(b Madrid, 5 May 1846; d Madrid, 20 June 1908). Spanish composer. The foremost zarzuela composer of his day, he was discovered by Barbieri while imprisoned after an uprising in 1865. His strong melodic talent but initially modest grasp of compositional technique led him to work closely with the more polished Joaquín Valverde between 1875 and about 1890. The partnership produced the cult one-act zarzuela La canción de la Lola (1880) as well as the revue La Gran Vía (1886), which remains one of the few native stage works to have achieved fame outside Spain. His later, unaided works include El bateo (‘The Baptism’, 1901) and the brilliant Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente (‘Water, Sweets, and Spirits’, 1897), a vivid celebration of Madrid life. Always immensely popular, Chueca is now acquiring academic respectability for the subtle musical organization of his one-act zarzuelas into effective dance suites.
From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.