Composer, Pianist. He played an important role in developing a Spanish nationalist idiom in classical music. Granados' masterpiece is "Goyescas" (1911), a suite of brilliant piano pieces inspired by paintings of Francisco Goya. He later adopted the material into an opera (1916) of the same name. His other important works include the keyboard suites "12 Spanish Dances" (1890) and "Romantic Scenes" (1903), the symphonic poem "Dante" (1908, revised 1915), and the song cycles "Tonadillas" (1910) and "Love Songs" (1915). Pantaléon Enrique Costanzo Granados y Campiña was born in Lérida, near Barcelona. From 1883 to 1886 he studied composition with Felipe Pedrell, a noted folk scholar who had also taught Albeniz, but he remained more enamored with the European romantic tradition. His earliest significant work was a keyboard set called "Poetic Waltzes" (1887). After further study in Paris he made his concert debut as a pianist in 1890, and from then on performed regularly in his homeland and in France. He achieved his first great success with the opera "Maria del Carmen" (1898), for which he was awarded the Order of Carlos III by Spain's Queen Maria Cristina. In 1901 he established a successful piano school in Barcelona, the Academia Granados, and taught there until his death. Granados was not an enthusiastic self-promoter and his music was little known even in his country before "Goyescas" brought him international fame. The opera version of "Goyescas" was originally commissioned by the Paris Opera but its performance was cancelled due to the start of World War I. Instead it was premiered in January 1916 by the Metropolitan Opera and Granados traveled to New York to supervise the production. While in the US he also recorded several piano rolls and gave a recital for President Woodrow Wilson at the White House. On the return voyage his ship, the Sussex, was torpedoed by a German submarine in the English Channel. The Sussex broke in two and the smaller bow section sank; 50 passengers were left unaccounted for, including Granados and his wife Amparo. Their bodies were never recovered. Just a few months earlier the composer had written to a friend, "I have a whole world of ideas. I am only now starting my work".
Bio by: Bobb Edwards