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Biography

Amancio Prada was born in Dehesas, in the province of León, in 1949. He studied Sociology at the University of the Sorbonne in Paris, and it was in that same city that he studied harmony, composition and guitar under Michel Puig and Silos Manos. After his debut there, playing alongside Georges Brassens, in December 1973, Amancio Prada performed on radio, television and at various French universities. He recorded his first record in France, VIDA E MORTE (1974) .

On returning to Spain in 1975, he recorded his second record, dedicated to ROSALÍA DE CASTRO , and settled in Segovia, where he was to devote himself completely to composition. The results of this period were CARAVEL DE CARAVELES , CANCIONES DE AMOR Y CELDA , LEILA DOURA, and CÁNTICO ESPIRITUAL . The St. John of the Cross Cántico Espiritual marked the start of a series of recitals beginning in the Teatro Español in Madrid in February 1982. During that year he also recorded CANCIONES Y SOLILOQUIOS , on Agustín García Calvo´s poems, and started a concert tour which took him to the main North American universities. In the next few years, and following his presentation in Barcelona´s Palau de la Música, Milan´s Piccolo Theatre and Paris´s Odeon, he recorded DE LA MANO DEL AIRE (1984) and DULCE VINO DE OLVIDO (1985). His appearance in Madrid´s Teatro Real, in the first annual Festival de Otoño, confirmed once more the unanimous critical acclaim that had been greeting his performances up to that point. The critics drew attention in particular to the depth of his work and his unusual artistic orientation or, as Edward Rothstein put it in the New York Times, the flexibility of his timbre and his dramatic capacity on stage. In 1986 he gave the first performance of SONETOS DEL AMOR OSCURO (F. García Lorca) in the Teatro María Guerrero in Madrid, under the direction of Lluis Pasqual, and started work on his next album, A DAMA E O CABALEIRO (1987), on the neo-troubadour poetry of Alvaro Cunqueiro. He then, in collaboration with the writer Manuel Vicent, composed the songs for the record NAVEGANDO LA NOCHE (1988).

In 1990 he recorded a double album titled TROVADORES, MÍSTICOS Y ROMÁNTICOS , and presented its contents, together with the CÁNTICO ESPIRITUAL , at the IVth Festival of Sacred Music in Maastricht, and in the Auditorio Nacional de Música, as part of the XIIIth Season of Chamber and Polyphonic Music. This was the start of a concert tour which was to take him to more than 80 Spanish cities in 1991. In 1992, in collaboration with Luis Fuente´s Ballet Company, he added to his repertoire the new show "Canciones en Danza" .

1994 saw an edition of EMBOSCADOS , an oratory on a long poem of Prada´s own, for two solo voices and chamber group. In 1997 he recorded ROSAS A ROSALÍA with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia and joined by singers and actors Amelia Muge, Ginese Ortega, María del Mar Bonet, Marisa Paredes, María Dolores Pradera, Martirio, Nuria Espert and the Pandereiteras de Baio ; this album once again pays homage to the Galician poetess Rosalía de Castro, who had been the inspiration for his first songs. 3 POETAS EN EL CÍRCULO (Cunqueiro, Lorca and García Calvo) (1998), is his first live concert recording, made during the concerts taking place in the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. DE MAR E TERRA , (EMI, 1999) is his personal view on the oral tradition. His most recent album, ESCRITO ESTÁ (It's destiny), (EMI, 2001) , which provides the title and the contents of a new recital, Amancio Prada carries on his permanent search for emotion and beauty. Words and music bound together and held up by the melodic arch.

His first cd-book, SONGS FROM THE SOUL (EL EUROPEO-KARONTE, 2003) is entirely devoted to Saint John of the Cross´s text. The recording includes the latest version of the SPIRITUAL SONG and five new poems set to music by Amancio Prada: Night, the Fountain, the Flame, I live not within myself, and a carol, all of which are the work of Saint John. Its edition commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first version of SPIRITUAL SONG and its first performance in the Church of San Juan de los Caballeros (Segovia) on Easter Saturday in 1977.

In march 2004, he has published his second disc-book SONNETS AND SONGS FROM FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA (Círculo de Lectores) a compilation of all his compositions inspired in the unparalleled poetry of Lorca. The result is an exquisite record where we find the convergence of the two artists. The three last songs pay a homage to Paco Ibáñez. The first theme, A Mercedes en su vuelo, is released for the first time.

HASTA OTRO DÍA, CHICHO (april 2005) disc-book released by the Joaquín Díaz Foundation, is dedicated to his friend, Chicho Sánchez Ferlosio.

At the end of 2005 ROSALÍA, SIEMPRE is released: a tribute to the poetic works of Rosalía de Castro, always present along his music career.

HUELLAS DE SALAMANCA (2005) disc-book released by the Salamanca City Hall, Fundación Municipal Salamanca Ciudad de Cultura and Salamanca Plaza Mayor 2005. It was recorded live during the concert in the Liceo de Salamanca theater to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Plaza Mayor.

Amancio Prada has taken part in numerous national and international festivals, and, among other cities outside Spain, he has given concerts in Rome, Stockholm, Geneva, Buenos Aires, New York, Lisbon, Caracas, Oporto, Chicago, Mexico City, Rabat, Cologne, Utrecht, Ravenna, Atenas, Brussels, Medellín…

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