Manuel de Falla y Matheu (November 23, 1876 – November 14, 1946) was a Spanish composer of classical music. Manuel de Falla was born in Cádiz. His early teacher in music was his mother; at the age of 9 he was introduced to his first piano professor. From the late 1890s he studied music in Madrid, piano with José Tragó and composition with Felipe Pedrell. In 1899 by unanimous vote he was awarded the first prize at the piano competition at his school of music, and around that year he started to use de with his first surname, making de Falla the name he became known as from that time on.