Raval, Sebastián , Spanish soldier, friar, and composer; b. Cartagena, c. 1550; d. Palermo, Oct.(?), 1604.
He served in the Spanish army in Flanders and Sicily, and was gravely wounded in the capture of Maastricht in 1579. After serving as a member of the Capuchin order, he entered the order of St. John of Jerusalem (also known as the Knights of Malta) in 1592, and went to Rome to obtain his knighthood. He had the temerity to challenge Nanino and Soriano to a musical competition, in which he suffered an ignominious defeat. In 1595 he went to Palermo as maestro di cappella at the royal chapel of San Pietro. In 1600 he was emboldened to challenge Achille Falcone to a musical competition, which he lost. Raval appealed the adjudicator’s decision to the viceroy with the demand for a new examination. Raval won the second competition, most likely due to Spanish favoritism. Falcone in turn appealed to Nanino and Soriano for a third competition to be held in Rome, but he died before the competition could take place. Raval publ. 2 vols, of motets (Rome, 1593–94), a vol. of Lamentations (Rome, 1594), 2 vols, of madrigals (Venice, 1593, 1595), and 2 other vols, of secular music (Venice, 1593; Palermo, 1596).
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire