Albéniz was born Logroño, La Rioja. He began his studies with his father Mateo Albéniz, a notable church musician in Spain. He furthered his education in Paris, where he was instructed by eminent teachers and received musical advice from Rossini.
Returning to Spain, he served as organist at the Church of Santa María in San Sebastián and then became a professor at the Madrid Royal Conservatory, organist of the Capilla Real, and the personal piano teacher of Queen Isabella II. He died in Madrid.
His career as a concert pianist did not maintain the splendor of its beginnings, because he dedicated himself instead to teaching. He was a mediocre composer who was subsequently remembered chiefly for his piano method, which was studied by all Spanish pianists at the Madrid Conservatory during the mid-19th century.
Notes and references
- Edgar Istel and Frederick H. Martens (1929). "Isaac Albéniz". The Musical Quarterly 15 (1): 117.