“THIS DAY IN CUBAN HISTORY…. – Ernesto Lecuona”

A publication of the Cuban Studies Institute

Ernesto Lecuona (8/6/1895-11/29/1963).  Pianist and composer.   A child prodigy who is known to have played at age five, he had a superb technique as a pianist, giving piano recitals and popularizing Cuban and Afro-Cuban melodies in North and South America, France and Spain.  His most famous composition is the operetta Maria la O; others include El Cafetal, El Batey, Rosa la china, and La Flor del sitio, all with lyrics by Gustavo Sánchez Galarraga.  He also composed over 200 songs, of which “Malagueña,” “La Comparsa,” “Siboney,” and “Siempre en mi corazón” were enthusiastically received in both Cuba and abroad and have retained their popularity for nearly half a century.  Hollywood used his “With a Song in My Heart” as the theme of the movie of the same title. He also composed boleros and zarzuelas. He died in Spain, where he was exiled after the Revolution of 1959.

*Jaime Suchlicki is Director of the Cuban Studies Institute, CSI, a non-profit research group in Coral Gables, FL. He is the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro & Beyond, now in its 5th edition; Mexico: From Montezuma to the Rise of the PAN, 2nd edition, and of the recently published Breve Historia de Cuba.