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The Spanish pianist, Alicia de Larrocha, was born to pianist parents in Barcelona on 23 May 1923 and began studying piano when she was three years old, after observing her aunt, also a pianist, teaching pupils. She first performed in a concert at the age of five, and made her first recording aged nine.
Only 4' 9" tall, Larrocha gained an international reputation, especially for interpretations of her compatriots Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados, and was probably the leading Spanish pianist of her time.
When she died in Barcelona on 25 September 2009, aged 86, the Spanish culture minister described her as 'an extraordinary ambassador for Spain', and performances in many countries were dedicated to her.