Isaac Albéniz was one of Spain’s great national composers. He was a child prodigy who gave his first public piano performance at the age of 4. As a youngster, he studied at the Madrid Conservatory and in 1879 won the Brussels Conservatory’s first prize. Franz Liszt was also one of his teachers.
Albéniz traveled widely, living at various times in London and Paris where he taught, composed and performed. He is most famous for his piano music, including, Iberia, an impressionistic 12-section suite that describes Spanish places and dances. Because Albéniz wanted to create authentic serious music for his native country, Iberia includes traditional folk melodies and rhythms. It was completed shortly before his death in 1909 and remains a favorite with audiences today.