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Claudio Brindis de Salas
*Claudio Brindis de Salas was born on this date in 1852. He was an Afro Cuban violinist and double bass player.
Born in Havana, his father was the violinist and bandleader, Claudio Brindis de Salas. Young de Salas studied under his father, and maestros José Redondo and the Belgian José Van der Gutch (who lived in Havana). In 1863 he first performed in public, in Havana, with Van der Gutch as accompanist. Ignacio Cervantes also played at the same function. In 1864 he toured with his father and his brother José del Rosario in the Cuban cities of Matanzas, Cárdenas, Cienfuegos and Güines; in 1869 to Veracruz, México.
He went from México to Paris, to study under Hubert Léonard and Charles Dancla, and gained entry to Conservatoire de Paris, where he won first prize in 1871. He then toured Florence, Turin, and Milan, where he played at La Scala. His tours in Europe brought great critical and public enthusiasm. In 1875, he returned to the Americas and was appointed director of the Conservatoire de Haiti.
He played in Caracas (1876), in Havana (1878), and in Santiago de Cuba. In later years he played in St Petersburg (1881), New York (1887), Barcelona (1889), Santo Domingo (1895), San Juan, Puerto Rico, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (1896), Caracas (1899), Tenerife (1902), Ronda, Spain (1911), and ended his career in Argentina.
In Buenos Aires he was given a Stradivarius; when he stayed in Berlin, he married a white-German woman, was appointed chamber musician to the Emperor and became a German citizen. Claudio Brindis de Salas Garrido died on June 1, 1911, from tuberculosis in Buenos Aires. In 1930 his remains were transferred to Havana, the church, Iglesias de San Francisco de Paula, Havana, contains his ashes.