Both Andrés Segovia and José Miguel Ruiz Morales
believed that Spanish music deserved a more prominent place
in concert halls and music conservatories throughout the world.
The International Universitary Courses Música en
Compostela were created in 1958 on the initiative of Maestro
Andrés Segovia, together with the Spanish diplomat
José Miguel Ruiz Morales, at the time Director General
of Cultural Relations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and president of Música en Compostela from its founding
until his death in 1974.
Together they decided to organize the courses, and the
first step was to find a headquarters and later, a name.
The Director of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando,
Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón, proposed
the city of Santiago de Compostela, and Nena Fabrique de
Ruiz Morales coined the expression Música en Compostela.
Since then, every summer, classes are held in Santiago
de Compostela, one of the most beautiful cities in northern
Spain, with the purpose to inform, interpret and cultivate
Spanish music, an ideal that is transmitted, each session,
to some 120 students, from twenty-odd nations on average,
registered for courses each year.
Many professors have taught in the classrooms, from Andrés
Segovia himself to other very prestigious names:
Oscar Esplá (the first director), Federico Mompou, Joaquín Rodrigo,
Alicia de Larrocha, Xavier Montsalvatge, Victoria de los Angeles, Montserrat Caballé
(formerly a student), Conchita Badía, Gaspar Cassadó,
Rosa Sabater and, more recently, Carmelo Bernaola and Cristóbal Halffter (formerly a student),
Luis de Pablo, Antonio Iglesias, Isabel Penagos and Antón
García Abril, are famous
examples among many other names.
Today, it’s interesting to note
our group of professors and disciplines: Ana Mª Sánchez (Singing),
José Luis Rodrigo (Guitar), José López
Calo (Musicology), Roberto Fresco and Montserrat Torrent (Organ), Josep Maria
Colom (Piano), Carmen Cruz Simó (Polyphony), Antón
García Abril and Maximino Zumalave (Symphonic and Modern
Music), Ashan Pillai (Viola and Chamber Music), Agustín
León Ara (violin), and Ángel Luis Quintana (cello).