(b Burgos, 7 Sept 1896; d Madrid, 26 Nov 1981). Spanish guitarist, teacher and composer. He studied with Daniel Fortea, a student of Tárrega, and was strongly influenced by Llobet Soles. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s he toured extensively in Europe, North and South America, and in some African countries. He also toured Japan in the 1950s. In 1940 Sainz de la Maza gave the première in Barcelona of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, dedicated to him and written at his instigation. He made the first recording of the work in the 1940s, with the Spanish National Orchestra under Ataulfo Argenta, and gave numerous performances of it in Europe and the Americas. Many other works were dedicated to him by other Spanish composers of the ‘Generación del 27’, among them Antonio José’s 1933 Sonata. Sainz de la Maza’s interpretations were admired for their rigour and elegance and a style that was according to Rodrigo, ‘as he was: lean, precise [and] to the point’.
Sainz de la Maza was professor of guitar at the Madrid Conservatory from 1935 until his retirement in 1969 and wrote music criticism for the Spanish daily ABC from 1939 to 1952. He was elected to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes in 1956. As a composer, he wrote exclusively for the guitar in a stylized idiom that drew heavily on Castilian and Andalusian folksong; some of his works have become popular standards in the guitar repertory.