Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hilarion Eslava

Hilarion Eslava (Miguel Hilarión Eslava y Elizondo) was a Spanish violinist, organist, composer, and musicologist born on October 21, 1807 (Beethoven was 37 years old.) He was a famous composer in his own time but today, he is mostly remembered for his solfege (sight singing or ear training) method book, still being widely used. He began his career as a choirboy at the Pamplona Cathedral in 1816. Along the way, he studied violin, piano, and organ. At 17, he was appointed concertmaster of the cathedral in Pamplona. By 1828, his liturgical works were being performed at the Royal Chapel in Sevilla, though he was also writing secular music. He was ordained a priest (as Vivaldi before him) on September 22, 1832, at age 24. He returned to Madrid in 1844 and was named director of music at the Royal Chapel there. Ten years later (1854), he was made professor of composition at the Madrid Conservatory. In 1856, he was named Director of the Conservatory. Eslava composed over 140 works for the church, in addition to an abundance of secular music. This music is no longer performed, except perhaps in Spain. Among his works is a Symphonie Fantastique and about thirty (30) operas. His most famous work – the Solfege Method - came in 1846. Eslava died on June (some sources say July) 23, 1878.

No comments:

Post a Comment