Waldo de los Rios

Born: September 7th, 1934, Buenos Aires (Argentina)
Died: March 28th, 1977, Madrid (Spain)
Nationality: Argentine

Waldo de los Rios studied composition and arranging at the National Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires. He lived a couple of years in the United States (1958-’62) before moving to Spain. There, he had some success with his Argentine group Los Waldos, which crossed folk music with electronical sounds; De los Rios was the formation’s pianist and wrote all arrangements. He wrote music for films and was the arranger for various pop artists in the recording studio, including Raphael, Facundo Cabral, and Paloma San Basilio. In 1970, Spanish singer Miguel Rios scored an international hit with a piece of Beethoven, ‘Ode to Joy’, re-arranged by Waldo de los Rios. One year later, De los Rios recorded Mozart’s Symphony no. 40 with the Orquesta Manuel de Falla, a string orchestra with a percussion section added to it; although the piece was heavily criticized as sacrilege, it became a number-one-hit in the Netherlands and a major success in many other European countries. In the years after, De los Rios reworked many more classical works for his string orchestra, including Verdi’s ‘Nabucco’.

The only South American conductor ever to appear in the Eurovision Song Contest, Waldo de los Rios, arranged and conducted ‘En un mundo nuevo’, which was sung by Karina and represented Spain in the 1971 festival in Dublin. It finished second behind ‘Un banc, un arbre, une rue’, performed by Sévérine for Monaco.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Waldo de los Rios will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1971: En un mundo nuevo