Friday 4 June 1971


Born: January 31st, 1919, Amposta (Spain)
Died: February 2nd, 2014, Barcelona (Spain)
Nationality: Spanish

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Adolfo Ventas i Rodriguez was an infant prodigy and graduated from a local music school with certificates in solfège, saxophone, and violin when he was 11 years old. Two years later, he started studying the violin, clarinet, and saxophone at the Barcelona Conservatory. At fifteen, he was a professional musician, playing the saxophone in various orchestras with which he initially mainly performed abroad, touring in Europe and the Spanish and French colonies in Northern Africa during the dark days of the Spanish Civil War. In 1938, he met Joaquín Rodrigo (composer of ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’) in Paris, who taught him harmony. In 1949, Ventas was proclaimed Spain’s best jazz clarinettist. Later, he became the saxophonist in the City Band of Barcelona. 

In the 1950s, Ventas started working extensively as an arranger and conductor in the recording studio, working with artists such as Salomé, Conchita Bautista, Los TNT, Manolo Escobar, and Frida Boccara. He was appointed professor at the Barcelona Conservatory in 1969. After his retirement, Ventas wholly devoted himself to composing; his oeuvre includes many classical pieces, amongst which a concerto for clarinet and choral music.


Adolfo Ventas accompanied Conchita Bautista, when she participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time – in 1965, with ‘Qué bueno, qué bueno’. Ventas had written the orchestration to it and conducted the Eurovision orchestra in Naples for her. The Spanish entry finished joint-last without a single point scored. 

Three years before, he had been responsible for writing the studio arrangement of another Spanish entry, ‘Llamame’, sung by Victor Balaguer - which was markedly different from the live version performed in Luxembourg, arranged by Antonio Moya. Moya was also due to conduct the orchestra for Balaguer, but, for some reason, Moya could not make it to the contest and was replaced by resident conductor Jean Roderes.


Country – Spain
Song title – "Llámame"
Rendition – Victor Balaguer
Lyrics – Miguel Portoles
Composition – Mario Selles
Studio arrangement – Adolfo Ventas
Live orchestration – Antonio Moya
Conductor – Jean Roderes (MD)
Score – 13th place (0 votes)

Country – Spain
Song title – "Qué bueno, qué bueno"
Rendition – Conchita Bautista
Lyrics – Antonio Figueroa Egea
Composition – Antonio Figueroa Egea
Studio arrangement – Adolfo Ventas
Live orchestration – Adolfo Ventas
Conductor – Adolfo Ventas
Score – 15th place (0 votes)

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