b Burgos, 12 Dec 1902; d Estépar, 8 Oct 1936). Spanish composer and conductor. He studied with the organists Julián García Blanco and José María Beobide Goiburu in Burgos. In 1920 the regional government of Burgos awarded him a scholarship to further his studies at the Madrid Conservatory for four years. He supplemented his income by conducting zarzuelas at the Teatro de la Latina and the Teatro Apolo, and by music copying. He worked as a music teacher at a Jesuit school in Miraflores de El Palo, Málaga (1925--9), and returned to Burgos in 1929 to conduct the revived choral society Orfeón Burgalés.
The final period of his life was dominated by his commitment to Burgos and its people. He was awarded the National Music Prize for his collections of folksongs from Burgos (1932) and was invited to present a paper on this subject at the Third Congress of the IMS (Barcelona, 1936). In the early days of the Civil War he was arrested by Falangists and imprisoned in Burgos. On 8 October 1936 he was driven to the nearby town of Estépar and shot, accused of being a Republican spy and Jewish sympathizer, and of inciting the people to revolt.
Antonio José's love of the folksong of his native region penetrated his entire output, from the series of Danzas burgalesas and the Sonata castellana for piano (which formed the basis for his Sinfonía castellana) to later choral and vocal works such as the Cinco coros castellanos and the Cuatro canciones populares burgalesas, and even his unfinished opera El mozo de mulas. Many of his works are based on literal quotations of popular melodies taken from Federico Olmeda's Cancionero de Burgos (1902) or on folksongs collected by the composer himself. Ravel is said to have referred to him as potentially the greatest Spanish composer of the 20th century.