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Alicia de Larrocha

Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts 1994

Daughter and niece of pupils of Granados, from a very early age Alicia de Larrocha (Barcelona, Spain, 1923 – 2009) grew up in a musical environment. Shortly after, this was complemented by sound teachings from the person who was to continue the work of the Granados Academy, his pupil Frank Marshal. There she was to meet Rubinstein, Sauer, Cortot and other great pianists of the time. Although she progressively gave short recitals, she was to make her debut with an orchestra in 1936 alongside Maestros Joan Lamote de Grignon in Barcelona and Enrique Fernández Arbós in Madrid. After 1939, she began to be invited to play with European Musical Societies and orchestras. She made her debut in the USA in 1954, when Alfred Wallenstein invited her to tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From that moment on, she performed at the most prestigious festivals alongside the greatest orchestras and conductors of world renown. One of her most cherished memories was her collaboration with Francis Poulenc in Barcelona, performing his “Concert for Two Pianos”. She also valued and cherished her numerous collaborations with singers, violoncellists, violinists and chamber ensembles. Her concert tours covered the five continents.

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She was awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Michigan, Middlebury College-Vermont and Carnegie Mellon, she was an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid (1981), of the Academy of Our Lady of Anguish in Granada (1994) and of the Royal Academy of Saint George in Barcelona (2000), as well as Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (Paris, 1988). She held the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (Madrid, 1982), the Guerero Foundation of Spanish Music Award (Madrid, 1999) and the UNESCO Prize (Paris, 1995) among many other distinctions. Her recording career was recognised with four Grammy Awards (Burbank, Ca., 1974, 1975, 1988, 1991); three Edison Awards (Amsterdam, 1968, 1978, 1989); two Grand Prix du Disque (Paris, 1960, 1974); two Records of the Year (London, 1971, 1974); a Deutsche Schallplattenpreis (Hanmburg, 1979) and a Franz Liszt Award (Budapest, 1980).

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