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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation commences its Musical Programme of Organ Concerts with Auditions for Inexperienced Organists

November 5, 2004

Seville, November 5th, 2004. - For another year running, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation inaugurates its musical programme for the 2004-2005 academic year which begins on November 8th at 20:30h, at its headquarters in the Hospital de los Venerables, with the Cycle of Auditions for Inexperienced Organists, which this year is dedicated to the Sevillian organist Francisco Correa de Arauxo (1584-1654) in the 350 th anniversary of his death.

As in past years, the Foundation's musical programme is centred on the organ, the instrument built by the prestigious German organ-maker; Gerhard Grenzing incorporated by the Foundation to the Chapel of the Hospital de los Venerables in 1991. Since then the Foundation has become the central promoter of the organ and its music in Seville, a key city in the history of the organ in Spain and of its projection throughout Latin America.

In promoting these musical activities, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation carries out an intense educational work aimed at different social groups, which with specifically designed actions, pursues the promotion of young musicians, study extensions for organ professors and students, and, in a special way, stimulates musical interest in pupils of Secondary Education and Conservatories. The educational focus for the 2004-2005 academic year takes shape in a Cycle of Auditions for inexperienced organists; a Cycle of Magisterial Concerts; to a Magisterial Organ Course given by an international figure, and a Cycle of Didactic Auditions aimed at scholars.

The Cycle of Auditions, which will be held from November 8-10th, will be interpreted by the organists Miguel González, Ignacio Ribas, and Susana García Lastra. The musicians will complete their programmes with pieces from other European authors of the Baroque era, allowing us to contrast and better understand the work of the great Sevillian organist, Francisco Correa de Arauxo, on the 350th anniversary of his death. This cycle will enable us to evaluate the extraordinary contribution to organ music made by the Sevillian composer, Correa de Arauxo, through his work Facultad Orgánica, a highly representative composition of the best Spanish organ music of all times. These concerts will be rebroadcast by Radio Nacional de España, on its radio station Radio Clásica.

Francisco Correa de Arauxo was born in Seville and at fifteen years old he became the regular organist of the Iglesia Colegial del Salvador. As a composer he left us one work: Facultad Orgánica, published in 1626 and formed by a set of 69 organ pieces which represent an unequalled organ treasure given its quality and variety.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was born in 1982 as a result of the cultural work initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the edition of the works Temas Sevillanos and Iconografía de Sevilla (Sevillian Themes and Iconography of Seville). During this same period, it began to create a collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville or on Sevillian authors. This cultural work helped Abengoa's Directors see the importance of displaying more than their essential technological functions with an activity which would benefit Society, thus creating the Cultural Fund of Seville Foundation (la Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla).

The Foundation's activities have increasingly grown, faithfully fulfilling their main objective to promote culture in different artistic and scientific expressions. The major players in the life of Focus-Abengoa have been education, painting, restoration and music, followed by seminars, books and engravings.

Musical Calendar Academia Year 2004-2005

This year the Magisterial Concerts will be interpreted by Francis Chapelet, Ghislain Leroy and Luigi F. Tagliavini. In addition to these three concerts, which will be held on three consecutive Tuesdays next February, the traditional organ and orchestra concert, with the participation of the Foundation's head organist, José Enrique Ayarra, and the Orchestra of the Chamber of the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Seville will take place in April, and also the traditional Concert-Mass on May 30th, the day of Saint Fernando, patron of the Chapel of the Venerables, which this year will also enjoy the participation of Mª Esther Guzmán, accompanied on the organ by Father Ayarra. All these concerts will be rebroadcast by Radio Nacional de España, on its radio station Radio Clásica.

The Didactic Auditions, aimed at 2nd year Secondary School students (ESO) from Sevillian institutes and schools, cover all the school year. The auditions consist of two parts which are clearly inter-related; a theoretical part on the nature and history of the instrument; given by professors from the schools, and a practical part which will be taught by organ students from the Music Conservatory of Seville, thus giving them the opportunity to take their first steps in concert-giving. In the latter years, these auditions have also been offered to pupils from different music conservatories in Seville.

The Magisterial Organ Course is organised yearly for organists and organ students from throughout Spain, and usually the greatest Masters of different European schools attend. This year we can enjoy the presence of the Italian organist Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, a great master of Italian music.

Finally, the Foundation is going to offer music lovers the recording made last year on the organ of los Venerables with RTVE's record label, and titled Aires barrocos en el órgano de los Venerables (Baroque Airs on the organ of los Venerables). The CD includes a series of organ pieces by Bach, Handel and Correa de Arauxo, one of the concerts for organ and orchestra by Handel, and the work of Manuel Castillo Retablos de los Venerables, a special request made by the Foundation to the Sevillian master upon the inauguration of Grenzing's organ. This CD will be accompanied by studies on the Sevillian organ and its projection towards Spanish America, performed by specialists on the subject.

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