Sweeping Away the Crowd Despite Adversity

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Sweeping Away the Crowd Despite Adversity
For centuries Spanish composers were overlooked due to the simple fact that they were never given the opportunity to become legendary. However, the Spanish composer and famous pianist Alicia de Larrocha made certain that she, as well as her fellow Spanish composers, were not overlooked any longer. Beginning in the early 1920’s, she began her extremely successful life and accomplished every one of her dreams and aspirations before she passed away in 2009. Alicia’s success can be exemplified through her personal relationships with those around her, by her distinct playing style, and the astonishing way she overcame obstacles she was faced with throughout her life that lead to the abundance of rewards she received.

Alicia de Larrocha formed a plethora of personal relationships throughout her remarkable life. Because she was born into an extremely musical family, one can assume that is why she was so excellent at playing the piano. “Alicia de Larrocha de la Calle was born on May 23rd, 1923, in the fourth floor of 263-bis Córecga Street, on the corner of Enrique Granados Street, in Barcelona” (“Alicia de Larrocha” 1). Her family was especially influential on Alicia’s musical interests, and according to Linkowski “her mother and aunt had studied with Granados (1867-1916), perhaps Spain’s best known composers…” (2). Because her family was so fluent in the art of music as well as playing the piano, Alicia was naturally intrigued by playing the piano. Although her family pushed Alicia to pursue music, it was Joaquin Turina, a friend of the family, who discovered that she had serious potential and is credited with making her famous. According to Alicia’s biography, “But it was Joaquin Turina who, when the young pianist was a mere five years old, discovered the young talent and helped her make her performing debut at a young age” (“Alicia De Larrocha Biography” 1). Without the assistance of Joaquin Turina, the world may have never been introduced to the amazing Alicia de Larrocha. Alicia also had a very close childhood friend that she was friends with for the remainder of her life. According to the “Alicia De Larrocha Biography,” “She met a famous child soprano Victoria de los Angeles when they were both still quite young, and the two remained friends for the rest of their lives”(1). It is also said that Alicia and Victoria would often play duos around Barcelona and in time they began to play across their country. (“Alicia De Larrocha Biography” 1). Because Alicia clearly had many very strong relationships, this enabled her to gain the personal skills she needed in order to be successful. Although Alicia had many childhood friends and a close familial relationship, she was also influenced strongly by her piano teacher. Alicia’s prominent piano teacher was Frank Marshall who was a disciple of Granados and was her only teacher (“Alicia de Larrocha May” 1). The relationship that Alicia had with Frank is one of her most important relationships she will form throughout her childhood; he gave her the discipline that she desperately needed to succeed. According to Matt Schudel, “Her teacher, however, insisted that she study the works of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven and would not allow her to play Spanish music until she was 15”(2). It is because of her teacher, Frank Marshall, that she was instructed to learn these composers’ music which influenced her in her later life to play them in her concerts. This also allowed her to become more comfortable with playing the piano and enabled her to read the music swiftly so that she was capable of playing Spanish music without a problem. Even though Alicia was able to form new friendships with people daily, there was one friend who she kept close to her heart from the time she was a small girl. Alicia de Larrocha formed a special friendship with Juan Torra when she was young and their friendship eventually transformed into a romance; “During her youth,...
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