Carlos Surinach

Biography

Born: March 4, 1915; Barcelona, Spain   Died: November 12, 1997; United States  
Carlos Surinach was a Barcelona-born American composer especially known for his ballets, many of which were staged by the Martha Graham ballet company. Though he lived in the U.S. from 1951 until his death in 1997, he retained a compositional style largely associated with the music of his homeland, often divulging Spanish nationalist and flamenco elements.

His mother, a good amateur pianist, was his first piano teacher and young Carlos
Read more soon began to play with great proficiency. From 1929 to 1939, he studied music theory and piano with Josep Caminals and then in 1936, launched concurrent studies at the Barcelona Conservatory in composition with Enrique Morera. In 1939, he left the Conservatory and decided to travel to Germany for further study, convinced he would receive the training necessary there to allow him to use traditional Spanish forms grounded in solid structural and compositional principles. He enrolled at the Dusseldorf Hochschule in 1940, where he took instruction in composition from Hugo Baltzer. He also studied conducting at the Cologne Hochschule in 1941 and composition with Max Trapp at the Berlin Arts Academy in 1941 - 1942. Surinach traveled back to Spain in 1942 and was soon appointed conductor of the Barcelona Philharmonic Orchestra and the Teatro de Liceo. His first important compositions date to around this time and include the Quartet for Piano and Strings (1942) and the Passacaglia Symphony (1945), both of which reflect an influence from his years in Germany. Also in 1945, he composed his first ballet, Monte Carlo, and it would be this genre he would turn to more often and more successfully than any other large form throughout his career. After living in France between 1947 - 1950, he relocated to the United States in 1951, where he found the musical climate receptive to his artistic sensibilities. His first ballet there, Ritmo Jondo (1953) was greeted with mild success, but eventually Surinach attracted the attention of Martha Graham, who premiered his 1958 ballet Embattled Garden in New York. It scored a great success and led to Graham's staging of his next ballet effort, Acrobats of God (1960). Surinach became an American citizen in 1959, a time when his career was nearing its zenith. He even gained the distinction of having one of his ballets presented on national television when CBS broadcast the premiere of David and Bathsheba in 1960. Without a doubt, he scored his greatest successes in the 1960s, perhaps the most impressive of which was the Feast of Ashes, staged by the Joffrey Ballet, which presented over 500 performances of it. Surinach's growing fame, boosted by his many well-crafted orchestral, choral, and vocal works, reached across the ocean to England and he was given a Bax Society Medal in 1966. Surinach taught composition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1966 - 1967 and later at Queens College (C.U.N.Y.). He wrote ballets for other important dance troupes during this time, including the Paul Taylor Dancers (Agathe's Tale; 1967). In the 1970s, his popularity in the ballet realm waned, but he continued composing in other genres with considerable success, turning out such works as the 1980 violin concerto, the 1990 Concerto for Flute and Double Bass, and the 1993 Symphonic Melismas. Read less
Browse 1-17 of 17 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes; Et Al /Rodriguez, Et Al
    Label: Elan Recordings   Catalog: 2222 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alberto Ginastera,  Carlos Surinach,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco
    Performer:  Santiago Rodriguez
    Conductor:  George Manahan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Richmond Sinfonia
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  • 3.
    Ever Changing
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11181 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach,  Clark McAlister,  Albert Roussel,  Paul de Wailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Music Palm Beach
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  • 4.
    Yanomami: Music For Choir And Guitar / Cor Cervantes
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Carlos Surinach
    Performer:  Fabio Zanon,  Julian Stocker,  Jagoba Fadrique,  Anthony Hawgood  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Fernandez Aransay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Cervantes
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  • 5.
    Tower: Fascinating Ribbons;  Etc / Rombach-kendall, Et Al
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 519 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joan Tower,  Warren Benson,  Robert Linn,  Jonathan Newman  ... 
    Performer:  Sam Pilafian
    Conductor:  Eric Rombach- Kendall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of New Mexico Wind Symphony
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  • 6.
    Piazzolla: La Muerte Del Ángel; Turina, Tansman, Surinach / Ames Piano Quartet
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1052 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Alexandre Tansman,  Carlos Surinach,  Astor Piazzolla
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ames Piano Quartet
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  • 7.
    New World Composers From The Old World
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5071 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Miklós Rózsa,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New World String Quartet
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  • 8.
    Reflections - Bennett, Etc / Boyd, Philharmonia Ŕ Vent
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11166 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen McNeff,  Richard Rodney Bennett,  Fergal Carroll,  Carlos Surinach  ... 
    Conductor:  John Boyd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia ŕ Vent
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  • 9.
    Ostinato Fantastico - Dubois, Et Al / Depaul Wind Ensemble
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 889 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pierre Max Dubois,  Marco Putz,  Carlos Surinach,  George Perle  ... 
    Performer:  Julie DeRoche,  Rami Solomonow
    Conductor:  Donald DeRoche
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  DePaul University Wind Ensemble
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  • 10.
    Dances Of Spain / Mirian Conti
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7663 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados,  Ernesto Halffter  ... 
    Performer:  Mirian Conti
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  • 11.
    Concertos From Spain
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4762971 Release Date: 08/16/2005  
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Xavier Montsalvatge,  Carlos Surinach,  Joaquin Turina
    Performer:  Alicia De Larrocha
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Songs Of The Soul - Surinach, Ridout, Victoria, Et Al / St Louis Chamber Chorus
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7272 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach,  Tomás Luis de Victoria,  Alan Ridout,  Clare Maclean  ... 
    Conductor:  Philip Barnes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Chamber Chorus
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  • 13.
    Carlos Surinach
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 04/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach
    Conductor:  Jorge Mester,  Robert Whitney
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Louisville Orchestra
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  • 14.
    The Begian Years Vol 15 / University Of Illinois Symphonic Band
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 3087 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Curnow,  Aaron Copland,  Carlos Surinach,  Paul Creston  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Begian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Illinois Symphonic Band
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  • 15.
    Surinach: Ritmo Jondo / Bronx Arts Ensemble
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80505 Release Date: 08/06/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach
    Performer:  Pablo Zinger,  Rachel Rosales,  Mark Sherman,  Marsha Heller  ... 
    Conductor:  Pablo Zinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bronx Arts Ensemble,  Bronx Arts Ensemble members
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  • 16.
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2256 Release Date: 01/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach
    Performer:  Lucas Drew,  Christine Nield-Capote
    Conductor:  Thomas M. Sleeper
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  • 17.
    Surinach: Doppio Concertino / Zinger, Bronx Arts Ensemble
    Label: New World Records   Catalog: 80428 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carlos Surinach
    Performer:  Pablo Zinger,  Eliana Mendoza,  Susan Follari,  Andrew Schaw  ... 
    Conductor:  Pablo Zinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bronx Arts Ensemble
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