Sebastián Durón

  • Born
    19th April 1660
  • Died
    3rd August 1716
  • Birthplace
    Brihuega, Guadalajara, Spain
Sebastián Durón was a Spanish composer. Sebastián Durón was, with Antonio de Literes, the greatest Spanish composer of stage music of his time. He was born in Brihuega, Guadalajara, Spain, and was taught by his brother Diego Durón, also a composer. Sebastian served as organist and choirmaster at various cathedrals (Seville, Cuenca, El Burgo de Osma, Plasencia) until in 1691 he was appointed master of the Royal Chapel of King Charles II in Madrid. He remained in this position until 1706, when he was suspended because of expressing support for Archduke Charles of Austria during the War of Spanish Succession, which ended with the victory of Bourbon King Philip V. Durón was forced into exile in France, from where he returned briefly in 1714 to serve as a musician to the Dukes of Osuna. In 1715 he returned permanently to Bayonne, France as chaplain to the exiled queen Mariana of Neuburg, the widow of Charles II, to whom he officiated in her scandalous remarriage to the son of a barrel-maker. He died in 1716 of tuberculosis at Cambo-les-Bains, Aquitaine, France. Although Durón composed many sacred pieces, and these and his villancicos were taken to the New World, his main influence was in the zarzuela. Father Benito Jerónimo Feijoo (1676–1764) criticised Durón, compared to Literes, for the worldliness of his compositions.

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