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Andres Segovia

Biography

Andres Segovia is one of classical music's most important guitarists, an artist who restored the instrument to the stage -- in Spain and elsewhere -- at a time when it was considered suitable for taverns but certainly not concert halls. Segovia, born to a prominent family in Linares, studied piano and violin as a child but wasn't seduced by either. When he heard a guitar for the first time, he knew that was his instrument. He took to it immediately, applying the techniques and repertoire he'd learned, much to the chagrin of his teachers and his family. By the time he was 16 years old, he was playing public concerts in Spain. He played several international shows in the mid-1920s and quickly won over skeptical reviewers. Segovia devoted himself to transcribing works that had been written for other instruments, and he also worked with budding composers who relied on his understanding of the guitar to improve their compositions. Segovia was forced to leave Spain during the Spanish Civil War. He travelled to Uruguay and ultimately settled in New York City, continuing to perform internationally and practice daily. He died in Madrid in 1987 at the age of 94.
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