José de Torres y Martinez

(ca. 1670 - 1738)

Spanish composer. Pupil of Jaraba y Bruna, whom he succeeeded as first organist at the Madrid Real Capilla. From 1689 through 1691 he was director of the Colegio de Niños Cantores, earning much praise from former pupils, such as Nebra. Between 1695 and 1708 he was active as a composer of both sacred and secular music. With the arrival of the Bourbons, Torres was expelled from the Real Capilla, although he escaped exile and was rehabilitated in 1708. In 1718 he was named maestro of the Real Capilla, and, following the abdication of Felipe V in 1724, taught in the Chapel in the service of the King's son, Luis I. However, on the death in late 1724 of Luis I after only seven months on the throne, Felipe V, who had meanwhile set up court in La Granja de San Idelfonso in Segovia, returned to Madrid, bringing with him his own capella de musica. In consequence, from 1724, Torres had to share his post with Felipe's Italian maestro, Filipo Falconi, a composer especially favored by Queen Isabella Farnese. In 1734, because of the fire in the old Alcatraz, Torres had the task of copying and compose music necessary for maintaining the regular services, a highly important task and one that explains the existence of much of his sacred output in South America.

VIIH: Music in Iberia, New Spain and Colonial America | A Partial Discography of José de Torres