Photo: Antonio José Martínez Palacios

Antonio José Martínez Palacios

Burgos 1902 - Estépar - Burgos 1936

Antonio José Martínez Palacios was born in Burgos in 1902, and began his musical studies in the Escuelas de San Lorenzo with Julián García Blanco and José María Beobide.
At the age of 13 he wrote Cazadores de Chiclana, and in 1920 he moved to Madrid to continue his musical studies. There he met personalities such as Jacinto Guerrero. In 1921 he wrote Sonata castellana for piano, which served as a basis for the future Sinfonía castellana (1923). Also in 1921 his work Poemas de joventud won a prize and was published two years later.
In 1924 he began to compose Danza de bufones and Danzas burgalesas. From 1925 to 1929 he worked as a teacher in the college San Estanislao in Málaga. In 1927 he won another prize with Sonata gallega, and more publications followed. He studied in Paris with a scholarship of Burgos Council. He started working on his opera El mozo de mulas, based on some chapters of El Quijote. In 1929, back to Burgos, he assumed the direction of Orfeón Burgalés and the Council Music School. 
He began a series of "scientific" journeys through Spain with his friend Justo del Río, searching folksongs and traditional music. From this research he published a collection of popular songs from Burgos that won the National Music Prize, and the well-known Himno a Castilla.
He completed his musical activities with conferences, articles and concerts as a director. He presented a brilliant communication on popular song in the Musicology Congress that took place in Barcelona in April 1936.
Due to the militar rebellion in 1936, Antonio José was made prisoner by the rebels and was killed in October in Estépar, near Burgos.

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