By Lucía Vélez
His complete name was Francisco de Asís Tárrega Eixea. He was born in Villareal, a city in Castellón, on 21st November 1852. He had an accident when he was young that changed his life: he fell into a canal and his sight got damaged. His father, afraid because of his son could be blind, moved to Castellón, for him to take music lessons. There, he started to play the guitar and got guitar lessons with Julián Arcas.
Some years after that, he moved again, to Madrid, and started to play the piano in Madrid’s conservatory. He continued playing the guitar. He also studied composition with Emilio Arrieta. In 1869 he got an exceptional instrument, a special guitar built by Antonio Torres, and with it he gave some concerts in Paris and London in 1880.
At the end of 19th century, he did lots of tours, doing at the same time some transcriptions of classic works, complementing them with some of his own works. While he was composing, he mixed some of the music in romantic style with some typical Spanish music, like other compositors of that time.
In 1906 he had to stop playing the guitar because of an illness that paralyzed all his right side of the body. After that, he died in Barcelona in 1909.
In my opinion, Tárrega is a very admirable, and what he did is very remarkable, because he had problems in his sight, but he didn’t let that prevent him from doing what he wanted to do. He is also a great composer and, if you like the guitar’s sound, I recommend you to listen to him, because his songs have a lot of quality. For me is a great example, and I would like to play, maybe one day, a little bit like he did.