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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation commences its Cycle of Organ Master Concerts

February 1, 2005

Seville, February 1, 2005. - Today, at 20:30 hrs, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation gets its Cycle of Organ Master Concerts under way at the Hospital de los Venerables, in Seville. The concerts, which will continue through to next may 30, are part of the Foundation’s musical program for the 2004-2005 Season.

As in previous years, the central instrument in the Foundation’s music program is the organ, built in 1991 by the prestigious German organ master-maker, Gerhard Grenzing, upon request by the Foundation, for the Church of los Venerables.

This year, three master concerts included in the Cycle entitled Along the roads of European art as of from the age of Quixote, will be given within a month by Luigi F. Tagliavini (Italy), Ghislain Leroy (France) and Roman Perucki (Poland).

Two other concerts will be given by José Enrique Ayarra Jarne, the Foundation’s titular organist, one with the Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville, with Biao Xue conducting, and another with the Sevillian guitarist Maria Esther Guzman. They will be given in May and will bring the music program to a close. All the concerts will be broadcast by Spain National Radio (RNE) on its Classical Music channel.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was established in 1982 as a consequence of the cultural activity initiated in 1972 by Abengoa with the publishing of the works “Sevillian Topics” and “Iconography of Seville”. During this same period a collection of documents, books and prints on Seville, or by Sevillian authors, was being put together. This initial cultural activity brought Abengoa’s senior management to see the importance of the company being seen outside its essential technological functions through an activity that would be of benefit to society as a whole, which led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla.

The Foundation’s activities have been ever-increasing, while complying unwaveringly with its foundational objective of promoting culture in its different artistic and scientific manifestations. The major protagonists in the existence of Focus-Abengoa have been education, painting, restoration and music, closely followed by seminars, the written word and prints.


Tuesday, February 1

The organist, spinet-player and musicologist Luigi F. Tagliavini was born in Bologna in 1929, and studied at the Schools of Music of Bologna and Paris, and at the University of Padua.

After teaching the organ at the Schools of Music of Bolzano, Parma and Bologna, he was appointed, in 1965, director of the Institute of Musicology of the University of Fryeburg, in Switzerland.

His musicology works include critical editions of works for keyboards by Mozart and other sixteenth and seventeenth century authors. He has been a member of different commissions for safeguarding and supervising restoration works on historic organs, in Italy and Switzerland. As an organist and spinet-player, he has given concerts worldwide; and his recordings include the integral recording of the Frescobaldi's "Fiori Musicali", the complete series of P. Soler's concerts for two organs, B. Pasquini's sonatas for two keyboard instruments, etc., with which he has won numerous prestigious prizes in Italy, France and Germany.

In 1974, he received the gold medal from the Ministry of Public Education of Italy. In 1982, the "Tiroler Adler" gold medal from the Government of Tirol (Austria). In 1991, the "Massimo Mila" award from the Italian music critics. In 1985, he was named International Performer of the Year by the A.G.O. of New York. He is, since 1992, a member of the Academy of Saint Cecilia of Rome; since 1996, Doctor Honoris Causa of the University of Edinburgh; and since 1999, of the University of Bologna. He is also, since 2000, Honorary Citizen of the City of Dallas, Texas.

Tuesday, February 8

Ghislain Leroy was born in Tourcoing (France) in 1982. He studied solfa, piano and organ while also doing his secondary education level studies in his home town. From 2001 to 2003, he did the master F.H. Houbart's courses at the Rueil-Malmaison Region's National School of Music, where he won several first prizes. In 2003, he was admitted in J.F. Zigel's harmony class at the Superior National School of Music of Paris, and the organ classes of the S.N.S.M of Lyon, which were given, first, by Jean Boyer and, later, by Louis Robilliard. He is currently perfecting his studies with the masters Liesbeth Schumberger and Francois Espinasse.

The Jury of the 5th International Organ Competition of Villa de Paris, chaired by Michel Chapuis, and of which José Enrique Ayarra, titular organist of the Cathedral and the Focus-Abengoa Foundation of Seville, was a member, awarded him the Grand Prix d'Interpretation in 2004, which gave him instant international recognition at the young age of twenty-two. That year, he played, among other works, Thomas Lacôte's Two Organ Pieces at the Superior National School of Music of Lyon.

