The prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London received a donation of books and scores from the Hispanic repertoire this Friday in an act to celebrate Spanish music that was chaired by José Pascual Marco, Spanish ambassador to the United Kingdom. The collection, baptized as ‘Sir Barry Ife – Instituto Cervantes Collection’, is made up of 139 documents from the Instituto Cervantes and 184 donated by the Hispanicist Sir Barry Ife, and whose origin is in the old collection of the singer and also Hispanicist Ann Livermore. The idea is that the collection, whose booklet was designed by the Spanish typographer Alfonso Meléndez, “is a useful documentary collection for teachers and students of this school,” explained sources from the Cervantes Institute of the British capital.
As part of the event, in which the Counselor for Scientific and Cultural Affairs of the Spanish mission, Miguel Oliveros; the director of the Cervantes Institute in London, Ignacio Peyró; the director of the Guildhall School, Jonathan Vaughan, and his Head of Advanced Studies in Music Performance, Ronan O’Hora, a group of students, of different nationalities, performed pieces by Narcisa Freixas y Cruells, Alicia de Larrocha, Teresa Carreño and Tania León at the recital ‘Spanish Composers and Spanish America’, which took place in the school’s Court Concert Hall. The concert was also broadcast live within the framework of the FIMTE Almería Global Marathon (Tecla International Music Festival).
The Spanish ambassador took the opportunity to pay tribute to Sir Barry Ife, an expert in the cultural history of Spain and Latin America from the 15th to the 18th centuries and who was director of the Guildhall School between September 2004 and January 2017. Currently, it is Honorary Researcher at the same institution. “If his knowledge of the Spanish literature of the Golden Age is indisputable, his erudition and his work in ancient and modern Spanish music make him unique,” said José Pascual Marco, who added, addressing Ife, that “it is a joy, professor, and it is only fair that this new fund bears his name along with that of a Spanish institution focused on Hispanism such as the Instituto Cervantes ». Ife, for its part, stressed that Spanish music “is one of the great achievements and one of the great contributions of Spain to world culture.” The Hispanicist was the holder of the Cervantes Chair of Spanish and acting director of King’s College London, and in recent years he has promoted, together with the Cervantes Institute, a series of concerts to disseminate the Hispanic repertoire, such as’ Highlights of Hispanic Art Song ‘or’ Hispanic Music Series’. Likewise, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama does an important research work on Spanish song, zarzuela and music from Spanish exile, detailed from the Cervantes institute.