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Alirio Diaz

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Alirio Díaz is a consummate classical guitarist. (Born: November 12, 1923 in Venezuela)

The eighth of eleven children, Díaz was born at the Caserio La Candelaria, a small village near Carora in western Venezuela. From childhood he showed a great interest in music. At age 16 he ran away from home to Carora, where he sought better schooling. He later went to Trujillo, in the Venezuelan Andes, and studied saxophone and clarinet under Laudelino Mejías while working as a typesetter in a newspaper. He also studied English and typewriting before going to Caracas in 1945 to study the guitar at the Escuela Superior de Musica José Ángel Lamas under maestro Raul Borges.

In 1950 the Venezuelan Government awarded him a scholarship to continue his guitar studies in Madrid, under Regino Sainz de la Maza. That same year he performed his first guitar concert in Europe. In 1951 he went to Siena (Italy), seeking to study with Andrés Segovia. There he impressed Segovia so much with his flawless technique and extensive repertoire that the maestro could not but agree. Three years later, he progressed to become the assistant and substitute to Segovia, and started performing in some of the most prestigious concert halls of Europe.

In 1961, Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo’s piece Invocación y Danza —dedicated to Alirio Díaz— won the First Prize at the Coupe International de Guitare, awarded by the Office de Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française (ORTF).

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