Enric Madriguera

b. 17 February 1904, Barcelona, Spain, d. 7 September 1975. A child prodigy on violin, Madriguera played concerts in Spain and France before studying music with Leopold Auer at Barcelona Conservatory. After emigrating to the USA, he played as soloist with the Boston and Chicago Symphony Orchestras and, while still in his twenties, became conductor of the Cuban Philharmonic, later joining NBC in New York as concertmaster. While visiting Colombia he worked as musical director for the Columbia Records’ subsidiary there; as a result Madriguera became interested in dance music, forming his first band for the Havana Casino. Back in New York, he recorded with the group for the parent Columbia company. Madriguera’s occupation for the eight years of his popular career was as leading violinist of a society band, which debuted in 1932 at the Commodore, Biltmore and Weylin hotels in New York. Helen Ward was his vocalist in her pre- Benny Goodman days; her place was later taken by Patricia Gilmore, who subsequently married Madriguera. In 1940, his musical policy became almost exclusively Latin-American for recording contracts with RCA Records and Brunswick as well as for the usual Columbia releases, so much so that he was known as ‘Musical Ambassador Of The Americas’. Madriguera compositions include a stage musical The Moor And The Gipsy, a ballet Follies Of Spain, and many popular songs including ‘Adios’ and ‘The Minute Samba’. When the band business had no more to offer, Mr. and Mrs. Madriguera retired to an old inn and country house in Connecticut where they continued to entertain visitors until his death in 1975.

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