LEONARDO BALADA (b 1933 )
Leonardo Balada was born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1933. After his studies in piano and theory at the Conservatorio del Liceu in Barcelona, he moved to New York, where he completed his composition studies at The Juilliard School in 1960. He studied composition with Vincent Persichetti and Aaron Copland, and conducting with Igor Markevitch. Since 1970 he has taught at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he is University Professor of Composition. Some of his well-known works were written in a dramatic avant-garde style in the 1960s (Guernica, María Sabina, Steel Symphony). Later, he was credited with pioneering a blend of ethnic music with avant-garde techniques, creating an influential and very personal style which began with Sinfonía en Negro: Homage to Martin Luther King (1968), Homage to Casals (1975) and Homage to Sarasate (1975). Balada has received several international awards and an honour from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his ‘outstanding career and recognising his artistic personality’.
Leonardo Balada’s works have been performed by the world’s leading orchestras under the baton of distinguished conductors including Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jesús López Cobos, Lukas Foss, Mariss Jansons, Sergiu Comissiona, Jorge Mester, Lawrence Foster and Sir Neville Marriner, and with artists such as Alicia de Larrocha, Narciso Yepes, Andrés Segovia, Lucero Tena, Ángel Romero and the American Brass Quintet, to name a few.
His compositions have been recorded by Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, The Louisville Orchestra Editions, Albany and New World Records to critical acclaim, and much of his large catalogue of works has been commissioned by many outstanding organizations in the US and Europe.
Balada’s principal publishers are G. Schirmer, Inc. and Beteca Music (distributed by Subito Music), and he is represented by Music Associates of America.