Leonardo Balada

From Wind Repertory Project
Leonardo Balada


Leonardo Balada Ibáñez (b. 22 September 1933, Barcelona, Spain) is a Spanish composer and music educator living in the United States.

After studying piano at the “Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu” in Barcelona, Balada emigrated to the United States in 1956 to study at the New York College of Music on scholarship. He left that institution for the Juilliard School in New York, from which he graduated in 1960. He studied composition with Vincent Persichetti, Alexandre Tansman and Aaron Copland, and conducting with Igor Markevitch.

He taught at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting in 1970, and retired in 2020.

Balada’s works from the early 1960s display some of the characteristics of neoclassicism, but he was ultimately dissatisfied with this technique, and in 1966 began to move towards a more avant-garde style, producing works such as Guernica.

Balada felt a need for a change again in 1975, his work from then onward being characterized by the combination of folk-dance rhythms with the avant-garde techniques of the previous period. Harmonically, Balada’s mature period work displays a combination of the tonality of folk music with atonality. Compositions representative of this period include Homage to Sarasate and Homage to Casals.

Works for Winds