José María Castiñeira Pardo

Birth Date: 23rd February 1928 (†31st October 1989)
Birth Place: Aspai, Outeiro de Rei (Lugo)

In 1941, he entered the Diocesan Seminary of Lugo, where he studied Latin and Humanities. In 1947, he moved to Rome to study Philosophy but he returned to Lugo due to a serious disease. After a long recovery, he went on studying Theology and Philosophy in the Seminary of Lugo. Once he was ordained as a priest in 1953, he returned to Rome to improve his studies. He took a degree in Theology and studied Gregorian Chant, Harmony, Composition, Musicology and Gregorian Palaeography at the Pontificio Istituto di Musica Sacra. He combined his studies and collaborated as an organist at the Basilica of Monstserrat and as a member of the Cappella Musicale Pontificia, under the baton of Master Lorenzo Perosi.

Once he came back again to Lugo in 1961, he got the position of music prefect at St María Cathedral and teacher of music in the Seminary, revitalizing the Scholla Cantorum. He created and directed the Polyphonic Choral of the Círculo de las Artes for six years and Lugo Polyphonic Choral for two years.

From 1971 to 1981, he was rector of the Diocesan Seminary of Lugo. He founded the “Orfeón Lucense” and created the choir students, which still exists today, the so-called “Escolanía Xosé Castiñeira Pardo”.

In 1989, a serious disease led him to stop his intensive activity. He died on 31st October 1989.

 Work & Activities

It is worth highlighting his musical work for its present style, adapted to the conciliar prescriptions of the Second Vatican. He created the first liturgical compositions in Galician language and the Masses for choir and people. His activity as an arranger and profane composer should also be taken into account. The chapter files of Lugo’s Cathedral preserve his whole work and a record brought out in 2007, a good sample of the music the master left us.

 Other Interesting Aspects

There is an avenue with his name and a memorial of him at Rosalía de Castro Park in Lugo.