Bernaola, Carmelo

Spain
1929
2002

Carmelo Alonso Bernaola (Otxandio, Biscay, Spain July 16, 1929 – Madrid, Spain June 5, 2002) was a Basque composer. A member of the Generation of '51, he was one of the most influential composers in the Spanish musical scene of the second half of the 20th century.

When he was 7 years old, he and his family moved to Medina de Pomar (Burgos), where he received his first musical education. In 1943 he moved to the city of Burgos, where he studied with professor Blanco and he also played the clarinet with the local Engineers Academy Band.

In 1951 he obtained a job as clarinetist with the Army Ministry Band and he moved to Madrid. In Madrid Conservatory he studied contrapunct, fugue and composition with Massó, Calés Pina and Julio Gómez. In 1953 he got a new job as clarinetist with the Madrid City Band, but in 1959 he obtained the Prix de Rome and moved to Italy.

In Italy he studied composition with Goffredo Petrassi in the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and conducting with Sergiu Celibidache in the Accademia Chigiana di Siena. In addition, during this period he participated in the Darmstadt International Summer Courses under the direction of Bruno Maderna and Olivier Messiaen and there he met Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Nono and Ramón Barce.

In Spain, he completed his studies with André Jolivet and Alexander Tansman in Santiago de Compostela.

In 1962 he returned to Madrid, where he is harmony teacher in Madrid Conservatory and clarinet player with the City Band. He was also a scholar at Valladolid University.

From 1981 until his retirement he was the director of the Conservatory of Vitoria-Gasteiz.