Romero, founder and creator of the Romeros guitar quartet, died
on May 8, 1996 in San Diego. As the family says, "He is the
spirit of the quartet; all our concerts pay homage to him;"
his sons and grandsons will continue Celedonio's legacy.
Joaquín Rodrigo, one of Spain’s greatest
contemporary composers, said of Celedonio Romero: "He has
contributed immensely through his artistic interpretations
for classical guitar music. More importantly, he has enlarged
and enriched the repertoire of 20th century music with his
Composer, guitarist and poet Celedonio Romero was born on
March 2, 1913 in Cienfuegos, Cuba while his father, an architect
from Málaga, was constructing the Concert Hall in Cienfuegos.
At a very young age Celedonio returned with his family to
Málaga. Due to his prodigious talent on the guitar he was
largely self-taught on the instrument. He studied music and
received his degree at the Conservatory of Málaga.
He first performed in public at the age of 10. After his formal
debut at age 20, he played widely throughout Spain but was
refused permission to perform outside of his native country.
Deprived of his artistic freedom under the oppressive government
of Generalissimo Francisco Franco, Celedonio immigrated with
his family to the United States in 1957.
Within two years the family settled in southern California,
and Celedonio created a guitar quartet with his sons Celin,
Pepe, and Angel - The Romeros. In an article in The New York
Times, a noted critic wrote "…Collectively, they are the only
classical guitar quartet of real stature in the world today.
In fact, they virtually invented the format." They became
known as the "Royal Family of the Guitar". In 1990, grandson
Celino replaced Angel, and the quartet comprised three generations
of virtuosity. The family tradition continues with grandson
Lito Romero joining the quartet upon Celedonio Romero’s death.
After the quartet’s first tour of the United States in 1961,
they immediately went on to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show,
at Carnegie Hall, and at the Hollywood Bowl. Since then The
Romeros have played most of the great concert halls in America
and have performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra
in the world, including those of Cleveland, Chicago, New York,
Los Angeles, Houston, Pittsburgh, Boston, San Francisco and
Dallas in the United States, and The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields,
the Vienna Radio Orchestra and la Orquesta Nacionál de España
in Europe. They collaborated with many of the world’s finest
conductors. The Romeros have performed at the White House
by invitation of two Presidents, at the Vatican for Pope John
Paul II, for King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain,
and for His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
Celedonio’s voluminous discography, both in solo recordings
and with the quartet on the Delos and Philips labels, brought
his music to an ever-widening audience around the world.
Celedonio Romero was highly decorated for his contributions
to the Spanish culture and to the world of the classical guitar.
He was knighted by His Majesty King Juan Carlos I of Spain,
achieving the rank of Comendador de Número de la Orden de
Isabel la Catolica. He received many other high honors and
awards from leaders around the world including Caballero
del Santo Sepulcro ("Knight of the Holy Sepulchre") given
by Pope John Paul II. Among the local honors he received,
Celedonio was especially proud of the Beethoven Award presented
by KFSD, the classical radio station in San Diego, and "Celedonio
Romero Day" (January 14th) proclaimed by the Mayor of San
Diego. For his 80th birthday gala celebrations were held around
the world in Málaga, Sevilla, Berlin, London and San Diego.
The city of Málaga named him Hijo Predilecto con la Medalla
de Oro. In 1995, Celedonio was awarded the title of Doctor
Honoris Causa by the University of Victoria, British Columbia.
Much of the credit for today’s high regard for the classical
guitar can be attributed to the life work of Celedonio Romero.
His compositions for classical guitar, numbering over 100
(including ten concertos) have emerged as masterpieces for
the guitar. Joaquín Rodrigo said of Celedonio: "He has developed
the technique of the guitar by making what is difficult to
be easy. He is, without a doubt, the grand master of the guitar."
Celedonio Romero was known and respected around the world,
and The Celedonio Romero Method for the Classical Guitar is
taught in Master and Doctoral programs in the universities
of North America and Europe.
"Angelita, Mother of the Guitar, you are
a mixture of adventurer and idealistic warrior, defying death
itself. When we are next to you, there is nothing unreachable."
-- Pepe Romero
Angelita Romero was a singer and stage actress in Málaga,
Spain; she studied at Málaga's Royal Academy of Fine Arts
and graduated with highest honors. It was there that she met
a young guitarist, Celedonio Romero. He was 18 and she was
21; she instantly captivated him and they soon married. The
couple had three sons: Celin, Pepe and Angel. Their father
taught the boys guitar; Angelita taught them reading, writing
and literature. An avid reader and philosopher, she enhanced
their education with weekly trips to art museums. In teaching
the young Pepe, she dictated the entire text of Cervantes'
Don Quixote to him. She kept his hand-written copy
as one of her greatest treasures.
She overcame the huge difficulties of raising her young family
with undaunted courage. When facing the terror of post-civil
war Spain and the darkness that surrounded the family, her
words were always of hope. She fought against all forces;
she was unbeatable. During the 1930s, 40s and 50s, she was
part of the innermost literary and artistic circles in Spain.
An inspiration not only to her husband Celedonio, she was
a muse to many artists, poets and philosophers of the time.
The matriarch of the world's greatest family of guitarists,
Angelita Romero was always the driving force behind the family.
