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Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

conductor
1933
2014
© Per Morten Abrahamsen

Spain will forever be in debt to Maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos for modernizing and promoting spanish music in the 20th and the 21st centuries. Honouring the legacy of his elder compatriots, maestros Ataúlfo Argenta, Bartolomé Pérez Casas and Enrique Fernández Arbós, Frühbeck – as he was known to friends and colleagues – dedicated himself to a life of and with music. At a very early age, Frühbeck learnt the musical profession from within the orchestra, playing the violin in theatre orchestras. His versatile musical training and superior intellectual background, together with his studies in Spain and Germany, shaped the dedicated artist who passionately lived and breathed his profession.

In Spain, Frühbeck worked with the Spanish National Orchestra as Principal Conductor from 1962 to 1978, and again from 1997 as Conductor Emeritus. He was the first Spanish conductor to achieve an international top career. He quickly became a favourite among American and Canadian orchestras, resulting in a 35-year relationship with the Philadelphia Orchestra, ten years as Principal Conductor of the National Symphony, and more than 15 consecutive years conducting the Boston Symphony.

Frühbeck’s hallmark was the incredibly exquisite sound he managed to inspire in every orchestra he ever worked with. He was renowned for his rehearsal technique and his no-nonsense focus and efficient style, but also for his warmth, his great respect for music and musicians alike, his great sense of humour and his integrity in all matters, professional and private.

– Douglas Sheldon (Senior Vice President, Columbia Artist Management Inc.) & Humberto Orán (President and Founder, Musiespana), 2016