Antonio Francisco Javier José Soler Ramos, usually known as Padre ('Father', in the religious sense) Antonio Soler, known in Catalan as Antoni Soler i Ramos (1729 – 1783) was a Spanish composer whose works span the late Baroque and early Classical music eras.
He is best known for his keyboard sonatas, an important contribution to the harpsichord, fortepiano and organ repertoire.
Soler was born in Olot (Catalonia, Spain) in the historical County of Besalú. In 1736, when he was six, he entered the Escolania of the Monastery of Montserrat where he studied music with the resident maestro Benito Esteve and organist Benito Valls.
In 1744, he was simultaneously appointed organist and subdeacon at the Cathedral of La Seu d'Urgell. Later in life, he was chapel master in Lleida and at the Royal Court in El Escorial. In El Escorial, he studied with professors about different subjects of music.
Soler took holy orders at the age of 23, and embarked on an extremely busy routine as a Hieronymite in El Escorial, Madrid with 20-hour workdays, in the course of which he produced more than 500 compositions.
Among these were around 150 keyboard sonatas, many believed to have been written for his pupil, the Infante Don Gabriel, a son of King Carlos III.
Other pieces include Christmas villancicos and Catholic liturgical music, including Masses.
He died in the monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial; no portraits of him are known to exist.
Padre Soler's most celebrated works are his keyboard sonatas, which are comparable to those composed by Domenico Scarlatti (with whom he may have studied).
However, Soler's works are more varied in form than those of Scarlatti, with some pieces in three or four movements; Scarlatti's pieces are in one or two movements.
Soler's sonatas were catalogued in the early twentieth century by Fr. Samuel Rubio and so all have 'R' numbers assigned.