University Professor Emeritus of Composition
A native of Spain, Leonardo Balada graduated from Barcelona's Conservatorio del Liceu and the Juilliard School. Balada's works have been performed by the world's leading orchestras, including the philharmonics of New York, Los Angeles, and Israel, the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Prague, Dusseldorf, Barcelona, Jerusalem, the national orchestras of Ireland, Peru, Colombia, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, the radio orchestras of Berne, Leipzig, Moscow, BBC, Luxembourg etc. conducted and performed by artists like Rostropovitch, Fruhbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Nevill Marriner, Lopez-Cobos, Lukas Foss, Alicia de Larrocha, Yepes, Segovia, American Brass Quintet etc. Balada has been a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon School of Music since 1970 where he is University Professor Emeritus of Composition.
He has been commissioned by the Aspen Festival, San Diego Opera, the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Lausanne, National of Spain, Radio Berlin, and others, and has received several NEA awards. He has collaborated with Salvador Dali and Nobel Prize Laureate C.J. Cela. A large number of his compositions are recorded including Steel Symphony and Music for Oboe and Orchestra with the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Lorin Maazel. Naxos Records has released 16 CDs of his music including the operas Christopher Columbus and The Death of Columbus. Christopher Columbus was commissioned by the Spanish government for the 5th centennial of the Americas. It was premiered with Jose Carreras and Montserrat Caballe and received international acclaim. The Washington Times described the opera as “a masterpiece…a landmark score in the lyric theater of our time”. Balada has received several international awards, such as the B. Martinu, City of Zaragoza, and City of Barcelona.
Recent world premieres of Balada's works includes: A Little Night Music in Harlem by the Hungarian Chamber Symphony Orchestra; “Concerto for Three Cellos and Orchestra” by the Berlin Radio Sym. Orch.; “Caprichos No.4-Quasi Jazz” by the Pittsburgh Symphony Cham. Orch.; the chamber operas Hangman, Hangman! and The Town of Greed at Teatro de la Zarzuela-Madrid- and Teatre del Liceu-Barcelona; the grand opera Faust-bal at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
His principal publisher is G. Schirmer.