MANUEL DE FALLA, Spanish composer, born (d: 1946); Pablo Picasso is quoted as saying that he considered de Falla the shyest man he had ever met, “even smaller than myself, and as modest and withdrawn as an oyster shell…”
He was said to have been involved in a ménage á trois with composer Maurice Ravel and pianist Ricardo Viñes. De Falla became close friends with Diaghalev and Massine, with whom he collaborated on The Three-Cornered Hat. It was, incidentally, immediately after the first performance of this ballet, that Massine announced his engagement to Lydia Sokolova, who had just performed the leading role, and was then dismissed from the Ballet Russes by the enraged Diaghelev.
De Falla was taught music by his mother and grandmother. IN 1896 he moved to Madrid to study at the Real Conservaterio de Musica and Declamacion and developed a life-long interest in Andalusian Flamenco music
He moved to Paris where he met Dukas, Debussey and Ravel who influenced his music and orchestration. He returned to Madrid, later, where he wrote his signature work, Noches en los jardines des Espana (“Nights in the Spanish Gardens.”)