CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW SYMPHONIC ORGAN

SANTO TOMÁS DE CANTORBERY, AVILÉS

The Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery in Avilés (Principality of Asturias) is a beautiful Neo-Gothic temple (19th-20th Century) built on stone ashlars and located in the centre of the old fishing town of Sabugo, in the current plaza del Carbayo in Avilés, outside the medieval wall that protected the town.

The construction of a symphonic organ for the Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery seeks, from a cultural perspective, to preserve and promote the important musical tradition existing in Avilés, which already has well-established national references, such as the Religious Music Week, as well as to provide an important academic and instrumental resource for the training of future musicians in the Principality of Asturias.

In response to the sponsorship request submitted by the City Council of Avilés, and taking into account the significant importance and historical and cultural interest surrounding the incorporation of a new organ to the cultural and academic life of Avilés and the Principality of Asturias, the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation joined this valuable cultural initiative promoted, among others, by the Avilés Conquista Musical Foundation, founded in May 2006.

The Foundation joined other institutions, organisations and private and anonymous donations that have supported the initiative of providing the Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery with a wonderful new Symphonic Organ.

Its construction, under the close supervision of the Avilés Conquista Musical Foundation, was entrusted to the prestigious Acitores de Torquemada Organ Studio in Palencia. It is currently being built.

The construction of a symphonic organ for the Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery seeks, from a cultural perspective, to preserve and promote the important musical tradition existing in Avilés, as well as to provide an important academic and instrumental resource for the training of future musicians in the Principality of Asturias. Furthermore, both circumstances coincide with the fact that, within its activities for the conservation of heritage and art and the promotion of culture, the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation’s 2008 Action Plan already envisaged a support programme for the restoration of different organs that has been gradually implemented in recent years. The organ of the Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery is the result of a joint and exemplary effort between the citizens of Avilés and Institutions that have contributed to the acquisition.

The Foundation, which raised the necessary funds to conclude the construction of this beloved organ, has organised a musical evening for all of the people of Asturias, particularly those of Avilés, in recognition and respect of the work carried out by all of the institutions and individuals involved in this initiative, particularly the Avilés Conquista Musical Foundation and the City Council of Avilés.
Master Naji Hakim, an organist of renowned international prestige, to whom we would like to express our most sincere appreciation for his generous contribution to the construction of the organ, and the Prince of Asturias Foundation, which has joined the occasion as a gift to the city of Avilés, providing the voices of its exceptional choir as a finishing touch, have made this concert possible.

MASTER NAJI HAKIM & THE PRINCE OF ASTURIAS CHOIR
Church of Santo Tomás de Cantorbery (Avilés).

11 November 2010

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