The figure of Ángel Barrios (1882-1964) must be appreciated from different angles. On the one hand, he was a composer, musician and guitarist; an artist of great inspiration and a wellspring of music. He was a successor of the style of Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909), and drew inspiration from folklore and flamenco in search of their essence to transform them into elegant, refined music, filled with delicacy and nuances

On the other hand, his interests were multi-faceted and included the preservation of cultural heritage, the management of public resources, the organisation of various artistic events, teaching and active participation in different forums where the intellectuals of his time – from many different fields – gathered to contribute and share their thoughts, ideas and knowledge.

Ángel Barrios Fernández, son of Antonio Barrios Tamayo and Eloísa Fernández – the name she gave herself as she had been christened Manuela – was the nucleus of a family that enjoyed great importance and influence within the grounds of the Alhambra during the last decades of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The father, Antonio Barrios, was a charismatic figure who cordially welcomed travellers, musicians and artists during their stay at the Alhambra. The family home, built on the ancient bathhouse of the Great Mosque of the Alhambra, also housed a business that was something between a tavern and a shop, serving as both lodgings and a meeting place within the inhabited neighbourhood of the Alhambra; a neighbourhood that was artisanal as well as aristocratic.

The place was known as the Polinario tavern and it became a sort of cultural heart of the Granada of that time. Its owner, Antonio Barrios, popularly known as ‘El Polinario’, was also a cobbler, painter and collector. Blessed with a gift for conversation and an exceptional talent for the guitar – he was a purist yet also wont to improvise – Barrios was knowledgeable about all forms of flamenco, and his home became a bastion of classical flamenco, of cante ‘hondo’ (or ‘deep’ singing, as he called it) and the guitar as a solo instrument.


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Full biography of Ángel Barrios

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Chronology of Ángel Barrios


How to get there

Access to the temporary exhibition and the museum

New recordings

Discover new recordings of the work of Ángel Barrios and his contemporaries

Alhambra: cultural landscape

Strategic commitment for the development and the cultural re-evolution of his city


A window with a view of time

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