Bretón, Tomás

Period: Romantic

Born: Sunday, December 29, 1850 in Salamanca, Spain

Died: Sunday, December 2, 1923 in Madrid, Spain

Nation of Origin: Spain

Major Works:

  • Los amantes de Teruel (1889)
  • Garin l'eremita di Montsalvat (1892)
  • La verbena de la paloma (1894)
  • La Dolores (1895)
  • Raquel (1900)
  • Tabaré
Apocalipsia (an oratorio from 1882)

Chamber Works:
  • Piano Trio in E Major
  • String Quartet in D Major
Orchestral Works:
  • Las escenas andaluzas
  • Salamanca
  • En la Alhambra

Other Information:
As a child, Bretón played violin in cafes. He studied music at the Madrid Conservatory with Emilio Arrieta, and he won the prize for composition in 1874. He also studied in Paris, Rome, and Vienna. He became the conductor of the Madrid Opera then in 1901 he became professor of composition at the Madrid Conservatory. In 1903 he was appointed its director. He was a champion of the Zarzuela, a Spanish operatic form. He was a strong influence for modernization of the musical life of Spain. His harmonic language was advanced for the time, particularly in his chamber works.

Essay contributed by:
Steven G. Estrella

General Bibliography:
Blume, Friedrich, with Norton, M. D. (Translator) and Norton, Herter (Translator), Classic and Romantic Music; A Comprehensive Survey, W. W. Norton & Company, November 1970, ISBN: 0393098680

Einstein, Alfred. Music in the Romantic Era, W. W. Norton & Company, December 1947, ISBN: 0393097331

Rosen, Charles, The Romantic Generation, W. W. Norton & Company, April 1995, ISBN: 0674779347

Slonimsky, Nicolas and Kuhn, Laura; Editors, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Gale Group, December 2000, ISBN: 0028655257

Sadie, Stanley and Tyrrell, John; Editors, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Groves Dictionaries, Inc., January 2004, ISBN: 0195170679

Rutherford-Johnson, Tim, Kennedy, Michael, and Kennedy, Joyce The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford University Press, 6th Edition, 2012, ISBN: 0199578109

Links to essays at other sites:

Please note: Each link will open in a new window.

Biographical essay from Wikipedia
A brief biography of Bretón in Spanish
Zarzuela! composer biographies and more...

Please support this free site with your purchases.