Biography of José Cubiles (1894-1971)

Pianist and pedagogue Spanish born in Cádiz on May 15, 1894 and died in Madrid on December 24, 1966.

He began playing the piano at age five and, in view of his talent, the director of the school of music of Cádiz decided to take care of his musical education. Shortly after he moved to Madrid protected by the infanta Doña Isabel de Borbón to study at the Conservatory in the capital with Pilar Fernández de la Mora. There he obtained extraordinary fine arts awards in music theory, piano and harmony. He later lived in Paris, where he received lessons from Diemer. In 1914 he won first prize in piano at the Paris Conservatory and received a special reward consisting of a Pleyel grand piano. Two years later he joined as a teacher in the Conservatory of music of Madrid, and without neglecting their teaching duties, began his international career as a soloist: gave recitals, participated as a soloist with orchestras and chamber groups formed with musicians such as Thibaud, Kochansky and Gaspar Cassadó. His expressive interpretations of the music of romanticism, of Spanish both authors (Albéniz, Granados, Turina...) as foreigners (Federico Chopin) were memorable. He cultivated a close friendship with the composer Manuel de Falla, who entrusted him with the premiere of his work in Madrid nights in the gardens of Spain, which took place in 1916 in charge of the Madrid Symphony Orchestra directed by Fernández Arbós. Cubiles went on occasions several orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic. In 1943 he obtained the Chair of virtuosity of the Royal Conservatory of music of Madrid. The same year he entered the Royal Academy of fine arts of San Fernando. He received several distinctions, among which are the great cross of Alfonso X el Sabio and Legion of honour of France. Some of his students have been or are musicians featured in the Spanish panorama. Serve as an example the names of Joaquín Achúcarro, Guillermo González, María Orán and Manuel Carra.

Selected discography

Soler, a.: Sonatas for harpsichord. Performer: José Cubiles (piano). SAPPHIRE, 35 ZL.