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The Focus-Abengoa Foundation celebrates Saint Ferdinand´s Day with a Mass-Concert

May 27, 2005

Seville, May 27, 2005. - Next Monday, May 30, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation will celebrate the Feast of Saint Ferdinand, the patron saint of Los Venerables’ Church, with a Mass-Concert that will be given, at 19:00 hours, by the Foundation’s titular organist, Jose Enrique Ayarra, who will be accompanied by the Sevillian guitarist, Maria Esther Guzman.

This concert will bring the Focus-Abengoa Foundation’s Cycle of Master Organ Concerts in Hospital de los Venerables, in Seville, to a close. These organ concerts have been organized as part of the Foundation’s music program for the 2004-2005 Season which, as in previous years, has had the organ as the central instrument. The instrument was built by the prestigious German organ master-maker, Gerhard Grenzing, upon request by the Foundation, and incorporated in los Venerables’ church in 1991. Since then, the Foundation has become a promoter of the organ and its music in Seville, a key city in the organ-music history of Spain and its dissemination throughout Latin America. The los Venerables’ organ is considered the best of its kind among those built in the 20th century in Europe for Baroque music.

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.

Maria Esther Guzman (Guitar)

She was born in Seville into a family descendant of the Guervos, an illustrious dynasty of musicians. A student of America Martinez at the Superior College of Music of Seville, she won the Extraordinary Completion of Guitar Studies Prize in 1985. Since then, she has won six national and thirteen international prizes. She perfected her studies with masters of the caliber of, among others, A. Carlevaro, L. Blouwer and D. Russell. As a concert player, she has performed at the most important scenarios in Europe, Asia and America; and when she is not performing she is teaching the guitar in the San Francisco de Paula College, in Seville. She is also a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Art of Saint Isabel of Hungary, of Seville.

José Enrique Ayarra Jarne

Born in Jaca (Huesca), he began to study music at the age of three. He qualified as a Piano Professor at the School of Music of Zaragoza at the age of eleven and graduated in Organ music and Gregorian chant from 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. He is an 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.

He 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 in Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia, and has made radio broadcasts for different radio and television channels of a dozen countries, and has made recordings 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 organ of los Venerables, for RTVE (2003). He will be shortly setting off on his annual tour of concerts abroad which, this year, will take him to Mexico, Japan, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland, among others.

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