Albeniz, Isaac


Spanish pianist and composer, who has been markedly successful. He was born at Comproden, Spain. Albeniz was an infant prodigy, beginning to play on the piano when but three years old. He was sent to Paris to study under the famous Marmontel, and in Barcelona, at the age of seven, made a public appearance. In Madrid, the child pianist gave many successful concerts. When only ten years old he left home, feeling able to care for himself, and, the following year, he visited North and South America, where he traveled and gave concerts in various places. In Cuba he and his father, from whom he had been estranged, became reconciled, and the latter persuaded him to enter upon a serious course of study. His American tour defrayed expenses for a period of instruction at Leipzic, where he was under Reinecke and Jadassohn. For further study he was granted a pension by the Queen, and at Brussels studied the piano under Brassin, harmony with Dupont, and composition with Geyaert. Under Liszt he completed his studies. In 1881 Albeniz again toured the United States, and on this tour was very successful. In London and other European capitals he has won many triumphs as a concert pianist. While occupying the position of Court Pianist at Madrid, permission was obtained of Queen Christina for a ten years' leave of absence from Spain, and he took up his residence in London. Albeniz has published numerous compositions for the piano, is the author of the very successful comic operas, The Magic Opal, Enrico Clifford, and Pepita Jimenez; and of San Antonio de la Florida, a zarzuela.