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Leonora Milà (Piano)

Born: 1942 - Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona), Catalonia, Spain

The Spanish pianist and composer, Leonora Milà, was born into a family with close links with Music. Her father, Josep Milà, was an outstanding cellist in the orchestra founded in 1919 by Pablo Casals and in the symphony orchestra from the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona. After interpreting two concerts in 1949 at Palau de la Música Catalana, Leonora Milà is described as a "child prodigy". She was only 6 and still a pupil of the pedagogue Maria Canals when she interpreted compositions of her own and the concert for piano and orchestra KV488 by W.A. Mozart with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.

The international career of Leonora Milà began at the age of 12, when she interpreted pieces for piano by Enrique Granados and Manuel de Falla at the BBC London. This performance opened for her the doors of the British capital city where she would perform a year later, in 1955, at the Royal Albert Hall. She interpreted Nights in the Gardens of Spain, by the composer Manuel de Falla, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Rudolph Dunbar.

Leonora Milà won the 1966 edition of the Internatcional Music Competition Maria Canals of Barcelona and she was a finalist of the Concorso Internazionale di Musica G. B. Viotti (Vercelli, Itàlia). All along her professional career she reconciles her abilities as an interpreter and as a composer. Long tours around Europe, the USA and Asia led her to be the first Spanish artist to perform in the People's Republic of China (1979), and to record with the China National Symphony Orchestra (1988). She was also the first composer to have a ballet première in Saint Petersburg, Tirant lo Blanc, based on a Catalan chivalry novel written by Joanot Martorell in the 15th century. Leonora Milà scored it and the Russian dancer and choreographer Iuri Petukhov choreographed it as a two hours ballet. Thanks to this particular work of art she was awarded with the International Prize of the Catalan Culture in Valencia, in 1995. Tirant lo Blanc is shown for the first time at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in 1996, performed by the Saint Petersburg State Ballet. The cinema director Antoni Ribas filmed this ballet, broadcasted first by Spanish National Television and afterwards edited in video and DVD formats to be marketed.

Among the extensive work of Leonora Milà, more than one hundred compositions, her three concerts for piano and orchestra, the successful Habaneras for piano CD, and the songs for piano and voice based on texts from J. W. Goethe and J. Maragall stand out, together with two short ballets named The Flight of Painter Lee and Drame a Trois, both recorded by the Sant Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra of Mussorgsky Theatre.

There are more than thirty albums from Leonora Milà distributed, some as a soloist and some accompanied by orchestral groups. Her repertoire is based on works by the great European composers such as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, L.v. Beethoven, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn. Amongst her repertoire, her version of the opus Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by J.S. Bach, is considered by the specialized critics as a "reference work", and stands out together with the piano performances from the Spanish classics Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz and Joaquín Turina, conferring unanimous public recognition on her.

Leonora Milà has performed as a soloist in the most important international orchestras, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Philarmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Orchestre National de l'Òpera de Monte-Carlo, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radiotelevisión Española, Barcelona Symphony-Catalonia National Orchestra, Manila Symphony Orchestra and Central Philharmonic of China amongst them. She has also been conducted by Moshe Atzmon, Pièrre Colombo, Bella de Csillery, Miguel Ángel Gómez Martínez, Han Zhongjie, Joan Pich Santasusana, Eduard Toldrà, John Pritchard, Li Delun, Alun Francis, En Shao, Gordon Wright, Brian Wright and others.

The Authors and Editors General Society of Spain (Sgae) has acknowledged Leonora Milà her 50 years bond with the society, and her mother town's council has confered her the Golden Medal for her artistic and human trajectory. The journalist and music critic Albert Mallofré has been entrusted the writing of the first biography of the Catalan pianist and composer. There has recently been the release of the 60 minutes documentary "Leonora Milà. The intuitively talented". 30 relevant personalities belonging to the Spanish culture, society and politics of recent years describe a biographic profile of the Catalan artist and the big international events that have marked the second half of the 20th century.

Some of the scores of her compositions are published and distributed by the International Music Company of New York.

Main Discography: Piano Concertos by Maurice Ravel (1973); Homenaje a Manuel de Falla (1976); Carnaval by Robert Schumann (1978); Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by J.S. Bach (1983); Spanish music for piano and orchestra by Falla, Milà, Turina and Guridi (1986); Triple Concerto by L.v. Beethoven; Tirant lo Blanc Ballet by (Leonora Milà (1992); Habaneras for piano by Leonora Milà (1992); Pieces for piano solo by Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados (1994); Inventionen und Sinfonien by J.S. Bach (1996); Music for two choreographies by Leonora Milà (2000)

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Source: Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2011)

Leonora Milà: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Who is Leonora Mila? (

Leonora Milà - Pianist & Composer (Official Website) [Catalan/English]

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 14:54