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Isaac Albéniz

Isaac Albéniz

Birth: May 29, 1860 in Camprodon, Spain - Death: May 18, 1909 in Cambo-les-Bains, France

Isaac Albéniz was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms. Many of his pieces such as Asturias (Leyenda), Granada, Sevilla, Cádiz, Córdoba, Cataluí±a, and the Tango in D are among the most important pieces for classical guitar.

Albéniz was a child prodigy who first performed at the age of four. His concert career began at the age of nine when his father toured both Isaac and his sister, Clementina, throughout northern Spain. In 1876, after a short stay at the Leipzig Conservatory, he went to study at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. In 1883 he met the teacher and composer Felip Pedrell, who inspired him to write Spanish music such as the Chants d'Espagne. The first movement (Prelude) of that suite, later retitled after the composer's death as Asturias (Leyenda), is probably most famous today as part of the classical guitar repertoire, even though it was originally composed for piano. (Many of Albéniz's other compositions were also transcribed for guitar, notably by Francisco Tárrega.)

The apex of Albéniz's concert career is considered to be 1889 to 1892 when he had concert tours throughout Europe. During the 1890s Albéniz lived in London and Paris. In 1900 he started to suffer from Bright's disease and returned to writing piano music. Between 1905 and 1908 he composed his final masterpiece, Iberia (1908), a suite of twelve piano "impressions".

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