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Joaquin Rodrigo
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    (November 22, 1901-July 6, 1999)
    Born in Sagunto, Spain
    Studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris (1927-32)
    Compositions include 'Cinco piezas infantiles' (1928), 'Concierto de Aranjuez' (1939), 'Concierto heroico' (1943), 'Concierto serenata' (1952), 'Fantasía para un gentilhombre' (1954), 'Pavana real' (1955), 'Sones en la Giralda' (1963), 'La azucena de Quito' (1965), 'Concierto Andaluz' (1967), and 'Concierto como un divertimento' (1981)
    Taught at the Madrid Royal Conservatory
    Awards received included Spain's National Prize for Orchestra (1943), Premio Nacional de Música (1983), Guerrero Foundation Prize (1991), and Prince of Asturias Award (1996)
    Held the Manuel de Falla Chair of Music at the Complutense University of Madrid (1947-77)
    Elevated to nobility with the title Marquis of the Gardens of Aranjuez (December 30, 1991)
    Died in Madrid
    He never mastered the Spanish guitar even though he brought it to international fame through his guitar compositions.
    None of his other works achieved the same level of success as 'Concierto de Aranjuez' and 'Fantasía para un gentilhombre'.
    Moreover, 'Concierto de Aranjuez' and 'Fantasía para un gentilhombre' are often paired together as if they're one work rather than separate pieces.
    Many of his compositions were neglected for quite a long time.
    He was often seen as a latter-day nationalist composer, which fails to take many of his other compositions into account.
    Though opposed to violence, he was more worried about attacks on the Catholic Church in Spain than the threat posed by fascism.
    Paul Preston once called 'Concierto de Aranjuez' 'the signature tune of Franco's regime'.
    He became almost blind at the age of three after contracting diphtheria, and completely lost his eyesight by 1948.
    He didn't feel bitter about his blindness, even saying that it led him towards a career in music.
    Paul Dukas considered him the most gifted Spanish composer he had seen arrive in Paris.
    He was married to Victoria Kamhi for 64 years until her death two years before his own.
    He and his wife lived poor lives as refugees in France and Germany when the Spanish Civil War happened.
    His wife miscarried their first child, which threatened her life.
    'Concierto de Aranjuez' invokes Spain's historical and cultural heritage in a single composition.

Credit: Big Lenny

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