ROBERTO GERHARD (1896 - 1970)
Of Alsatian and German-Swiss descent, Roberto Gerhard was born and had his earlier musical training in Catalonia, seeking exile from Spain only after the republican defeat in the Spanish Civil War. His later life was spent in Cambridge in England. He was a piano pupil of Granados, and studied composition with Pedrell and then with Schoenberg in Vienna and in Berlin. His music often reflects the Spanish influences that audiences had come to expect from him.
Gerhard’s stage works include an opera based on Sheridan’s The Duenna and a ballet, Don Quixote. He wrote a quantity of incidental music for Shakespearian performances in Stratford and for radio plays.
Orchestral and Chamber Music
Gerhard’s orchestral works include four symphonies, the third of which, Collages, is scored for orchestra and tape. His concertos include a Concerto for orchestra, a Violin Concerto, a Piano Concerto and a Concerto for harpsichord, strings and percussion. His chamber music includes two string quartets, a Cello Sonata, Gemini for violin and piano, and Libra and Leo for a variety of instruments. His Wind Nonet includes an accordion in its scoring, and there are various compositions for tape.
Gerhard wrote relatively little piano music. Dos apunts, dating from 1922, was followed by Soirées de Barcelone, from his ballet of that name, and Dances from Don Quixote, another work that had its source in a ballet. His Three Impromptus were written in 1950.