Classical Guitarist / Composer 1874-1909
Francisco Tárrega was born on November 21, 1852, in Villareal, Spain to a very musical family.
His father, a guitarist, pushed for his son to learn piano as well as the guitar at a very early age. Francisco was plagued with an eye infection around the age of 3 years old and complete blindness was a possibility.
Tárrega’s father thought that if Francisco were to become completely blind he would have a better chance of becoming a professional musician as a pianist rather than a guitarist.
In 1874, Tárrega entered the Madrid Royal Conservatory and began touring as a concert guitarist shortly after. Tárrega’s piano skills are an important part of understanding his compositions and arrangements.
He used his knowledge of the piano to write and arrange for the guitar in a way that had not been done before. These compositional techniques combined with Tárregas’s use of rest stroke, vibrato, and his superior Torres guitar helped him develop a voice all his own and earned him the phrase “Father of the Classical Guitar.