Photo © Juan Lucas
Born in Sabadell (Barcelona), Benet Casablancas studied music in Barcelona and Vienna, where he worked with, among others, Friedrich Cerha and Karl-Heinz Füssl. He also has a degree in philosophy and a PhD in musicology, both from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. His works, distinguished with numerous commissions and awards (Ciutat de Barcelona, Musician’s Accord of New York, Spanish National Recording Prize, Composer’s Arena of Amsterdam, Fundación Juan March in Madrid, Juventuts Musicals de Barcelona, Òscar Esplà, Ferran Sors, finalist at the Prince Pierre of Monaco Foundation Musical Competition, etc.), have been performed regularly around Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan and Latin America by prestigious ensembles, soloists and conductors (London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Ensemble 13 de Baden-Baden, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Arditti Quartet, Leipziger Streichquartett, Trio à cordes de Paris, Deutsches Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, NJO of The Netherlands, L´Hermitage State Orchestra Saint Petersburg, Perspectives Ensemble New York, Ensemble 10/10 Liverpool, The Tokyo Sinfonietta, Notabu Ensemble Düsseldorf, Nomad Ensemble Japan, Ensemble Modern Akademie, Grupo Encuentros de Buenos Aires, Ensemble Reconsil Wien, Oberlin Contemporary Music Ensemble, Zeitfluss Ensemble in Graz, Seattle Chamber Players, Malmö Symfoni Orkester, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Sinfónica de A Coruña, Sinfónicas de Barcelona, Tenerife, Filarmonía de Galicia, Ciudad de Granada, Mallorca Islands, Castilla y León, Comunidad de Madrid, Joven Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta de la Radio y Televisión Española, etc.).
In 2008 he made his debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and his New Epigrams (published by Tritó) represented Spain at the SIMC World Music Days held in Vilnius. His works have been programed in such emblematic concert halls like the Musikverein of Vienna, the London Barbican Hall, the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Bruxelles, the Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York, the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Auditorio Nacional and Residencia de Estudiantes in Madrid and the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Palau de la Música de Barcelona. The 2007 was awarded the National Music Prize granted by the Generalitat de Catalunya. Early on in his career he began combining composition with teaching and research. An advisor for different institutions and patron of several foundations, he has published numerous historical and analytical articles (in The New Grove, Arietta, Quodlibet), and the book El humor en la música: broma, parodia e ironía (Reichenberger, 2000). He has been head of theory at a number of Spanish conservatories, educational director of the Catalan National Youth Orchestra (JONC) and associate professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra de Barcelona. He has also been a frequent member of the jury of several European composing and performing competitions and kept up a busy agenda as a guest professor at several international schools, between them and regularly, the Courses of Musical Specialization of the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares. In 2002 he assumed the direction of the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu (Barcelona), a post he now combines with his work in composition and research. His wide-ranging oeuvre, covering the most diverse genres and formats, is marked by a quest for radical personal and aesthetic independence. The critics have highlighted his concern for balancing constructional rigour and expressive strength, dramatic character and whimsical register, in the framework of a discourse in which a progressively luminous harmonic language, rhythmic spirit, a growing timbral differentiation and instrumental virtuosoism coexist. Recently he has published seven new recordings by Naxos (piano, chamber and orchestral), Stradivarius, Tritó, Columna Música and Anemos. For the last one, recorded by the Orquesta Nacional de España conducted by Josep Pons, he won a nomination for the 15th edition of the “Spanish Music Academy Awards 2011”. His most recent assignments include commissions from the Miller Theatre at Columbia University New York (Composer Portraits series), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ensemble 88 in Maastricht, the Festival Atempo Caracas/Paris, the Ensemble Cantus Croatia (26th Zagreb Biennale), the Tokyo Sinfonietta, the OSV Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the pianists Diego Fernández Magdaleno and Daniel Ligorio, the American guitarist Adam Levin, the clarinetist Laura Ruiz Ferreres and Le Musiche Quartett, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona (for the opera “Io”, based on the original libretto by the well-known Spanish writer Rafael Argullol, which shall be premiered in 2017).
In 2013 he was appointed first composer in residence for the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and L´Auditori and was awarded with the most prestigious composition prize in Spain, the National Music Prize granted by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Updated by Unión Musical 2014