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Manuel Blancafort

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Biography

Composer, born in La Garriga (Barcelona) in 1897 and died in Barcelona in 1987. He studied with his father, Joan Blancafort, and with J.Lamote de Grignon. He did not have a formal training as a pianist. As he explicitly recognized, the pianola roll factory Victoria, owned by his father, was his true academy where he learned a lot about music by perforating paper rolls of Debussy, Ravel or Stravinsky. Besides, his travels to Paris allowed him some intellectual contacts besides the purely commercial ones. His friendship with Mompou, who witnessed his early attempts at composition, was decisive to his decision to undertake composition clandestine activity due to his father’s resistance, until his first works were published a few years later.

Blancafort was member of a group of Catalan composers that started publishing their first works just before the twenties trying to break with wagnerism and nationalism. As he wrote in 1929, “To get rid of Wagner is, in my opinion, the first commandment of the new Catalan music…A few of us in Catalonia would rather lean towards Paris than to Berlin”. The group was formally organized in 1931 as the “Asociación de Compositores Independientes de Catalunya (CIC)” and counted Toldrà, Mompou, Samper and Gerhard as members.

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