Joseph White (José White Lafitte)

1836 - 1918

Cuban

Biography

Joseph White (José White Lafitte) was a Cuban violinist and composer.

White gave his first concert in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1854. He was accompanied by the visiting American pianist-composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who encouraged White and raised money to fund his violin studies at the Paris Conservatory.

From 1877 to 1889 White directed the Imperial Conservatory in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he served as court musician for the Emperor Pedro II, before returning to Paris to spend the rest of his life. His most famous work is La Bella Cubana, an habanera. White's virtuosic violin concerto from 1864 can be heard on Spotify with soloist Aaron Rosand and the London Symphony led by Paul Freeman.

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