Our “genius of the day” today, is the Cuban composer, arranger, violinist, pianist and orchestral director Rodrigo Prats, He was born on February 7, 1909 and died on September 15, 1980. It’s amazing, Leo, that when Prats was thirteen he played violin in the Cuban Jazz Band, the first band of its type in Cuba, which was directed by his father.
I had no idea! I do know that at about the same time he joined the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Habana, founded by Gonzalo Roig. Prats' first work as a director of an orchestra was for the theatrical company of the legendary dramaturge Arquímedes Pous.
He was the founder of the radio band Orquesta Sinfónica del Aire, he was the musical director of RHC-Cadena Azul, and of Canal 4 de TV. Prats also founded and directed at the Teatro Jorge Anckermann, and then the musical director of the Teatro Lírico de La Habana.
Prats composed 'Una rosa de Francia', a famous criolla-bolero, at 15, and many other pieces, including Aquella noche, Espero de ti, Creo que te quiero and El tamalero.
He wrote the music for short comedies or sainetes such as El bravo and Soledad, and zarzuelas such as Amalia Batista, El pirata, Guamá, La perla del Caribe and María Belén Chacón. It is probably this work for the Cuban musical theatre for which he is best remembered in Cuba.
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