Joaquin Rodrigo, Spanish composer, dies at 97
2.17 p.m. ET (1818 GMT) July 6, 1999
MADRID, Spain (AP) - Joaquin Rodrigo, one of Spain's
best known composers, died Tuesday at his home in Madrid.
He was 97.
Born in the eastern city of Valencia in 1901, Rodrigo was
blinded by diphtheria at three, and as a child learned to play
piano and violin with the help of Braille.
As a young man, Rodrigo move to Paris where he met his
wife and lifetime partner, the pianist Victoria Kamhi. The
couple married in 1933.
It was in Paris in 1939 that Rodrigo composed the "Concierto
de Aranjuez'' for guitar, shortly before returning to Spain.
The melodic piece, named after a town 30 miles southeast of
Madrid dominated by a royal summer palace, was first
performed in the northeastern city of Barcelona in 1940.
Rodrigo's body was to be taken to Aranjuez later Tuesday
where admirers will be able to pay their last respects, National
Spanish Radio reported.
The composer, who is survived by his daughter Cecilia, will
be buried in a local cemetery next to his wife, who died two
years ago, the radio said.
Culture Minister Mariano Rajoy called Rodrigo "one of the most relevant figures in Spanish music,'' adding that next year's celebrations for the centennial of his birth were already being planned, the state-owned news agency Efe reported.
Rodrigo received several awards during his lifetime, including the Prince of Asturias prize for the arts in 1996. From Fox News.com