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Alicia De Larrocha

Alicia de Larrocha y de la Calle (23 May 1923 – 25 September 2009) was a Spanish pianist, widely considered to be one of the greatest of her generation She was born in Barcelona, and began studying piano with Frank Marshall in Spain at age three. She performed her first concert at the age of six at the World's Fair in Seville in 1929, and had her orchestral debut at the age of 11. She began touring internationally in 1947, and in 1954 toured North America with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. De Larrocha has made numerous recordings of solo piano repertoire and she is generally seen as an advocate of Spanish works. She is best known for her recordings of the music of Enrique Granados and Isaac Albéniz, as well as her 1967 recordings of Antonio Soler's piano sonatas. She won her first Grammy Award in 1975 and again, as recently as 1992, at the age of almost seventy. As De Larrocha aged, she began to play a different style of music. She was originally a Mozart player, but she wanted to spread Latin and Spanish music to the world. This is one reason why she is now best known for her recordings of Granados and Albeniz. As of 1995, she was still active as a pianist, but conceded having to make adjustments with age. For a pianist her hands are small, her height is under 150 centimetres, but she has grown even smaller with age. This led to her having to quit playing Rachmaninoff. She received the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts in 1994. Alicia de Larrocha died on 25 September 2009 in Quiron Hospital, Barcelona, aged 86. Culture Minister Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde said: "She was an extraordinary ambassador for Spain".

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