Spanish Classical Music

Artists of Classical Music
  • Andrés Segovia
  • Antonio Soler
  • Enrique Granados
  • José Carreras
  • Manuel de Falla
  • Pablo Casals
  • Plácido Domingo

Andrés Segovia (1894 - 1987)

Andrés Segovia, born in Linares, Granada on February 18, 1894 was undoubtedly the most famous classical Spanish guitarist ever to have lived. At the age of ten, Segovia received his first guitar and from that moment he never let go of his prized instrument. When he was twelve, he moved to Cordoba, where four years later he debuted with his first performance. Segovia mostly taught himself how to play, practicing diligently to perfect his style. Over the years he met many influential figures of classical music who showed him support in his determination to raise the prestige and social status of the guitar, which was considered an unrefined, tavern instrument. After many performances in Spain, Segovia went on to perform in South America.

From 1920 to 1935 Segovia performed at innumerable concerts in many large cities around the world, performing in the United States for the first time in 1928. Every time, he managed to convert skeptical critics into flabbergasted fans of his music. It was around this time that Segovia began seeking more pieces to broaden his repertoire. As there were limited pieces written for the guitar, he took to transforming famous music written for other instruments and adapted them to the guitar. Contemporary composers such as Manuel Ponce, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Joaquín Rodrigo also began writing pieces for the guitar.

In 1936, when the Spanish Civil War broke out, Segovia left for New York and later moved to Montevideo in Uruguay, where he remained until the end of the Second World War. He then returned to the Status but after such a long absence it was difficult to secure bookings at the beginning. The latest technological development of the time, the television, helped Segovia regain popularity as he was able to reach out to a much wider audience.

During the 50’s and 60’s Segovia had a very successful run. He performed around 100 concerts a year and released a further 30 long play records. Segovia also taught at the famous Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena and thanks to him, many high schools and music Conservatories have added guitar study into their curriculums.

On June 3 1987 Segovia passed away in Madrid, leaving behind his successful career and invaluable contribution to the world of music. To this day, classical guitarists consider Segovia a legend whose legacy is to be treasured generations to come.