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Albeniz, Granados, and Falla

When it comes to Spanish composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the three most important names are certainly Isaac Albeniz, Enrique Granados, and Manuel de Falla – all composers who brilliantly integrated Spanish folk influences into the Western classical tradition. All three were great pianists, and Albeniz and Granados in particular had important careers as solo performers. Both those men, in fact, continued the long tradition of the composer/virtuosos who enriched the solo piano repertoire by writing pieces to showcase their own spectacular talents.

Albeniz had perhaps the most colorful childhood of the three—he was performing in public by the age of 9, and by the age of 15 had played concerts all over the world—and Granados certainly had the most tragic end. In 1916 he played at the White House for Woodrow Wilson, but on his voyage back to Europe his ship was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, and he and his wife both drowned.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.