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Antoni Nicolau

Antoni Nicolau i Parera (Barcelona, 8 de juny de 1858 - 26 de febrer de 1933) was a composer and a conductor, a key figure in the Catalan musical renaissance of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the creator of the modern Catalan choir school.

He studied piano and composition with Joan Baptista Pujol and Gabriel Balart extended studies at the Paris Conservatory. On his return to Barcelona from Paris, where he lived eight years, he was successively director of the Catalan Society Concert, the Orchestra and Catalan, in 1896, the School of Music in Barcelona until his retirement the year 1932. He was teacher of composition at the Liceu Conservatory of Music, where he had brilliant students as Joan Lamote de Grignon. He also became director of the Liceu opera house and symphony in 1900 he led the first nine symphonies of Beethoven and works by contemporaries such as César Franck, Richard Strauss, Vincent d'Indy.

His choral works show exceptional technical knowledge and style and are placed on top of the music of this type, especially those with texts by Verdaguer and Adrià Gual. Among his most renowed compositions one can find "La mort de l'escolà", "Entre flors", "Divendres sant", "Cançó del pelegrí", "Salve montserratina", "Cançó de la moreneta" and "Cançó dels escolans". Author of the symphony Athalia (1876), premiered at the Liceu with great success when he was only 18, and the symphonic poems "Le Triomphe de Venus", premiered in Paris in 1882, "Spes", written to be premiered at the opening of the International Exhibition in Boston, and Breton legend "Henora". He also wrote the stage drama "La tempestad (1877)", the opera "Constanza" (1878), premiered at the Liceu, a the comic opera "Un rapto" (1887) as well as the dramatic zarzuela "Corazón de fuego" (1895), premiered at the Teatre Novetats, of Barcelona.