RAFFAELLO DE BANFIELD (1922 - 2008)
The composer Raffaello de Banfield was born in 1922 in the English city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne to the Austrian flying ace Gottfried von Banfield (the last Knight of the Military Order of Maria Theresa) and the Countess Maria Tripcovich, who originated from Trieste, Italy. The couple had settled in Newcastle in 1920. De Banfield studied in Switzerland at the international Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and subsequently in Trieste at the Lyceum Dante Alighieri. He attended the University of Bologna and the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory in Venice, where he was a pupil of Gian Francesco Malipiero. In 1946 he moved to Paris, to study composition at the Paris Conservatoire with Henri Büsser, and also with Nadia Boulanger. He remained at the Conservatoire until 1949, and during this time came into contact with many leading figures in French intellectual life of the period, such as Picasso, Cocteau and Poulenc, as well as the conductor Herbert von Karajan, who remained a life-long friend.
© David Patmore