Agustín Bertomeu Salazar Collection

(Rafal (Alicante), 1929)

Date added: 2012

Contains: The collection is made up of 78 scores, three recordings and a catalogue of his works. The scores have been catalogued based on the instrumentation (works for a single instrument, string quartets, instrumental groups, symphonic works, etc.) and bring together his compositions from early works such as Quinteto para instrumentos de viento (1963), through to his later works, such as Sinfonía nº 6 (2009).

Agustín Bertomeu

Description of the archive

Identification details

Reference code: ES.28006.BFJM/

Title/Name: Agustín Bertomeu Collection

Dates: 1960-2008

Citation format: Agustín Bertomeu Collection (Library of the Juan March Foundation. Madrid)

Description level: Contents


Archival history: Agustín Bertomeu donated, in March 2012, his collection to the Foundation's Library of Spanish contemporary Music and Theatre.

Institutional history/biographical sketch: The composer Agustín Bertomeu was born in Rafal (Alicante) in 1929 and studied composition under Julio Gómez, a teacher at the Madrid Royal Conservatory. He also received private classes from Tomás Blanco between 1949 and 1955. In 1952 he took courses in orchestral conducting taught by Bartolomé Pérez Casas. Music critics who have analysed his works agree as to the important part in his training played by the courses he took in contemporary music (Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik) given by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen in Darmstadt in 1963. This formative experience, and the study of works by certain key composers in the development of 20th century music such as A. Schönberg, A. Webern, A. Berg y P. Boulez, led to him applying the twelve tone technique and the exploration of series in a number of his works. Although only a few of his pieces use this compositional technique, the application of the twelve tone system makes them especially important for the study of 1960s avant-garde Spanish music: the pieces in question are Quinteto para instrumentos de viento (1963) —chosen by the Spanish section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)— and Variaciones para fagot y cuarteto de cuerda (1964).

From his middle period a notable work is Museo del Prado (1967), which won the first International Music prize awarded by the Information and Tourism Ministry. In 1964 Bertomeu began to be interested in graphic notation and in the search for a degree of controlled randomness. Some musicologists have noted the influence in his work of the compositional techniques of W. Lutoslawski. Works characteristic of his style from the 1970s are: Configuración I (1974), Configuración II (1974), Variaciones sobre una configuración (1974) and Configuraciones sinfónicas (1975) –commissioned by Fundación Juan March. From the eighties it is worth mentioning two pieces: Concertante para conjunto instrumental (1985) and Retrospectiva de Mompou a Bach (1985). One of Bertomeu's works was used at the inauguration in 1988 of the Teatro Monumental in Madrid (the concert hall of the Symphonic Orchestra of Spanish National Broadcaster, Radio Televisión Española). The work in question was Música para una inauguración, inspired by the 17th century composer from Aragon, Pablo Bruna. From Bertomeu's catalogue the pieces he composed for individual musicians are of particular interest: Divertimento para contrabajo (1988), written for Stefano Scodanibbio, Fantasía galante (1989), for the guitarist Gabriel Estarellas and Fantasía para clarinete (1989), for Jesús Villa Rojo.

Manner of acquisition: DONATION

Content and Structure

Scope and Content: The musical documents in this collection can be divided into the following groups: handwritten scores, printed copies, published scores and sound recordings.

Evaluation, selection, removal: Given their historical interest, all the documents are to be preserved permanently, in accordance with Law 16/1985 of 25 June on Spanish Historical Heritage.

Organisation: Classification table

Conditions Governing Access and Use

Conditions governing access: The documents are open to all.

Conditions governing reproduction: Reproduction is permitted for research, study and performance purposes only.

Language/script(s) of the documents: The predominant language is Spanish.

Physical characteristics and technical requirements: Most of the documents are in good condition.

Associated Documents

Other related institutions: Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (Society of Authors and Publishers).

Notes and Control

Notes: The collection is digitized

Other resources in the Foundation