Andrés Segovia Torres

Doctor: D. Andrés Segovia Torres Marqués de Salobreña
Propuesta: Facultad de Filosofía y Letras
Padrino: Prof. Dr. D. Juan Antonio Pérez-Bustamante de Monesterio
Celebración: Facultad de Medicina 10 de diciembre de 1982
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The master Andres Segovia was born in Linares (Jaen) in 1893, where he lived near a guitar shop, so he commented that “the guitar effluvia caressed my cradle.

His family moved to Granada, where his self-taught guitar learning began, only supported by brief musical studies at the Music Institute of Granada. His willpower and thoroughness allowed him to discover the enormous possibilities of the instrument despite his youth.

In 1910, when he was only 16 years old, he gave his first guitar recital at the Centro Artistico de Granada, and received very positive reviews that encouraged him to continue giving recitals throughout Andalusia. His presentation came in 1913, with his performance at the Ateneo in Madrid. His tours of Spain followed, despite his youth, and in 1919 he travelled abroad for the first time: first to Latin American countries, later to Europe. In his eagerness to expand the repertoire of the guitar, at that time very meagre, he got some of his composer friends to begin to write for his instrument (among them, Villalobos, Rodrigo and Ponce). In 1924 he triumphed in Paris, fascinating the public and critics. His concert in New York prompted the following New York Times commentary: “He makes the colour of half a dozen instruments appear from the guitar … A rare New York audience was so unanimous and warm in giving its approval and acceptance”.

Andres Segovia expanded his repertoire thanks to his research work, which led him to study and adapt works of the most renowned vihuelists. His adaptations include those made from works for the lute by Johann Sebastian Bach. The premiere of the Chacha de Bacha, transcribed by him, achieved memorable success in Paris. His musical tours took him to places as far away as Japan or Australia, an activity that he did not renounce even after his 90th birthday. His love of reading led him to begin, at over 70 years old, a book of memories entitled “La guitarra y yo” (The guitar and I). The guitar owes to Andres Segovia having been rescued from the folkloric level it was at and the expansion of its repertoire. He wanted to raise it definitively, turning it into a polyphonic instrument, and he succeeded. In addition, he has influenced those responsible for the best academies and conservatories in the world to open the teaching of this instrument, offering himself to give master classes in Los Angeles, Siena, Santiago de Compostela, Granada, Geneva and even in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York.

His tireless work earned him the Cross of Isabel the Catholic, the Cross of Alfonso X the Wise, the Medal of Merit to Work, the Medal of the Fine Arts, the National Music Award and other awards in Spain and abroad. In 1981, he was granted the noble title of Marquis of Salobreña. Master Segovia was an academic of several Academies of Fine Arts (Rome, Stockholm, Madrid, Seville, Granada …), and Honorary Doctorate of the Universities of Oxford, Santiago de Compostela, Autonoma de Madrid, Granada, Loyola, North Carolina, Florida, and of the International College of Los Angeles, as well as of the University of Cadiz. He died in Madrid on the 3rd of June 1987.