Tomás Marco

Spanish Composer and Musicologist (b.1942, Madrid)

Tomás Marco was a prolific composer, musicologist and radio producer, and one of the leading figures in Spanish music throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Tomás Marco Aragón studied violin, musical composition and law in Madrid. In 1962, he joined the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt where he studied composition with the greatest teachers of the time: Bruno Maderna, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti and Theodor Adorno. In 1967, he worked on a collaborative project led by Stockhausen and helped to create the Studio Nueva Generacion. Despite his hand in innovation, Marco increasingly began to reference composers of the past in his compositions, Gustav Mahler in Angelus novus, Manuel de Falla in his Cello Concerto and Richard Strauss in his 4th Symphony. His compositions usually took on classical forms, as symphonies, sonatas and most frequently as concertos. He conveyed Spanish national identity in his guitar concertos. His romantic influences sometimes led to him being associated with the German "Die neue Einfachheit" movement (the new simplicity) which advocated a departure from the strict principles of the post-war Avant-garde.

Tomás Marco’s had a large impact on Spanish musical culture through his work as a musicologist, critic and radio producer. In 1967, he founded La Sonda, a magazine dedicated to contemporary music with Ramón Barce. He produced programs for Radio Nacional de España for 11 years, taught history of music at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, and composition at the Conservatorio Real de Madrid. In 1981, he became Technical Director of the Orquesta Nacional de España and, then, in 1985, of the Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea. In 1996, he became General Director of the Instituto Nacional de las Artes Escenicas y la Música.

Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Tomás Marco

1962  : Attended the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt
1967  : Founded La Sonda magazine
1969  : Was made a Premio Nacional in Musica
1981  : Was appointed Technical Master of the Orquesta Nacional de España
1985  : Became Technical Director of the Centro para la Difusión de la Música Contemporánea
1993  : Was elected as a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

Six Key Works by Tomás Marco 

1971  : Angelus novus, for orchestra
1976  : Concerto for Cello
1987  : 4e Symphonie
1990  : Symphonie de chambre n° 1 Recóndita armonía for 15 instruments
2000  : America, cantata
2004  : El caballero de la triste figura, chamber opera based on Don Quixote by Cervantes