16. Ernesto Halffter [365 Composers for 2013]


16th January – Ernesto Halffter


Halffter (16th January 1905 – 5th July 1989) is our composer for 16th January, to mark the day of his birth.Nationality: SpanishLifespan: 84 years

Genre: Nationalistic/Film music

Education: with Manuel da Falla

Fame Ranking: 5


From an early age Halffter’s compositions received recognition. Halffter met Manuel da Falla in 1922 aged only 17,  and de Falla was so impressed with Halffter’s work he took him under his wing. Only three years later, Halffter won the prestigious Spanish National Music Prize, for his “Sinfonietta” for orchestra. This success propelled him to fame outside of Spain and he then continued his music studies in Paris with Ravel.

Halffter spent his adult life in Spain and Portugal – his wife was a Portuguese pianist. He wrote several pieces with a distinct national Spanish flavour and was a member of “Grupo de los Ocho”, (“The Group of Eight”) which was a sort of nationalistic club of Spanish composers. He also wrote a considerable amount of film music, including the soundtrack for a 1926 film version of “Carmen” and that of “Don Quixote de la Mancha” (1947).

Here is Halffter’s “Portuguese Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra”.

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