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May

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation celebrates a mass-concert for the festival of St. Fernando.

May 29, 2007

Seville, 29 May. On Wednesday 30 at 12.30, the Focus-Abengoa Foundation will celebrate a mass-concert in the Hospital de los Venerables church, headquarters of the Foundation, to celebrate the festival of St. Fernando, the patron saint of Seville and the Venerables church. The concert will be directed by José Enrique Ayarra, the resident organist of the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, accompanied by the choir and the chamber orchestra of the Capilla Musical of Pamplona cathedral, conducted by Aurelio Sagaseta. Entrance is free although seats are limited.

On the same day at 20.30 the choir will also give an extraordinary concert in the Hospital de los Venerables. Tickets are on sale through the Focus-Abengoa Foundation at €12. The program for this concert includes works by Sevillian musicians such as Cristóbal Morales and Francisco de Guerrero, musicians that worked for Seville cathedral, such as Alonso de Mudarra and Alonso Lobo, and musicians who composed for Pamplona cathedral, such as Julián Prieto, Francisco de la Huerta, Mariano García and Hilarión Eslava in particular.

This concert is part of a series organised by Seville city hall through the Seville Culture and Arts Institute (ICAS), which incorporates the Focus-Abengoa Foundation, and features some of the aforementioned musicians who have composed for the cathedral. The series is based around "The Myth of Don Juan", which first appears in literature in “El Burlador de Sevilla” by Tirso de Molina in the 17th century, a work set in 16th century Seville. In the 18th century, the figure of Don Juan was magnificently brought to life again in Mozart’s "Don Giovanni", an opera also set in the same city, and in 1844 José Zorrilla concluded the representation of the Don Juan character with his distinguished "Don Juan Tenorio".

The Capilla de Música of Pamplona Cathedral is the oldest musical institution in Navarre. Its founding bylaws date back to the 12th century and it has played an important role at various times in history, always in relation to great events such as the coronations of kings in the cathedral, the appointment of bishops or official visits.

It is currently in great demand and gives more than 60 performances each year in Spain and in cities such as Paris, New York, Strasbourg, Brussels, etc., both for religious concerts in the main cathedrals as well as in various concert halls. All of these performances feature Spanish music in general and the music of Navarre in particular.

The 8th centenary of its founding was celebrated in 2006 with concerts and special events and it received the Pamplona City Gold Medal from Pamplona City Council.

Aurelio Sagasta has been the canon and chapel maestro of Pamplona cathedral since 1962. His work has always been connected to the cathedral, although he has not been exclusively tied to conducting the orchestra. He has also carried out music research in Navarre, where he continued the works of his maestro Higinio Anglés, teaching in the “Pablo Sarasate” Higher Conservatory. He has collaborated in numerous works, including the “Great Encyclopaedia of Navarre”, and although he is currently retired he continues as the chapel maestro of the cathedral. He has been a fellow of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Madrid since 1986.

José Enrique Ayarra qualified as a piano teacher at the Zaragoza Conservatory at eleven years old and also holds a diploma in organ and Gregorian singing from the Institut Catholique de París. He is the resident canon organist of the Hospital de los Venerables cathedral in Seville and has been organ professor at the Higher Conservatory in Seville from 1979 to 2002.

A fellow of numerous academies, such as the San Fernando Academy of Madrid or the Fine Arts Academy of Madrid, he has received numerous awards, such as the “Andalusia Prize” for music (1990) or the “City of Seville” prize (1996) from the regional government of Andalusia. As a soloist, he has given recitals in more than thirty countries in Europe, Africa, America and Asia and he has given courses at American and Japanese universities and German academies. His work as a researcher has principally focused on the Andalusian heritage of sacred music.

The Focus-Abengoa Foundation was started in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos (Themes of Seville) and Iconografía de Sevilla (Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and recordings on the Kingdom of Seville and Sevillian authors was created at the same time. This initial cultural work showed Abengoa’s directors the importance to the company, beyond its technology based work, of its involvement in cultural activities that would directly benefit society, and out of this the Cultural Fund Foundation of Seville was created.



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