Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga
He was born in Bilbao, where his father and older brother prepared him to be a child prodigy. He studied the violin under Pierre Baillot, and counterpoint and harmony under François-Joseph Fétis at the Paris Conservatoire. He was so good, he soon became a teaching assistant in Fétis's class. Arriaga died in Paris at the age of nineteen, of a lung ailment, or exhaustion, perhaps both.
The amount of music by Arriaga which has survived to the present day is quite small, but despite his early death includes an opera (Los esclavos felices (The Happy Slaves), 1820), a Symphony in D (which uses D major and D minor so equally as to not actually be in either key) and three string quartets.
Following his early death, with the only reliable biographical material being some reports by Fétis, Arriaga's life story was fictionalized to play into rising Spanish nationalism.
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