In 1987, Paloma O’Shea created the Fundación Albéniz to offer an institutional framework for the growing musical activities that had been developing since 1972 in the wake of the Santander International Piano Competition. The name Isaac Albéniz (1860-1909) was chosen, as this composer and pianist was a symbol of the rebirth of Spanish music in Europe as the 19th century became the 20th.
Since its creation, the Foundation has promoted various programs of international relevance in the field of culture and music:
- 1972: Santander Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition.
- 1989: Albéniz Archive and Documentation Centre
- 1991: Reina Sofía School of Music
- 1998: Yehudi Menuhin Prize for Integration of the Arts and Education
- 2000: Virtual School of Music "Magistermusicae.com"
- 2001: Santander Encounter of Music and Academia
- 2005: International Institute of Chamber Music of Madrid
- 2006: Music for a School
- 2010: Audiovisual content portal www.classicalplanet.es, today a part of the School’s website.
The Fundación Albéniz has spent more than 30 years working in the field of culture and musical education, during which more than 6,000 concerts have been performed, more than 800 musicians have been trained and nearly 200 records have been released. Likewise, it has published works by various composers and has offered tributes to emblematic figures on the musical scene such as Federico Mompou, Federico Sopeña, Alfredo Kraus, Enrique Franco, Vincent Cacho Viu, Mstislav Rostropovich, Alicia de Larrocha, José Luis García Asensio, Natalia Shakhovskaya and Isaac Albéniz himself, among others. In addition, the Foundation is responsible for obtaining scholarships for students at the Reina Sofía School of Music.
Year after year, the Fundación Albéniz opens up new areas of work to sketch out challenges for the future, and as such has consolidated itself as a platform at the forefront of elite musical training, on the artistic scene and in the cultural development of Spanish music.
Board of Trustees
President of Honour
- Her Royal Highness Infanta doña Margarita, Duchess of Soria
- Paloma O’Shea
- Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón
- Ana Botín
- Elena García Botín
- Mariano Linares
- Luis Briones