Joaquín Rodrigo

Sagunt ( 1901 ) - Madrid ( 1999 )
Joaquín Rodrigo was born in Sagunto (Valencia) on St Cecilia’s day, the patron saint of music, 22 November 1901. At the age of three he lost his sight almost completely as a result of an epidemic of diphtheria. As he himself was later to affirm, this event undoubtedly led to a vocation towards music. At the age of eight he began his first musical studies, solfa, piano and violin, and from the age of sixteen harmony and composition with teachers from the Conservatoire in Valencia: Francisco Antich, Enrique Gomá and Eduardo López Chavarri. His first compositions date from 1923: Suite for piano, Dos esbozos (’Two Sketches’) for violin and piano, and Siciliana for cello. In 1924 his first work for orchestra, Juglares, was premiered in Valencia and Madrid, and he obtained a diploma in a national competition for the orchestral work Cinco piezas infantiles, which was later premiered in Paris by the Straram Orchestra. From the outset of his career Rodrigo wrote all his works in braille, dictating them subsequently to a copyist.

In 1927, following the example of his predecessors Albéniz, Falla, Granados and Turina, Rodrigo moved to Paris to enrol at the École Normale de Mu