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Princess of Asturias Award International Music School

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The Princess of Asturias Foundation created a Music Department in 1983 which was to give rise, one year later, to the Choir. With the passing of time and thanks to the effort of its conductors and members, the Choir has achieved well-deserved national and international prestige and has become one of the most important amateur choirs in Europe. Since its inception, Jesús López Cobos, 1981 Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for the Arts, was the honorary conductor of the choir until his death in 2018, a position he shared with Krzysztof Penderecki, who received the same Award in 2001. In December 2007, the European Parliament recognised the Choir with a special honour "for its outstanding services to the European Union".

With the desire to harvest the traditional love of Asturians for choral music at its highest level through constant educational undertakings, the Youth Choir was created in 1988 and the Children's Choir in 1990. The three choirs have served as a platform for training hundreds of voices and for keeping alive the close relation that Asturias has always had with music.

The Foundation undertook another relevant initiative in 1990, to establish the Russian chamber orchestra The Moscow Virtuosi and its director, violinist Vladimir Spivakov, in Asturias for a period of three years. The project, which has contributed to the musical training of instrumentalists both in Asturias and in Spain, has resulted in the creation of the current International Music School.

From 1992 to 2011, the work of dissemination and enjoyment of classical music was reinforced by the creation of a concert cycle called the Music Week, which is held on the days prior to the presentation ceremony of the annual Awards conferred by the Foundation. This initiative aimed to bring cultural activities to the villages, towns and stages of Asturias in which it was not always easy to enjoy live music.

In 1993 the Foundation’s Music Department agreed to create the Music Archive of Asturias, which aims to provide the Principality with a centre for compiling, preserving, studying and disseminating the musical heritage of Asturias.

In 2005, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary Prince of Asturias Awards, the Foundation took on entirely the permanent management and coordination of the International Music School. Classes are given by a prestigious international teaching staff and the School also boasts some of the world´s outstanding musicians as visiting lecturers, including Laureates of the annual Awards conferred by the Foundation, which sets the School apart from its Spanish counterparts.

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