On June 4, 2014 Rafael Frübeck de Burgos announced his retirement. He was 80 years old and conducted his last concert on March 14 with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. Less than a week later the news from Spain is that he has passed away.
Frübeck de Burgos had been in failing health for some time but it was only this month that he publicly stated that he was suffering from cancer. The celebrated Spanish conductor had a major international career and conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra more than 150 times. He had a close association with the Montreal Symphony and at the time of his retirement he was principal conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony.
In our video he conducts his own orchestration of Granada from the Suite Espanola by Albeniz with the Danish Radio Symphony.
Frübeck de Burgos was authoritative in the music of Spanish composers but he also conducted French and German music with equal mastery. I first saw him conduct at a summer concert in Saratoga, New York. He led the Philadelphia Orchestra in Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps – from memory.
Paul E. Robinson