Miguel Ángel Coria Varela (born October 24, 1937) is a Spanish composer of classical music. His early work showed affinities to the music of Anton Webern, but he became increasingly influenced by Impressionism. From 1973 he entered his post-modern period where his compositions were marked by "attempts to evoke the spirit of the music of the past, but without literal allusions". In addition to his instrumental music, he also composed an opera, Belisa, which premiered at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in 1992. Coria served as the Administrative Director of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the 1980s and was a co-founder of ALEA, Spain's first laboratory for electronic music.
Miguel Ángel Coria was born in Madrid in 1937 and began his musical studies in 1952. His early mentors were Antonio Iges, Angel Arias, Pedro Lerma and most importantly Gerardo Gombau with whom he studied composition at the Madrid Royal Conservatory. Coria won the Conservatory's Fugue Prize in 1961. He also showed an early interest in electroacoustic music and in 1964 joined Luis de Pablo and Carmelo Alonso Bernaola in founding ALEA, Spain's first laboratory for electronic music. A grant from the Gaudeamus Foundation in 1965 allowed him to pursue further studies with Roman Haubenstock-Ramati and Iannis Xenakis. The following year, he received a grant from the Juan March Foundation to study with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, during which time he composed Collage (1967) and Joyce's Portrait (1968). His early work showed affinities to the music of Anton Webern, but became increasingly influenced by French Impressionist music. However, the Spanish composer and writer, Tomás Marco, has concluded that Coria's work ultimately "stands out as a completely personal statement", adding that "those who have tried to follow him have been unable to reproduce the most original aspects of his music on the same level."
1973 marked the beginning of Coria's postmodernist period, exemplified by works in homage of past composers, although typically without literal allusions to their music. These include: Ravel for President, composed in 1973 and dedicated to the pianist Pedro Espinosa, who premiered the work; Falla Revisited, premiered in the Teatro Real by the RTVE Symphony Orchestra in 1977; Ancora una volta, premiered in 1979 by the Orquesta Nacional de España; and J'ai perdu ma plume dans le jardin de Turina (I lost my pen in Turina's garden), composed for the centenary of Joaquín Turina in 1982. Coria's ballet music Seis sonatas para la Reina de España (Six sonatas for the Queen of Spain), based on six harpsichord sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, was premiered in 1985 at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto in a production choreographed by Ángel Pericet for the Spanish National Ballet. At the age of 55, he ventured into opera with Belisa, set to a libretto by Antonio Gallego adapted from García Lorca's play Amor de Don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín. The work premiered on May 15, 1992 at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid.
Coria has not been a particularly prolific composer compared to some of his contemporaries, and his works tend to be small-scale—even his opera Belisa lasts only 30 minutes. His composing career proceeded in parallel with private teaching (one of his students was Miguel Roig-Francolí) and various administrative posts in the musical life of Spain. He was one of the founders of the Asociación de Compositores Españoles, an organization dedicated to promoting the music of contemporary Spanish composers, and has worked as a consultant to Spain's Ministry of Culture. He also served as the Administrative Director of the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the 1980s, and for many years was Technical Director of the Fundació de Música Ferrer Salat (Ferrer Salat Music Foundation).
Artist descriptions on Last.fm are editable by everyone. Feel free to contribute!
All user-contributed text on this page is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.