Xavier Cugat was a Spanish musician and bandleader. He studied classical violin as a child and began working in silent films to support his family. He grew up to become a successful musician and played a leading role in the spread of Latin music. Besides music, he was also a cartoonist and a restaurateur. He was married five times.
Miguel Bosé is a Spanish pop new wave musician and actor who has been active in the entertainment industry for five decades. He studied acting, dancing, and singing and began his career as an actor. He eventually forayed into music as well. He is openly gay and is in a long-term relationship with sculptor Ignacio Palau.
Spanish cellist Pablo Casals got his first lessons in instruments such as the violin and the piano from his organist father. Known for his unique technique of using flexible left-hand positions, he later formed a celebrated trio with pianist Alfred Cortot and violinist Jacques Thibaud. He won a posthumous Grammy.
Spanish retired professional footballer José Manuel Pinto Colorado made his La Liga debut with RC Celta de Vigo and won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy with the team. He later signed with Barcelona and went on to win sixteen major titles with the team, including four national championships and two Champions Leagues.
Isaac Albeniz was a Spanish composer, conductor, and virtuoso pianist. Widely regarded as one of the most important composers of the Post-Romantic era, Albeniz had a strong influence on younger composers as well as his contemporaries. Many of his personal papers are preserved in several prominent institutions, such as the Library of Catalonia.
Spanish pianist Manuel de Falla, known for his musical nationalism, was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Born in Cádiz, Falla initially learned playing the piano from his mother, and later went to Madrid for further training. His work also took him to France and Argentina.
Francisco Tárrega was a Spanish composer and classical guitarist active during the Romantic period. He is often considered the father of classical guitar and is counted among the greatest guitarists of all time. He loved music from an early age and was able to build a successful career with his father’s encouragement. He died at the peak of his career.
Joaquín Rodrigo was a Spanish composer and a virtuoso pianist best known for composing the Concierto de Aranjuez. He lost his sight as a child and was encouraged by his parents to study music. He excelled in his musical education and began composing in braille as a young man. In 1983, he was awarded the Premio Nacional de Música.
Alejandro Amenabar is a Spanish-Chilean music composer, screenwriter, and film director. An influential and respected personality in the Spanish film industry, Amenabar has won nine Goya Awards and two European Film Awards among many other prestigious awards.
Spanish pianist and composer Enrique Granados gained fame with his nationalistic music. He is remembered for his iconic work Goyescas, which premiered as an opera in New York. Granados lost his life when the ship he was traveling to England in drowned after being torpedoed by a German submarine.
Fernando Sor was a Spanish composer and classical guitarist best remembered for writing solo classical guitar music. Widely regarded as the best classical guitarist of his generation, Fernando Sor also composed an opera, two ballets, and three symphonies. Many of his works have been studied by students and guitar enthusiasts all over the world.
Pablo de Sarasate was a Spanish violin virtuoso, composer, and conductor active during the Romantic period. He was a musical prodigy and gave his first public concert at the age of eight. He grew up to have a successful career and performed mainly opera fantasies. The Spanish Dances and the Carmen Fantasy are among his masterpieces.
One of the most influential 16th-century composers, Tomas Luis De Victoria had begun as a choirboy. He went to Rome on a grant from Spain’s King Philip II and later became a Catholic priest. A skilled singer and organist, too, he developed the concertato style of the Franco-Netherlandish school.
The daughter of actor and soprano Joaquina Sitches and tenor Manuel García, Spanish mezzo-soprano Maria Malibran was 8 when she debuted on stage with her father. She gained immense fame as Rosina in The Barber of Seville. She died after falling from a horse soon after marriage to violinist Charles de Bériot.
Narciso García Yepes was a Spanish guitarist best remembered for his work with conductor and pianist Ataúlfo Argenta. Yepes is credited with popularizing a classical guitar concerto named Concierto de Aranjuez. Over the years, Narciso García Yepes went on to become one of the 20th century's finest virtuoso classical guitarists.
Eighteenth-century Catalan Spanish composer Antonio Soler is remembered for his church music. Educated at a choir school, he later became a teacher of the organ and the harpsichord for the royal family. A master of Baroque music, he also invented the keyboard instrument afinador and penned works on music theory.
Initially a theologian, Gaspar Sanz later went to Italy to study music and later also focused on literature. Best remembered for his works such as Instruccion de musica sobre la guitarra Espanola, he also developed the use of the classical guitar. He had also been an organist to the viceroy of Napoles.
Vicente Amigo is a Spanish flamenco guitarist and composer whose album Ciudad de las Ideas was named the Best Flamenco Album at the 2001 Latin Grammy Awards. The album was also named best Flamenco work at the 2002 Ondas Award. Vicente Amigo has worked as an accompanying guitarist for popular singers like Luis de Córdoba and Camarón de la Isla.
José María Cano first came into prominence as part of the popular Spanish pop band Mecano. He later went back to his earlier passion of painting, which he had started to learn as an architecture student. As a contemporary artist, he has held exhibitions such as Apostolate and Game Changers.
One of the world’s most significant flamenco musicians, Paco Peña is remembered for his albums such as Azahara and Flamenco. He has also collaborated with the likes of the Flamenco Dance Company and Argentine guitarist Eduardo Falu. Starting to play the guitar at 6, he began his musical career at a London restaurant.
Juan del Encina is largely regarded as one of the pioneers of Spanish drama. He had been the court poet/dramatist for the Duke of Alba. Some of his best-known works were compiled in Cancionero. His églogas often dealt with mythological themes that were previously found in the Italian works.
Luis de Milán was the first to publish music on the vihuela, which is a Spanish version of the lute. His best-known work remains El Maestro, which was the first in a series of books on the vihuela. Some of his works were also dedicated to King John III of Portugal.
Manuel del Popolo García was a Spanish impresario, opera singer, composer, and teacher. Apart from composing and performing many operas, García also taught music to several aspiring singers, including his own children Maria Felicia Malibran, Pauline Viardot, and Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García.
Known as the man behind the formation of the Romeros guitar quartet, Celedonio Romero had begun playing the guitar at age 5. Apart from being a guitarist, he was a composer and poet, too. He later settled in the US with his family. He eventually lost his battle with lung cancer.
Initially a choirboy, Felipe Pedrell later became known as the founder of modern Spanish musicology. He was not just the first Spanish musician to develop traditional music but also the first Catalan Modernist musician to contribute to foreign music movements. His works include collections of operas and folk songs.
Pablo Sciuto is an Uruguayan musician, poet, composer, and record producer. He has created a unique style of music that combines elements of indie pop, Jazz, Candombe, and Bossa Nova with an electronic sound. He began his career as a teenager and has collaborated with artists like Jorge Drexler, Pablo Guerrero, Gustavo Pena, and Ana Prada.