Spanish composer Juan Hidalgo Codorniu, Died at 90

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Juan Hidalgo Codorniu was born in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, on October 14, 1927 and died in Ayacata, Spain, on February 26, 2018.

He was a Spanish composer.

When he completed his piano and composition training in Barcelona and Paris with Nadia Boulanger and Bruno Maderna, Codorniu took part in the XII Internationale Ferienkurse Für Neue Musik festival in Darmstadt in 1957 with his work “Ukanga”, a serial-structural composition for five chamber ensembles.

At the same time, Hidalgo became the first Spanish composer to take part in that festival.

During 1958 Juan Hidalgo met the Darmstadt American composers John Cage and David Tudor who were crucial to his musical and career development.

Codorniu founded the ZAJ group along with Walter Marchetti, Ramón Barce, in 1964 and was later joined by Esther Ferrer and the writer José Luis Castillejo. ZAJ was an exponent of Spanish neodadaism with influences of zen and Marcel Duchamp’s vision of the arts.

There were said to be likeness in the philosophy and aesthetics of ZAJ and that of the Japanese Gutai and American Fluxus artistic movements.

During 1966 Codorniu took part in alongside Gustav Metzger, Otto Muehl, Wolf Vostell, Hermann Nitsch and others in the Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) in London.

One of his possibly most interesting collaborations with John Cage took place in 1978 when Cage and fellow composer Walter Marchetti prepared a musical ride on a train, full of microphones, monitors and sounds directed by Cage himself.

The people on board would hear the train’s very noises enriched by an additional mix of local music and sounds, giving an audio-portrait of each stop.

Juan Hidalgo was considered one of the most creative artists of the Spanish avant-garde since the 1960s and had been active in other artistic fields such as poetry, photography, installation art, postcard art, print media, and performances, as well as participating in numerous international exhibitions and festival.

Juan Hidalgo Codorniu passed away at 90 years old.