Manuel de Falla, composer, Atlantic Classical Orchestra

Born November 23, 1876; Cadiz, Spain
Died November 14, 1946; Alta Gracia, Argentina
Three Cornered Hat: Complete Ballet


1919; 43 years old

Manuel de Falla, born in Cádiz, Spain, stands as the preeminent Spanish composer of the early 20th century, embodying the essence of his homeland in his music. Under the influence of Felipe Pedrell, his composition teacher, Falla developed a deep appreciation for 16th-century Spanish church music, folk traditions, and zarzuela, the native opera. His early success came with the opera “La vida breve” (Life is Short) in 1913, winning him acclaim and recognition.

Having spent time in Paris and mingled with influential composers like Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel, Falla showcased his ability to distill Andalusian folk music in works like “El amor brujo” (Love, the Magician) and “El sombrero de tres picos” (The Three-Cornered Hat). His international reputation soared with the ballet “El sombrero de tres picos,” choreographed by Léonide Massine for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1919. Falla’s later works, including the puppet opera “El retablo de Maese Pedro” and the Harpsichord Concerto, reflected Neoclassical influences and showcased a Castilian style, marking a departure from his earlier Andalusian themes. After 1926, he lived in Mallorca and later in Argentina, where his compositional output diminished.