Juan Crisóstomo Jacobo Antonio de Arriaga y Balzola (January 27, 1806 ? January 17, 1826) was a Spanish composer. He was nicknamed the "Spanish Mozart" after he died, because, like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he was also a child prodigy and an accomplished composer who died young. Whether by coincidence or design, they also shared the same first and second baptismal names; and they shared the same birthday, January 27 (fifty years apart).
Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga was born in Bilbao, Biscay, on what would have been Mozart's fiftieth birthday. His father and older brother first taught him music. He then studied the violin under Pierre Baillot, and counterpoint and harmony under François-Joseph Fétis at the Paris Conservatoire. He was so talented that he soon became a teaching assistant in Fétis's class. He 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, reflecting his early death. It includes:
Opera: Arriaga wrote an opera, Los esclavos felices ('The Happy Slaves'), in 1820 when he was thirteen. It was produced in Bilbao. Only the overture and some fragments have survived.
Symphony: Arriaga composed a Symphony in D?which uses D major and D minor so equally as to not actually be in either key.
String quartets: Arriaga wrote three sparkling and idiomatic string quartets at the age of eighteen. These were the only works of his published during his lifetime.
Other works: Arriaga also wrote the following: An octet, Nada y Mucho
Pieces of church music: a Mass (lost), Stabat Mater, Salve Regina, Et vitam venturi saeculi (lost), cantatas (Agar, Erminia, All' Aurora, Patria)
Instrumental compositions: a nonet, Tres Estudios de Caracter for piano, La Hungara for violin and piano, Variations for String Quartet and numerous Romances
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