Turina, Joaquín (1882–1949) By Payne, Alyson
Joaquín Turina (b. Seville, 9 December 1882; d. Madrid, 14 January 1949) was a Spanish composer who rose to prominence during Spain’s Edad de Plata (1900–36), also referred to as the Silver Age, a time when Spain’s artistic development increased rapidly. Along with Manuel de Falla, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Conrado del Campo, Turina became of one the leading Spanish composers of his generation.
Turina enjoyed a middle-class upbringing in an artistic household—his father was a well-regarded and well-known Spanish painter. Turina displayed an early aptitude for music, spending extensive time practising an accordion given to him by the family’s servant. Turina later received piano lessons from the composer Enrique Rodríguez. Turina demonstrated a propensity for the piano, and he continued his musical studies with lessons in contrast and harmony to the choirmaster of Seville cathedral, Evaristo García Torres. Turina gave his first public performance on 14 May 1897, playing Thalberg’s Fantasy on Moïse, a piece demanding technical prowess. The performance was a success, and informed Turina’s decision to study music in Madrid with José Tragó (who taught the young Manuel de Falla), where he studied from 1902 to 1905.