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Stefania Kaluza

Roberto Gerhard was born at Valls, Catalonia, Spain, on 25 September 1896. From childhood he showed a great interest in music and at the age of seventeen gave up business studies in Lausanne to enter the Royal Academy in Munich. The war of 1914 compelled him to return to his own country, where he completed his piano studies with Granados in 1915 and 1916 and his composition studies from 1915 to 1920 with Felip Pedrell, who was an important musicologist and the teacher of Albéniz and Falla.

The first published works of Gerhard were the two Ciclos de canciones (1917-19) and the Piano Trio (1918-1920), compositions that showed his deep musicality. After the death of Pedrell in 1922 Gerhard embarked on a new stage with the Dos apunts for piano and the seven Haiku for voice and instrumental accompaniment. This short transitional period was followed by travel to various cities of Spain and Europe. At the end this journey he sent a long letter to Schoenberg, accompanied by his most recent compositions, asking to be accepted as a pupil. After a successful preliminary interview he joined Schoenberg's classes in Vienna and Berlin, remaining from 1923 to 1928. In 1929 he returned to Barcelona, where he gave a concert of his latest works, among them the Wind Quintet (1928), in which he used in a very personal way the serial technique, based on the constant rotation of the series of twelve notes and the fundamental unity of melody and harmony.




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