansively cultural, springing from his extensive readings) into an unmistakable individual language, with a highly distinctive instrumentation and harmony: an aesthetic imprint that configures the composer as a sort of «circumnavigator of cultures» (José García del Busto), while staying clear of any eclecticism.

In 1968 Claude Rostand wrote about him in the “Dictionary of Contemporary Music” (Ed. Larousse): «Luis De Pablo is currently not only the dominant figure in the Spanish school and one of the first composers to have gone down the path of leading it out of its strict nationalism to bring it a universal intonation, he is also one of the most prominent personalities in international music today, thanks to the impulse he has given to the innovative techniques and original personal solutions he has developed to express an exceptionally inventive and poetic temperament. Because in all this experimentation, it is the man who always stands behinds his own music: this is a presence that is natural and important to him».

Biennale Musica
Biennale Musica