Sánchez-Verdú, José María

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Born in 1968 in Algeciras, Andalucia, in 1986–94 he studied composition, orchestral conducting, and musicology at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música and the Universidad Autónoma, both in Madrid. In 1992 he learned composition from Franco Donatoni in Siena’s Accademia Chigiana, and in 1996–99 developed his composition technique with Hans Zender at Frankfurt’s High School of Music and Performing Arts (on scholarships from DAAD and La Caixa Foundation). 

In 1997 he was a composer-in-residence at the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome. His numerous accolades and scholarships in Spain and abroad include the Cristóbal Halffer Composition Prize (1994), SGAE Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers Award (three times in 1996 and 1997), composer prizes of Ciutat d’Alcoi and Ciudad de Burgos, INAEM/Colegio de España first prize (1998), Junge Deutsche Philharmonie’s first prize (1999), Ernst von Siemens Foundation’s Förderpreis in Komposition (2000), State Award of the Spanish Ministry of Culture (2003), and Antara Prize of the Lima International Contemporary Music Festival (2007), Since 2001 Sánchez-Verdú has been a professor of composition at the Robert Schumann High School of Music in Düsseldorf; in 2008–19 he also taught at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragon (in Zaragoza). He publishes papers, lectures and teaches composition at many European institutions, including Universität der Künste Berlin, Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Cátedra de Composición Manuel de Falla in Cádiz, Salzburg Mozarteum, and High School of Arts in Bremen. 

He has been commissioned to write music by Spanish, German, and Italian institutions and organisations, as well as the Prague Spring International Music Festival and New York’s Lincoln Center, the Biennale für Neue Musik in Hanover (for Expo 2000), operas for Staatsoper Berlin (2005) and Madrid’s Teatro Real (2007). His works have been performed by, among others, Ensemble Modern, Musikfabrik, Ensemble Mosaik, ensemble recherche, KNM Berlin, Kaleidoskop Solistenensemble, the Österreichisches Ensemble für Neue Musik, Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Hamburg Philharmonic, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony (FRSO), Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, and Orquesta Nacional de España, at numerous festivals such as Ultraschall Berlin, ECLAT Stuttgart, MaerzMusik Berlin, Munich Biennale, Musica Viva Munich, Ars Nova Donaueschingen, Schleswig-Holstein Musikfestival, Beethoven Festspiele, musicadhoy Madrid, Wien Modern, Salzburg Biennale, Musica Nova Helsinki, Ars Musica Bruxelles, Warsaw Autumn, and Venice Biennale. Sánchez-Verdú’s stage works (ATLASGRAMMAAURA,El viaje a SimorghLibro de las estanciasAlegorías de la luz, and others) have been staged notably at the Staatsoper Berlin, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Luzerner eater, Munich Biennale, Teatro Real Madrid, Teatro de la Zarzuela, eaterhaus Stuttgart, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, as well as in Hamburg, Venice, Granada, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Cairo. He is active in the music life of Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, and Egypt as a conductor of contemporary music orchestras and ensembles. His works have been released under such labels as Kairos, Col-legno, Verso, Columna Musica, and Harmonia Mundi. The composer lives in Berlin. 

Selected works (since 2010): Mural for orchestra (2009–10), Hekkan IV for chamber orchestra (2009–10), Qualia (Jardí blau) for soprano, baritone, clarinet, choir, orchestra and lights (2004–10), Elogio del tránsito for bass saxophone, auraphone and orchestra (2010), Hekkan III for guitar quartet (2010–11), Scriptura antiqua for five vocalists (2010–12), Oxide for saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and piano (2011), Exitus for string trio, tape and auraphone (2011), Memoria del agua for chamber ensemble and orchestra (2011), Jardín azul for accordion and piano (2011), De processione mundi for oboe and ensemble (2010–11), Castillo interior for five voices, baroque violin, theorbo and harpsichord (2012), String Quartet no. 9 Paraíso cerrado (2012), Transitus for bass saxophone (2012), Paraíso cerrado II for soprano and orchestra (2012), Concerto grosso for strings (2012), Atlas (Islas de Utopía), music theatre (2012–13), Memoria del espejo for trombone and orchestra (2013), Memoria del blanco for accordion and orchestra (2013), Zuria for accordion (2013–14), Khôra II for saxophone quartet (2014), Territorio interior (I) for violin, cello and piano (2014), Libro de Leonor for seven voices and choir (2014), String Quartet no. 10 Barzaj (2014–15), Libro del jardín de arena for ensemble (2015), Butes, drama in musica for choir and orchestra (2015), Il giardino della vita, music theatre (2016), KEMET (Schwarze Erde / Tierra negra) for bass flute and chamber orchestra (2016), DESHERET (Rote Erde / Tierra roja) for orchestra (2016), KEMET (Schwarze Erde) for bass flute and harpsichord (2016), ARGO, music theatre (2016–18), Terrains vagues for five voices, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone and bassoon (2017–18), White Silence Bar for ensemble (2018), Memoria del rojo for orchestra (2018), SHEBA for chamber orchestra (2018), Inferno for four voices and ensemble (2019), La chute de la maison Usher for orchestra, music for a film by Jean Epstein (2019), The Haunted Palace for orchestra (2019).