Ernesto Lecuona was perhaps the leading Cuban composer of the first half of the 20th century, contributing a large number of songs, piano music, orchestral scores and film music. He was born in Havana and lived exclusively in ranches and farms in Cuba, raising small animals and exotic birds as a hobby. However, he also spent much time in the US, being one of the first to successfully introduce Latin style music to mainstream US audiences. When Castro came to power in Cuba he vowed never to play again until both Castro and communism were removed. Travelling widely he died in Tenerife where he was on vacation and attending a concert held in his honour.
In all Lecuona wrote 176 pieces for solo piano, of which the most famous are the six which comprise the Andalucia Suite: Cordoba, Andaluza, Alhambra, Gitanerias, Guadalquivir and Malagueña. Malagueña ("of Malaga") became one of his best known compositions, and is styled after the traditional dance of the Malaga region of Spain.
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