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Rafael Puyana
Birth: Oct. 14, 1931
Bogota
Distrito Capital, Colombia
Death: Mar. 1, 2013
Paris
City of Paris
Īle-de-France, France

Musician. A harpsichordist, he is remembered as the late 20th century's premier exponent of his instrument. Born Rafael Antonio Lazara Puyana Michelsen, he manifested his talent early, began formal piano study at six, and at 13 made a well received recital debut at Bogata's Teatro Colon. At 16 he relocated to Boston for study at the New England Conservatory and while there developed an attraction to the then largely ignored harpsichord then after further education at Hartford, Connecticut's Hartt School began private training with the legendary harpsichordist Wanda Landowska (1879-1959) at her Connecticut home in 1951. Puyana made his 1957 harpsichord recital bow at New York's Town Hall on an instrument constructed for Madame Landowska, his program largely centered on compositions by 18th century grandmasters Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. First heard at Boston in 1961, he made his 1966 London debut at Wigmore Hall. Puyana studied composition with Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979) in Paris and settled in the French capital from whence he based his international career and where he was a respected teacher. He won a 1968 Grand Prix du Disque for a recording of the Bach Flute Sonatas made with Maxine Larrieu and though he always programmed Bach, Scarlatti, and Pachelbel he also played pieces written for him by Stephen Dodgson, Alain Louvier, Federico Mompou, and others while earning praise with compositions commissioned by Madame Landowska from Manuel de Falla and Francis Poulenc. With time he became unhappy with the popularity of 'period interpretation', considering the harpsichords and other instruments touted for their supposedly 'authentic' sound too weak to do the music justice; his problem was solved when he discovered a large three-keyboard harpsichord built in 1740 by German master Hieronymus Hass, an instrument which after extensive and expensive restoration he used for the remainder of his life. Puyana stayed active, lived out his days in his adopted home, and at his death left a large recorded legacy, particular favorites being his readings of the "Fandango" by Antonio Soler and of the anonymous "My Lady Carey's Dompe". At his demise a two CD set made on the Hass harpsichord was pending release, one disc containing Bach's Six Keyboard Partitas and the other Scarlatti's Sonatas. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Cementerio Central
Bogota
Distrito Capital, Colombia
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: Mar 16, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106773369
Rafael Puyana
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Rafael Puyana
Added by: Davine Harding
 
Rafael Puyana
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
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