Throughout the careers of The Romeros, Angelita rarely missed
a concert of the quartet, her husband or her sons. She traveled
the world with her family and was always there to support
An accomplished castanet player, Mrs. Romero was often called
to the stage by her family during their concerts to perform
an encore with them. Her spirited playing and regal grace
always brought down the house. Famed Spanish composers Federico
Moreno Torroba, his son Federico Jr. and Reverend Francisco
de Madina wrote pieces for her, which she performed and recorded
on the Philips label. Joaquín Rodrigo called her one of the
greatest virtuosos of the castanets. One of her most rewarding
moments was performing at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II,
where he gave a special blessing to her castanets.
On her 80th birthday, the Vatican awarded Angelita Romero
the title "Lady of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
Angelita Romero died on March 10, 1999, surrounded by her
loving family, who feel her guiding presence in every aspect
of their lives.
some fortunate musicians, it is given to rise to the peak
of a musical art form; to some very few musicians, it is given
to originate an art form. The Romeros have achieved both.
The illustrious career of The Romeros is unmistakably a milestone
of twentieth century music. Celedonio Romero, with his sons
Celin, Pepe and Angel, founded the internationally renowned
ensemble known to millions as "The Royal Family of the Guitar."
With the introduction of Celin’s son, Celino, into the quartet
in 1990, and Angel ’s son Lito joining in 1996, the Romeros
encompass three generations of concert artists. To have so
many virtuosi of the same instrument in one family is unique
in the music world, and in the realm of the classical guitar
it is absolutely without precedent. Since the Romero family
came to the United States in 1957, they have consistently
dazzled audiences everywhere and have inspired enthusiastic
praise from critics coast to coast. The Romeros have given
thousands of concerts all over the world; today, they continue
to produce music which is extraordinary. Whether performing
as a quartet, duo or as soloists in recital and with symphony
orchestra, the Romeros prevail as champions in the realm of
sterling reputation of The Romeros has further been earned
by repeated appearances with virtually every major symphony
orchestra all over the world. Regular festival appearances
include the Hollywood Bowl, Blossom, Wolf Trap, Saratoga,
Flagstaff, Garden State, the Osaka in Japan Granada and Nerja
in Spain and many others.
The Romeros are extremely popular with college audiences and
make regular appearances on university series throughout the
country as well as on the fine arts series of major cities.
In New York they have appeared several times at Carnegie Hall,
at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, at the Cloisters
in upper Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park and on the Distinguished
Artists Series at Rockefeller University. In addition to their
extensive concertizing throughout the Untied States, they
also regularly tour Europe and the Far East playing in every
A number of important additions to the guitar repertoire have
been written for The Romeros by such distinguished composers
as Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Morton Gould,
Rev. Francisco de Madina and others. Television fans have
seen and heard the Romeros many times on interview shows including
the Tonight and Today shows as well as on PBS specials and
PBS’s telecast of Evening at the Boston Pops with The Romeros
performing Vivaldi and Rodrigo.
have done much to spread the international fame of The Romeros.
Their voluminous discography spans the repertoire of the classical
guitar from the works of its earliest composers to those of
today’s masters—Rodrigo and Moreno Torroba, as well as compositions
by Celedonio Romero and numerous transcriptions by The Romeros
Those who are privileged to hear these world-renowned musicians
perform have the delightful opportunity to experience a musical
phenomenon: "One of the enduring mysteries of musical talent
is how skills seem to flow genetically from musical parent
to musical child. In the Romero family the flow has been swift
and unimpeded. The virtuosity of the four Romeros was uniformly
solid and finely considered, as if these techniques had derived
from a single mold" (The New York Times).
Born into the world of classical guitar and gifted with
the talent of woodworking, Pepe Romero found his calling
not in only playing, but in building guitars. Pepe built
his first guitar in Bellingham,WA with Dake Traphegan. He
has studied in Spain with Manuel Contreras II, Jose Romanillos
and Miguel Rodriguez. From the beginning his guitars have
been in demand from anyone who has heard them played. His
father, Pepe Romero Sr., has toured with his guitars both
in Europe and the United States. Angel and Celin Romero
have also played Pepe's guitars, along with many other concert
guitarists. Each guitar is hand crafted by Pepe, and follows
in the tradition of his family by producing the finest quality
of sound and beauty.
....... Indian Rosewood
....... Brazilian Rosewood
.... Classical or Flamenco
For more information, or to place an order, please contact
Angelina Romero, second daughter of guitarist Pepe Romero,
demonstrated her heritage of musical inspiration and individual
idealism by beginning to study the piano at the age of
eight. Angelina, the first Romero offspring to play an
instrument other than the guitar, has studied privately
with Eliane Laussade, who was a pupil of Krause, and Zsuzsa
Heiligenberg, whose teacher was a pupil of Franz Liszt.
Angelina has attended piano master classes at the Mozarteum
in Salzburg, Austria, and holds a music degree from California
State University, Northridge, where she studied with Francois
Angelina has performed with her father both in Europe
and the United States, including a special concert in
Malaga, Spain, honoring her grandfather, Celedonio Romero.
Angelina teaches piano at her studio in Carlsbad, California,
where she lives with her husband and two children.
To contact e-mail: Angelina's