‘Fantasía para un Gentilhombre’ de Joaquín Rodrigo for piano and guitar, played in perfect harmony by Maria Luisa Cantos and Pepe Romero, was the centrepiece of a concert marking the 40th anniversary of the Fundacion Musica Espanola Suiza, an organization created for the difusion of Spanish classical music.
The pianist, who is president of the Foundation, opened the commemorative event on October 17, 2019 at the University of Zurich with the work ‘Mazurca of Poetic Scenes’ composed by Enrique Granados.
The concert had been preceded by a string of other musical events earlier in the year, and it was the culmination of four decades of effort to place the rich and diverse styles of Spanish classical music at the heart of the international repertory.
The beautifully coordinated interpretations of the two musicians, both globally known artists, was received extremely well, prompting the lengthy applause of enthusiasts and experts including Professor Laurenz Lütteken, Director of the Musicology Institute of Zurich University and Pio Pellizzari of the Swiss Phonoteque.
The beautiful “Alte Kantonsschule” Hall was an ideal venue to demonstrate the emotional proximity and musical depth of the two interpreters, joined together in their common purpose of showcasing Spanish classical music.
Pepe Romero, who teaches at the University of South California, praised Maria Luisa Cantos for her efforts over the decades, noting that these included trawling through archives to rescue compositions from Spanish composers that were unknown even in Spain.
During the concert both artists proudly wore decorations previously bestowed on them by King Juan Carlos I, the Lazo de Dama de Isabel la Catolica and the Gran Cruz de Isabel la Catolica.
María Luisa Cantos expressed the deep thanks and appreciation of the Foundation to Pepe Romero for participating at the event, and presented him with a commemorative silver plate.
She also spoke of her gratitude for the support for the Foundation provided by the Swisss and Spanish authorities over the past four decades, and had kind words of thanks for several people who assisted at the concert and who had supported her work since her arrival in Switzerland in 1979.
Also speaking at the event were Juan Carlos Acevedo, Spanish Consul-General in Zurich (Switzerland) and Faustino Díaz, the Director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Zurich (Switzerland). In their comments, they praised the work of the Foundation and its president for building cultural, and specifically musical, bridges between the two countries.
Written by Paloma Caballero, journalist