Tuesday, February 15

Roman Perucki studied organ music at the Academy of Music of the City of Gdansk (Poland) under the tutorship of Professor Leon Bator, and attended other master courses in Poland and abroad.

He is currently the titular organist of Gdansk Oliva Cathedral's famous organ; and he has given concerts throughout Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia. As coordinator of the "J.P. Sweekink" International Organ Competition, held regularly in Gdansk, he has often been invited to be a member of the jury at competitions as prestigious as that of Kaltern (Italy), Opava (Czech Republic), Kaliningrad (Russia), Paris (France), among others. Moreover, he is director of the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra; president of the Friends of the Arch-cathedral of Oliva's "Musica Sacra" Society, and is responsible for organizing the International Organ Festival of the City of Gdansk, and other festivals in Rumia, Wdzydze and Morag.

Sunday, April 10

José Enrique Ayarra was born in Jaca (Huesca) and, at the age of three, began to study music. He qualified as a Piano Professor at the School of Music of Zaragoza at the age of eleven and a Graduate in Organ music and Gregorian chant by the Catholic Institute of Paris. He is a graduate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of Salamanca and is titular Canonical Organist of the Cathedral and Hospital de los Venerables, of Seville. He was Organ Professor at the Superior School of Music of Seville, from 1979 to 2002. H is a Numerary Academic of the Seville Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Isabel of Hungary, a fellow of the Academies of Saint Ferdinand (Madrid) and Our lady of the Anguishes (Granada), technical-musical advisor of the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville, of the Department of Artistic Patrimony of the Archbishopric of Seville and of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, was General Coordinator of the 3rd Spanish National Organ Congress (organized by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, Seville, 1998), and is President of the Hispano Organ Association (AOH).

Among the prizes he has won, we would mention the Regional Government of Andalusia's "Andalusia" Music Prize in 1990. He has given concerts in more than thirty countries of Europe, Africa, America and Asia, and has made radio broadcasts for different radio and television channels of a dozen countries, and has made records playing organs at different European schools, among which we would especially mention that of the integral work of Francisco Correa de Arauxo on historic Andalusian instruments, that of Spanish music for the organ on the Beckerat of Yamaguchi (Japan), for the NHK, and the work Baroque airs on the organ of los Venerables, for RTVE (2003), on the Focus-Abengoa Foundation's "Grenzing.

The Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville

Since 1998, the Chamber Orchestra of the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville has been incorporating an ever-growing repertoire that includes the main chamber music pieces, covering a historic period commencing in the baroque period (J.S. Bach, Handel…) and continuing through to the music of the great classical and romantic composers (E. Elgar, E. Grieg, F. Mendelssohn, W.A. Mozart...), and the Spanish composers (I. Albéniz, J.C. Arriaga, J. Turbina...)

Monday, May 30

Maria Esther Guzman was born in Seville and at a very early age demonstrated an enormous aptitude for music and a predilection for the guitar. She made her first public appearance in the Lope de Vega Theater at the age of four. At eleven years of age, she won 1st Prize in RTVE's Competition, where the Master, J. Rodrigo, was jury-chair.

She did her music studies at the Superior School of Music of Seville under the tutorship of America Martinez, which she completed in 1985 winning the First Extraordinary End-of-Studies Prize. She subsequently perfected her playing technique with masters such as, Abel Carlevaro, Leo Brouwer, Alirio Diaz and David Russell, among others.

Among the prizes she has won, we would especially mention her six national and thirteen international prizes, some of which are of major importance such as the Andres Segovia (La Herradura, 1987) and Regino Sainz de la Maza (Okayama, 1988) prizes.

Since 1998, she has been going on annual tours of, and making recordings in Japan. She has recorded 1 LP, 16 CDs and 4 videos. Following research work, she has made a CD of the music of the Spanish 19th century composer, Julian Arcas, which has been awarded a prize by the music magazine RITMO. In 2001, she was made a Numerary Academic of the Sevillian Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Saint Isabel of Hungary.

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