Rafael Orozco (pianist)

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Rafael Orozco Flores (24 January 1946 – 24 April 1996)[1] was a Spanish classical pianist. Orozco is acclaimed as one of the great Spanish concert pianists.[2]

Rafael Orozco came from a musical family in Córdoba and studied with José Cubiles,[3] Alexis Weissenberg[4] and Maria Curcio, the last and favourite pupil of Artur Schnabel.[5] His professional career began after he won first prize in the 1966 Leeds International Piano Competition in the UK.

His large repertoire included works by Franz Liszt, Franz Schubert, Manuel de Falla, Sergei Rachmaninoff[6] and Isaac Albéniz. He gave recitals on five continents and participated as soloist[7] with the world's great orchestras, including Cleveland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Berlin, Vienna, Paris, and London. Orozco also participated in music festivals at Osaka, Praga, Berlin, Santander, Edinburgh, Spoleto, and Aldeburgh.

Orozco's playing was used in Ken Russell's 1970 film The Music Lovers, based on the life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.

In 1986, Córdoba awarded Orozco the Gold Medal of the city and the title of Hijo Predilecto (Favourite Son).[3]

Orozco died of AIDS in 1996. The Conservatorio Superior de Música Rafael Orozco de Córdoba is named in his honour.[8]


  1. ^ Bithell, Peter (1 May 1996). "Obituary: Rafael Orozco". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2021.
  2. ^ H&B Recordings commentary on 2005 re-issue of earlier RTVE Classics recording. "Grandes Pianistas Españoles - Rafael Orozco". The premature death of Rafael Orozco, a pianist who was at the pinnacle of the piano world and the height of his career, was a major blow to the world of classical music. He left a small but stunning legacy of commercial recordings, yet this newly released recording from the RTVE shows him to be an even more supercharged player when before a live audience.
  3. ^ a b Juan Miguel Moreno Calderón, Director del Conservatorio Superior de Música Rafael Orozco (25 April 2006). "Diez Años sin Rafael Orozco (Ten Years without Rafael Orozco)". Córdoba (Diario Córdoba).
  4. ^ Peter Bithell (2 May 1996). "Obituary: Rafael Orozco". The Independent (abstract on highbeam.com). Archived from the original on 16 May 2011.
  5. ^ The Guardian, 14 April 2009
  6. ^ "Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No.3, Cadenza (live, Rafael Orozco)" on YouTube
  7. ^ Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 88 notes pour piano solo, "Solo nec plus ultra", Neva Editions, 2015, p.51. ISBN 978 2 3505 5192 0.
  8. ^ Conservatorio Superior de Música Rafael Orozco. (Rafael Orozco High Conservatory of Music)