posted October 31, 2011

Donia Organ Concert Series to Feature Raúl Prieto Ramirez on Nov. 15

Hope College will present the Donia Organ Recital featuring Raúl Prieto Ramírez on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel. 

 
The public is invited. Admission is free. 
 
Ramírez is the first Organist-in-Residence at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica in Madrid, Spain's national concert hall. When he was appointed at age 27, he increased attendance at the hall's organ recitals by a multiple of 30 during his first six months.  At his annual recital on the largest organ in Catalonia, at the Basilica in Mataro, Spain, he regularly draws an audience of more than a thousand. 
 
The first part of the program includes "Prelude and Fugue in G Major BWV 541," by Johann Sebastian Bach;  "Danse macabre (arr. Lemare)," by Camille Saint-Saëns; "Scherzo in F# Minor Op.80/7,"  "Capriccio in G Minor Op.129/5," "Melodia in B flat Major Op.129/4," "Scherzo in D Minor Op.65/10" and "Capriccio in D Minor Op.69/5," by Max Reger; and "Toccata (from 'Pièces de fantaisie' Op.53/6)," by Louis Vierne (1870-1937). 
 
In the second part of the program, Ramirez will perform "Transcendental studies S.139- VIII - C Minor, 'wilde jagd' (arr. Raúl Prieto)" and "Three concert studies S.144 II - F Minor, 'la leggierezza' (arr. Raúl Prieto)," by Franz Liszt; and "Sonate (Sinfonía) nº1 pour grand orgue, Op.42 (1874): Introduction et Allegro, Pastorale (Andante quasi allegretto), and Final (Allegro assai)," by Alexandre Guilmant. 
 
At age 11, Ramírez became fascinated by the organ in a local church and for the next five years taught himself to play while learning all he could about the instrument.  When he enrolled at SalamancaUniversity to study philosophy, he came across the ideas of the great Romanian conductor Sergiu Celibidache and felt such a deep impact that he decided to devote his life to music. 
 
He studied piano with Leonid Sintsev at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg and organ with Ludgar Lohmann at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Stuttgart, and participated in master classes with Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Lionel Rogg, Eric Lebrun, Zsigmon Szathmáry and L. F. Tagliavini. 
 
Ramírez's passion is to raise the appreciation and understanding of the organ through exciting performances, multi-media presentations, audience participation, and on-line. 
 
He has performed with the Spanish National Orchestra, the Castilla y Leon Symphony Orchestra, and the National Spanish Choir. He was the organist for, and an actor in, a film featured at more than 300 cinema festivals around the world in 2008. 
 
His first two compact disc releases on the Actus label in autumn 2009 were recorded at Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Milan Cathedral in Italy. 
 
The recital at Hope was made possible through the generous support of the college's Tom Donia Memorial Organ Fund. The fund was created in 1990 by family and friends of Tom Donia, a 1971 Hope graduate who died in 1990. The director of communications for the American Red Cross, Donia had a life-long interest in music. 
 
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.