Born: January 31st, 1919, Amposta (Spain)
Died: February 2nd, 2014
Adolfo Ventas (full name: Adolfo Ventas i Rodriguez) was an infant prodigy and graduated from a local music school with certificates in solfège, saxophone, and violin when he was eleven years old. Two years later, he started studying the violin, clarinet, and saxophone at the Barcelona Conservatory. At fifteen, he was a professional musician, playing the saxophone in various orchestras with which he initially mainly performed abroad, touring in Europe and the Spanish and French colonies in Northern Africa during the dark days of the Spanish Civil War. In 1938, he met Joaquín Rodrigo (composer of ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’) in Paris, who taught him harmony. In 1949, Ventas was proclaimed Spain’s best jazz clarinettist. Later, he became the saxophonist in the City Band of Barcelona. In the 1950s, Ventas started working extensively as an arranger and conductor in the recording studio, working with artists such as Salomé, Conchita Bautista, Los TNT, Manolo Escobar, and Frida Boccara. He was appointed professor at the Barcelona Conservatory in 1969. After his retirement, Ventas wholly devoted himself to composing; his oeuvre includes many classical pieces, amongst which a concerto for clarinet and choral music.
Adolfo Ventas accompanied Conchita Bautista, when she participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time – in 1965, with ‘Qué bueno, qué bueno’. Ventas had written the orchestration to it and conducted the Eurovision orchestra in Naples for her. The Spanish entry finished joint-last without a single point scored. Three years before, he had been responsible for writing the arrangement of another Spanish entry, ‘Llamame’, sung by Victor Balaguer.
In due course, a more extensive biography of Adolfo Ventas will be published on this website
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