Photo: Eduard Toldrà

Eduard Toldrà

Vilanova i la Geltrú 1895 - Barcelona 1962

Born in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Eduard Toldrà moved to Barcelona in 1906 to study at the Municipal School of Music, where his teachers included Lluís Millet (solfeggio), Rafael Gálvez (violin) and Antoni Nicolau (harmony). At the age of eighteen he founded and led the “Renaixement” quartet, a group that performed widely until 1921. At that point, he embarked on his career as a composer: fifteen fertile years, interrupted by the Civil War, during which – on the strength of such masterpieces as Vistes al mar (Views of the Sea, 1921), the Sis sonets (Six Sonnets, 1922) for violin and piano, the opera El giravolt de maig (The May Somersault, 1928), and an abundant production of lieders (from the series L’ombra del lledoner (In the Shade of the Nettle Tree, 1924) as well as the six songs with orchestral accompaniment La rosa als llavis (The Rose in the Lips, 1936)) – He proved himself the most adept composer at translating into music the luminosity, vigorous concision and Mediterranean spirit of the nineteenth-century Catalan cultural movement noucentisme. After the founding in 1941 of the Barcelona Municipal Orchestra, the city council didn’t hesitate to name Eduard Toldrà conductor, who henceforth until his death shifted his focus away composition to devote himself fully to conducting Catalonia’s first professional and stable orchestra.

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