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The conferences are complemented with a cycle of recitals entitled "The Organ in the Great European Cities of the Baroque Era" which will be given by well-nown organists

November 8, 2005

Seville, 7 November 2005. Today the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and the Menéndez Pelayo International University (UIMP) have begun the second course of the School of the Baroque, entitled European Capitals. The Moment of the Baroque, which will be held from 7 to 11 November in the Los Venerables Hospital in Seville, headquarters of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation.

The keynote address was given by Cesare de Seta, professor at the University of Naples and co-director, together with Vicente Lleó, professor at the University of Seville, of this second edition of the School of the Baroque.

This session analysed the course’s objective and programme, which will include a number of conferences scheduled to take place throughout the week and boasts the participation of notably prestigious academic specialists. Additionally, these conferences will be complemented by a series of organ recitals by young artists, entitled The Organ in the Great European Cities of the Baroque, as well as by two educational visits to the Church of the Hospital of the Venerables and the Archivo de Indias.

When the Royal Courts of the Modern era established themselves in specific cities, as opposed to the itinerant Medieval Courts, these same cities became over time the capitals of their respective kingdoms. However, the idea of a capital city goes beyond mere administrative or bureaucratic importance; the new capitals/ courts embody complex systems of representation – of power relationships, of political objectives or of ever-changing alliances – becoming, at the same time, epicentres of a unique culture.

The aim of the course European Capitals: The Moment of the Baroque is to follow the trail of this rich thematic framework which ranges over a multitude of topics, from urban development to symbolism and from politics to economics, by analysing some of the principal European capital cities: Palermo, Rome, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Seville and Naples.


Palermo in the Viceroyalty Period: organised by Maria Giuffré, professor at the University of Palermo.
Rome, Capital of Christendom: Alessandra Anselmi, tenured professor at the University of Calabria.
London after the Great Fire: Marcus Binney. President of SAVE Britain’s Heritage.
Madrid: from Habsburgs to Bourbons: Fernando Marías Franco, professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid.
The Concept of the Court as a Metacapital: Adolfo Carrasco, tenured professor at the University of Valladolid.
Seville, Capital of an Empire: Antonio Miguel Bernal, professor of the University of Seville.
Seville as the Court. The five years of Phillip V: Vicente Lleó, professor at the University of Seville.
Naples in the Viceroyalty Period: Cesare de Seta, professor of History of Architecture at the Federico II University of Naples.

In addition, the organisers decided that it would be advisable to incorporate music into the School’s programme under the title The Organ in the Great European Cities of the Baroque and thus present as broad an overview as possible of the organ’s contribution to the Baroque artistic heritage of such significant European cities as Amsterdam, Paris, Lübeck, Prague, Venice, Rome, Seville or Lisbon, among others. Three young Spanish organists will be responsible for this musical exhibition: Eudald Dantí Roura (Catalonia), Jesús Gonzalo López (Aragon) and Susana García Lastra (Asturias), all of whom have attained and demonstrated a very high level of artistic ability and are especially noted for their interpretations of Baroque music.

The School of the Baroque is the result of a collaboration agreement between the Focus-Abengoa Foundation and the Menéndez Pelayo International University, which has brought about the creation of two Schools with triennial programmes – one dedicated to the Baroque and the other to technology. The courses offered by both schools are included in the academic offering of the UIMP in Seville, turning the Hospital of Los Venerables in Seville into a forum of encounters and reflections monitored by professors and researchers of international renown. The Schools programmes include university-type courses, with a total duration of 30 lecture hours each, which boast the participation of notably prestigious academic specialists.

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 the 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 in turn led to the founding of the Fundación Fondo de Cultura of Seville.

The activities of the Foundation have grown in strength and number in faithful adherence to its corporate purpose, which is the promotion of culture in its many artistic and scientific expressions. The activities of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation have mainly been focused on education, painting, restoration and music, and to a lesser degree on seminars, literary publications and etchings.

Cesare de Seta

Professor of History of Architecture at the Federico II University of Naples. In 1976 he was appointed director of studies of the School of Superior Studies of Social Sciences of Paris, where he teaches periodically; he is also director of the project Atlas of European Cities at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris, and of the Centre for Iconographic Studies of the European City, at the Federico II University of Naples. During his academic career he has taught at Columbia University (New York), the Courtland Institute (University of London), and the Polytechnic School of Zurich; he has also taught courses at other centres, both in Italy and abroad. He has published numerous books that have been translated into a variety of languages. In 1991, de Seta was appointed director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Paris. He has published three novels: Era di Maggio (1991), La Dimenticanza (1994) and Terremoti (2002), the latter being first runner-up for the Strega prize. He is a frequent contributor to the daily newspaper “La Reppublica” as well as to numerous Italian and foreign magazines.

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