Andrés Segovia

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Andrés Torres Segovia, 1st Marquis of Salobreña (February 21, 1893 – June 2, 1987[1]), known as Andrés Segovia, was a Spanish classical guitarist from Linares, Jaén, Andalucia, Spain. He is widely considered to be one of the finest classical guitarists of the 20th century - and one of the founders of what we now consider "Classical Guitar"[2][3][4]

Segovia is credited for his modern-romantic repertoire, mainly through works dedicated to him by modern composers, but he also created his own transcriptions of classical works that were originally for other instruments. He is remembered for his expressive performances: his wide palette of tone, and his distinctive (often instantly recognizable) musical personality in tone, phrasing and style.


Early life

Segovia stated that he began to play the guitar at the age of six.[5] Angelo Gilardino, who has worked at the Fundación Andrés Segovia in Spain, noted: "Though it is not yet completely documented, it seems clear that, since his tender childhood, [Segovia] learnt playing as a flamenco guitarist. The first guitar he owned had formerly been played by Paco de Lucena who died when Segovia was five years old. Since then, Segovia was given some instruction by Agustinillo, an amateur flamenco player who was a fan of Paco de Lucena."[6]
Nevertheless, Segovia did not really play flamenco. Instead he preferred expressive art-music such as that by Federico Moreno Torroba, and revived interest in the instrument as an expressive medium for the performance of classical art-music.

As a teenager, Segovia moved to the town of Granada, where he studied the guitar and spent much time at the Alhambra palace, a Moorish relic overlooking the town which he regarded as his spiritual awakening.


Segovia's first public performance was in Spain at the age of 15, and a few years later he held his first professional concert in Madrid, playing guitar transcriptions by Francisco Tárrega and some works by J.S. Bach, which he had transcribed and arranged himself. Although he was always discouraged by his family who wanted him to become a lawyer and he was looked down on by many of Tárrega's pupils,[citation needed] he continued to diligently pursue his studies of the guitar.

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