Rodrigo was born in Sagunto and was blind from the age of three as a result of a bout of diphtheria. He studied music under Francisco Antich in Valencia and under Paul Dukas in Paris. After briefly returning to Spain, he went to Paris again to study musicology, first under Maurice Emmanuel and then André Pirro .
Rodrigo's most famous work was the Concierto de Aranjuez (1939), a concerto for solo classical guitar and orchestra. The central adagio movement is one of the most recognizable in 20th century classical music, featuring the interplay of guitar with English horn.
The success of this piece led to commissions from a number of prominent soloists, including the flautist James Galway and the cellist Julian Lloyd Webber. His Concierto Andaluz, for four guitars and orchestra, was comissioned by Celedonio Romero for himself and his three sons.
For guitar and orchestra
- Concierto de Aranjuez
- Concierto Andaluz
- Fantasia para un Gentilhombre
- Concierto Madrigal
For harp and orchestra
- Concierto serenata
For piano and orchestra:
- Piano Concerto
- Robert Peter Antecki's Rodrigo site