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Concepció Badia i Millàs, Conxita Badia

Soprano and pianist (Barcelona, 14th November 1897–2nd May 1975)

She was one of the outstanding musical figures of the 20th century in Catalonia and studied piano from a very young age, making her debut at the age of just 11. In 1913, when she was 16, she gave her first professional performance at the Palau de la Música alongside the tenor Joan Viñas in a performance of Parsifal.

Conxita Badia was admired by the leading musicians of her day, as well as some of the most famous composers, including Enric Granados (who she studied with), Robert Gerhard, Pau Casals, Eduard Toldrà, Felip Pedrell, Apel·les Mestres and Amadeu Vives, who also wrote works for her.

During the Spanish Civil War she went into exile with her family and, following a European tour, she moved to Brazil and then Argentina, where she lived from 1938 until 1946. There she was warmly welcomed by some of the most important South American musicians and composers in exile, such as Manuel de Falla.

She returned to Barcelona in 1946 and went back to performing in 1947, when she premiered Eduard Toldrà’s song cycle La rosa als llavis (The Rose on her Lips). She embarked on a new phase in her career as a singing teacher at the Conservatori Superior Municipal de Música de Barcelona, where she attracted students from around the world who wanted her to be their teacher, among them Montserrat Caballé.

Conxita Badia is considered one of the 20th century’s finest and most versatile singers as she performed in a wide variety of genres: chamber music, lieder, oratorios and folk song.

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