Victoria Kamhi

Today, March 8th, in our commitment to equality, we spotlight our “heroine” 

Victoria Kamhi Arditti
was a 20th century Turkish  pianist and writer who lived in Spain, the wife and inseparable companion of Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. 

She was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on the banks of the Bosporus, in 1902. The daugher of Sephardic Jewish parents, Victoria's family belonged to the Turkish high bourgeoisie.  Her father was Ottoman and her mother Viennese.

Her musical talent became evident very early and she began to study the piano at the age of four. In Vienna she was a pupil of Jerzy Lalewicz and later studied in Paris with Lazare Levy and with the illustrious Catalan pianist, Ricardo Viñes. With the latter she worked on Spanish repertoire, from Albéniz to Turina and Rodrigo, whom she married in 1933.

From the time of her marriage to Joaquín Rodrigo, Victoria gave up her carrer as pianist to devote all her efforts to his production, collaborating with him on musical and literary aspects. She wrote the script for his ballets "Pavana Real" and "Juana y los Caldereros", and adapted the texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls for "Himnos de los Neófitos de Qumrán" and the zarzuela "El hijo fingido". She was also author of the German and French versions of "Música para un códice salmantino" on Miguel de Unamuno's "Oda de Salamanca", of  both versions for "Ausencias de Dulcinea" from Miguel de Cervantes, as well as the majority of Joaquín Rodrigo's songs. 

In 1986 her memoirs, "De la mano de Joaquín Rodrigo", were published, and these were later translated to English and published in the United States under the title "Hand in Hand with Joaquín Rodrigo. My life at the Maestro's side". The French edition, "Main dans la main avec Joaquín Rodrigo" appeared in 2004.

Victoria Kamhi died on July 21, 1997, two years before her husband's death.  


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