Born in Olite (Navarre) on January 10, 1904, Jesús García Leoz sang in a boys’ choir and studied piano and harmony in Pamplona, where he was a member of the city’s Choral Society. He went on to study music in Madrid with José Balsa, Conrado del Campo and Joaquín Turina.
At the age of 16 he moved to Argentina where he taught music, played the piano in cafés, and composed or scored a number of works.
He returned to Madrid to do military service and finish his music studies with Joaquín Turina, with whom he collaborated in the composition of several film scores. He devoted a large part of his work as a composer to this genre, and wrote 104 sound-tracks, including “Bienvenido Mr. Marshall”, “Balarrasa”, “Surcos”, “Niebla y sol” and “Botón de ancla”.
García Leoz’s career as a composer of concert music began late, with his First Quartet in F Sharp Minor, which was followed by the Cuarteto con piano (1946). In 1947 he composed the operetta La duquesa del candil, followed by the Symphony in A Flat Major (1948), the ballet La zapatera y el embozado (1950) and a piano Sonatina. He wrote numerous songs based on poems by J. Ramón Paredes, Antonio Machado, Federico García Lorca, Gerardo Diego, Rafael Alberti, Rosalía de Castro and other poets. His Christmas cycle Primavera del portal (1952), based on texts by Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, Luis de Góngora and the Cancionero de Úbeda, won him great acclaim. He left an unfinished opera, Barataria.
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