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Ricardo Vines (1875 - 1943)

Ricardo Viñes’s father was a lawyer and his mother a musician. In 1882 he began studies in harmony and piano with Joaquin Terraza, an organist in his home town of Lérida. He then studied at the conservatory in Barcelona with Juan Pujol, gaining a premier prix. At the suggestion of Albéniz, Viñes continued his studies at the Paris Conservatoire with Charles de Bériot (1833–1914); and a year after gaining a premier prix in 1895, made his Paris debut at the Salle Pleyel with a programme which included a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Appassionata’ Sonata. Afterwards he toured Europe and Russia. It was at the Paris Conservatoire that Viñes met Ravel (whose mother also spoke Spanish), and this was the beginning of a long friendship.

Viñes was always interested in the work of contemporary composers such as Ravel, Debussy, Albéniz and Falla. He was the dedicatee of Poissons d’Or by Debussy, the Menuet antique and Oiseaux tristes by Ravel and Falla’s Noches en los jardines de España. In 1898 he gave two concerts in Brussels. The first was of repertoire by Beethoven, Bach–Tausig, Grieg, Liadov and Leschetizky, and it generated excellent reviews which encouraged his audience to return for the second, in which his programme was of contemporary composers, Franck, Saint-Saëns, Dubois, d’Indy and Fauré.




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