Saturday, July 28, 2007


Joaquín Rodrigo Vidre (22 November 1901 – 6 July 1999) was a Spanish composer and a virtuoso pianist. Despite being blind from an early age, he achieved great success. Rodrigo is considered to be among the composers most responsible for popularizing classical guitar music.

He was born in Valencia, and lost his sight almost completely at the age of three after contracting diphtheria. He began to study piano and violin at the age of eight, but despite being best known for his guitar music, he never mastered the instrument himself.

In 1925 he received Spain's National Prize for Orchestra for Cinco piezas infantiles (Five Children's Pieces). From 1947 Rodrigo was a professor of music history, holding the Manuel de Falla Chair of Music in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, at Complutense University of Madrid.

His most famous work, Concierto de Aranjuez, was composed in 1939 in Paris. The central adagio movement of the concerto is one of the most recognizable in 20th century classical music, featuring the interplay of guitar with English horn.

In 1991, Rodrigo was raised to the nobility by King Juan Carlos; he was given the title Marqués de los Jardines de Aranjuez (Marquis of the Gardens of Aranjuez). He received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award—Spain's highest civilian honour—in 1996. He was named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government in 1998.

He married Victoria Kamhi, a Turkish-born pianist, on 19 January 1933, in Valencia. Their daughter, Cecilia, was born 27 January 1941. Rodrigo died in 1999 in Madrid at the age of 97. Joaquín Rodrigo and his wife Victoria are buried at the cemetery at Aranjuez.

Rodrigo, Serenata al Alba del Dia
Second movement, Allegro (1:55 min 471 kb)
Guitar Rachel Gauk
Flute Susan Hoeppner

Source: Wikipedia
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