The Dallas Morning News

Joaquin Rodrigo's Texas Connections

The Dallas Morning News' July 7 obituary on the great Spanish composer, Joaquin Rodrigo, didn't mention that the composer of the legendary Concierto de Aranjuez has two Texas connections, including a Dallas-Fort Worth one.

In 1966, guitarist Celedonio Romero and Victor Alessandro, music director of the San Antonio Symphony, commissioned Rodrigo - a close friend of the Romero family - to compose a piece for the Romeros Quartet. The result was the Concierto Andaluz for four guitars and orchestra, which the San Antonio Symphony world-premiered with the Romeros on Nov. 18, 1967, with whom they also made the first recording. The piece has since been performed hundreds of times around the world, including by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

In 1982, at the suggestion of their friend, guitarist Pepe Romero, Carol and William McKay of Forth Worth commissioned Rodrigo to compose a piece to mark the occasion of their two daughters' debutante ball. The Concierto para una fiesta was to be Rodrigo's final guitar concerto. Pepe Romero gave its world premiere at the McKay party on March 6, 1983, with members of the Forst Worth Symphony, John Giordano conducting. Mr. Romero also recorded it on the Philips label with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and conductor Sir Neville Marriner. Carol McKay, by the way, recently presented the original score to the Romero family.

Laurel Ornish, Dallas


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