The Organ Academy Fray Joseph de Echevarría is named after the distinguished organ builder from Eibar who conceived the pipe organ at Palencia Cathedral towards the end of the 17th century, of which the casing can still be admired nowadays.
Fray Joseph dies in 1691 leaving his work unfinished, but the instrument will remain as a witness of all the genius innovations that he meant to bring to reality. These will be crucial for the development of the pipe organ in the Iberian peninsula and America during the 18th century and will become central to the unique character of the Spanish organ building school. In the province of Palencia there is a extraordinary showcase of this development. The economic growth of previous centuries favoured the commission of organs of exceptional quality, with examples by Merino de la Rosa, Ortega, Ruiz Martínez…– which have survived in different conditions and due to a number of reasons. There are approximately a hundred of instruments left and at least a third of them have been properly restored.
The Academy FJE was born with the idea of sharing this rich heritage with the wider international organ community since these instruments are the perfect vehicle to perform the Spanish repertoire written for them during three centuries. Moreover, on the last few years new organs have been built with different characteristics and the possibility to explore other types of repertoire, providing a perfect contrast for the Academy.
From the starting years of the Academy teachers have come from all over Europe to share their expertise and work, and the list is growing longer. We have covered the different styles of performance bearing in mind the unique characteristics of these instruments. Musicians travelling from Europe, America and Asia have not only learnt from these great professors but also they have experienced these wonderful instruments and the beauty of the landscape and outdoor life in Palencia.
TEACHERS – XXIV ACADEMIA DE ÓRGANO FRAY JOSEPH DE ECHEVARRÍA
Pieter van Dick
Raúl del Toro
Asociación de Amigos del Órgano de Palencia
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