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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation presents the RTVE-Music recording of Baroque Airs on the los Venerables Organ

May 6, 2005

Seville, May 6, 2005. Today, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation organized an informative encounter at 12:30 hours in the Foundation’s Hospital de los Venerables headquarters, to present the recording entitled Baroque Airs on the los Venerables Organ, released by Spain Radio and Television (RTVE).

The event was attended by Rafael Rodriguez Guerrero, regional manager of Spain National radio for Andalusia, Jose Enrique Ayarra, canonic titular organist of the Cathedral of Seville and the Hospital de los Venerables, Ramon Maria Serrera, music critic, and Anabel Morillo Leon, general manager of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation.

The recording is of organ music exclusively, an instrument also known as the “ king of all instruments” upon it being the largest musical instrument by size, range, tone and variety of sounds, with a varied typology over the centuries and according to regions. In Spain, the organ has a rich history as regards construction, in which Seville has been one of its protagonists, and creation.

The repertoire chosen for this recording released by RTVE-Music, revolves around German baroque with works by D. Buxtehude, J.S. Bach, and G.F Handel, and Spanish baroque, including a piece by the Seville composer F. Correa de Arauxo. He is the maximum representative of the Spanish organ of his time, and possibly in the entire history of the Spanish organ, along with Cabezon and Cabanilles. The work entitled Reredos of los Venerables (Retablo de los Venerables) by the Seville composer Manuel Castillo.

The piece entitled Reredos of los Venerables was expressly composed upon request by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, to celebrate the inauguration of its new organ, the construction of which had been entrusted to the German master organ-builder, Gerhard Grenzing, and which was incorporated in the Hospital de los Venerables church on November 5, 1991. Since its inauguration, all Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s musical activities have evolved around this instrument. This has made our headquarters an organ and organ music diffusion center in Seville, in Spain and its dissemination throughout Latin America. In addition, the los Venerables organ is considered the best of its style among those built in the 20th century, in Europe, for baroque music.

José Enrique Ayarra Jarne

He 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.

Jose Enrique Ayarra 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 Andalusia instruments, that of Spanish music for the organ on the Beckerat of Yamaguchi (Japan), for the NHK, and the work Baroque airs on the los Venerables organ, for RTVE (2003). He will shortly be commencing his annual tour of concerts abroad which, this year, will take him to, among other countries, Mexico, Japan, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.

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. True to this objective, it has organized an Educational Tour Service for students and other social groups, Closed-Door Visits, and provides exhibition-specific audio-guide services in several languages. In addition, the public can visit its headquarters every Sunday afternoon, all year round, free of charge.

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