Raul Prieto Ramirez
Instructor of Music History and Organ
Raúl Prieto Ramírez is the first Spanish organist in recent times to establish himself among the elites of the international concert scene. "His powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles" (Los Angeles Philarmony).
Milan Cathedral described him as "an extraordinary mix of transcendent virtuosity, technical skill and intellectual control, and a genuine Mediterranean sense of musicality. His interpretations, all of the highest level, demonstrated great artistic maturity, security, and eloquence--something possible only in musicians who have raised his art to an existential level." (Fabrica del Duomo de Milano, Italy).
"Raúl Prieto Ramírez is a colossally talented organist. His fearless playing and at-times brazen registrations gave his eclectic program a nervy, exciting flair so often lacking in classical recitals. He's the whole package - flawless technique and solid repertoire executed with the flair and bravado of a matador" (Joey DiGuglielmo, Washington Blade).
After his debut in UK The Sentinel wrote about Mr. Prieto Ramírez that "Raúl played the organ with such enthusiasm. He made it talk in a way that I have never heard it talk before. The footwork on the pedals and hand movements between the four manuals were like lightning. For a person so young to be able to play such pieces for one hour continually from memory, was simply awe-inspiring" (Ron Richards, The Sentinel, UK).
Promoters have also highlighted his capacity to perform a wide range of different musical styles "His brilliant virtuosity and abundant expressive prowess remained in complete service to his musicologically informed, deeply insightful interpretations. The program was so electrifying that he earned an enthusiastic standing ovation at the intermission as well as at the end, after which the audience demanded several encores" (Bruce B. Stevens, Richmond, VA)
At age twenty-seven, Mr Prieto Ramírez was named Organist-in-Residence of the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (Spain’s national concert hall), a position that had never existed before. Within the first six months of his appointment, attendance at the hall’s organ recitals rose thirty-fold, and critics were hailing him as one of the most exciting talents on the Spanish music scene. Following his stint in Madrid, he founded the most successful organ festival in Spain, the International Organ Festival Mataró-Barcelona, during which his performances at the Basilica of Mataró attract audiences of over thousand strong. Mr Prieto Ramírez is now a successful concert organist with a busy global schedule that takes him to major festivals and concert halls around the world.
He studied in Stuttgart with Dr. Prof. Ludger Lohmann on a scholarship from German government and with pianist Leonid Sintsev from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St Petersburg. He also learned about all the major organ schools with such leading teachers as Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Jan Willem Jansen, Eric Lebrun, Lionel Rogg, Zsigmond Szathmáry, Lorenzo Ghielmi, Jean-Pierre Leguay, Jacques Ogg, Paul Badura-Skoda, and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and studied composition, orchestra conducting, improvisation, and continuo.
The premieres of many of his works have been recorded and broadcast in Spain, including chamber music, organ music, many pieces for solo instruments and a concerto for organ and orchestra, which premiered at the Barcelona City Festival.
Raul Prieto Ramirez has been responsible for the reinaguration of unedited Spanish choral repertory from the early 20th century in collaboration with the America-Spainish Music Festival, and has offered the premiere of several works for organ solo and for organ with choir. He has performed extensively with orchestras under conductors like Reinberr de Leeuw, Jordi Mora or Josep Pons. Including the 'Stimmen... Vertummen' Symphony by Gubaidulina and organ concertos by Guilmant and Haendel among others.
He is often invited to teach master classes by such prestigious institutions as the Indiana University in Bloomington, the Moscow Conservatory, Baylor University in Texas, Graz University in Austria, Celebrity Series in Huntsville, and numerous presenter like San Diego AGO Chapter, Scheveport AGO Chapter, Indianapolis AGO Chapter among many others. He has been jury member at several competition like the Moscow Goedicke International and the Sursa American.
Since September 2014, Mr Prieto Ramírez has been the Organist-in-Residence of the Sursa Concert Hall and a member of the organ faculty at Ball State University (USA). He remains artistic director of the annual summer International Organ Festival and Academy in Barcelona. He has been widely recorded and interviewed for radio and television in several European countries and in the US. His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at the Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the celebrated Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
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