Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga is a Mexican actor, singer and producer. He is one of the most successful actors in Mexico. His new album “Dejate Llevar” put him on top of charts throughout Latin America
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga is a Spanish singer, songwriter, actor, and producer. He was born on January 1, 1978 in Madrid. His career began when he won the Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Dare to Dream” in 2004. His first album came out in 2005 and his second album came out in 2008.
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga’s brilliant career, called the “Spanish Mozart” by late-nineteenth-century musicians, was cruelly cut short by his death only ten days before his twentieth birthday. His current renown is based as much on his great potential as it is on his actual musical accomplishment (of which there is, sadly, quite little).
Arriaga was born in the Basque town of Bilbao on January 27, 1806 (50 years to the day after Mozart). An account of his life by musicologist and composer Francois Fétis (with whom Arriaga would later study) indicates that young Juan Crisóstomo received almost no childhood training in music, though it is quite possible that this account (like many later ones, including those that claim Arriaga was born two years later than he actually was) is slanted so as to make Arriaga’s already exceptional precociousness even more pronounced. Arriaga’s compositions in Bilbao, although not as well produced as the music from only a few years later, show no lack of formal knowledge in any case. He was also a talented musician as a child, however it’s unclear if his skills stemmed entirely from natural talent or was aided by study with an unknown violinist.
Arriaga joined at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 15, where he played violin with Pierre Baillot and received counterpoint and harmony training from Fétis. He won the second prize in fugue and counterpoint at the Conservatoire in 1823, and was soon engaged as an assistant for one of the Conservatoire’s harmony classes. He released three string quartets in 1824. (D minor, A major, and E flat major). Arriaga spent the last two years of his life concentrating on vocal and choral music (both holy and secular, including such large-scale works as the Stabat Mater, a lost mass, and multiple cantatas/dramatic “scenes”), yet he still managed to finish the enormous Symphony in D major. A lung infection might have been the cause of his death.
Arriaga was fundamentally a conservative composer whose inner individuality was strong enough to shine through despite the Paris Conservatoire’s strict academic restrictions of the time. The Italian influence that pervades Arriaga’s early music (including the Overture for orchestra, Op. 1, and the opera The Happy Slaves, which premiered in Bilbao in 1820) was almost immediately discarded upon entering the Conservatoire, where Arriaga’s developing contrapuntal and harmonic skills enabled him to forge an elegant style that owes much to the aristocratic, formal (but still very flexible) outlines of the Viennese Classical masters
Arriaga was previously a forgotten character in music history, but he was reintroduced to the concert hall in the late nineteenth century, and a publishing drive in his hometown of Bilbao began in the middle of the twentieth century. Arriaga’s little contribution to the concert repertoire, on the other hand, has guaranteed that he remains a little-known and underappreciated musical treasure.
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