Manuel de Falla was one of the greatest Spanish composers of the 20th century. His music education started with piano lessons. At the age of 20, he moved to Madrid to continue his studies. At that time, he composed several Spanish musical comedies in order to support his parents, who had fallen on hard times. He was strongly influenced by traditional Spanish gypsy and folk music. De Falla later went to Paris, where he studied with Ravel and Debussy and started work on one of his most famous works, The Three Cornered Hat, for the Russian Ballet.
During World War I, de Falla returned to Spain. In 1939, he moved to Argentina, where he died before completing his most ambitious work, an oratorio called Altantida.