Visita Los Venerables



The Focus Foundation announces an organ recital series dedicated to Murillo


• Father José Enrique Ayarra, organist at the Foundation and the Seville Cathedral will be in charge of breathing life into sets of sheet music relating to the Sevillian painter to mark the 400th anniversary of his birth.
• The first concert with be held on Saturday, March 4, at 11.30 am in the Hospital de los Venerables. Tickets will cost 6 euros.

Seville, March 1, 2017. The Focus Foundation announced today a new series of organ recitals dedicated to the Sevillian painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, in order to mark the 400th anniversary of his birth, and therefore searches to bring his anniversary into the musical framework of the Velázquez. Murillo. Sevilla. Exhibition. With this display, the Foundation is also celebrating the 25 years that it has been based in the Hospital de los Venerables. Following the great success since its opening, the exhibition has been extended to April 2.

This series of organ recitals entitled “A Tribute to Murillo: Homage to a universal painter,” will be held in the Venerables Chapel and performed by Father José Enrique Ayarra Jarne, resident organist in the Focus Foundation and the Cathedral of Seville. Father Ayarra will also be responsible for designing this series and has described the program as being “dedicated to the 17th century Baroque painter, and as is only natural, the music from this period is going to play a major role in these recitals. Nevertheless, we will also be journeying into the 18th century with a view to enjoying the music that was written for this instrument in a number of European schools throughout the Baroque period.”

During the first concert to be held on Saturday, March 4th, we will be able to listen to music played among the paintings in the Venerables Chapel by Juan Sebastian Bach or his much admired Buxtehude, as well as the composers Caccini, Mouret or Clerambault, among others.  

Furthermore, Father José Enrique Ayarra wishes to include two Spanish composers from the period into the inaugural program, namely; Sebastián Durón and Francisco Correa de Arauxo, whom Murillo would most likely have had the chance to listen to while he worked on his different art projects in churches around Seville, bearing in mind that most of the painter’s work was commissioned by religious orders and he practically remained in Seville during his professional career. “Everything points to the fact that Murillo and Correa de Arauxo (who was the church organist in El Salvador) could have been friends.”

Each recital will be performed on the first Saturday of each month, with the exception of May, when it will be held on May 13. They will last approximately 50 minutes, and cost 6 euros.

Those who attend future recitals will be able to listen to additional compositions in homage to Murillo, such as the piece Four paintings by Murillo, by Manuel Castillo, the 20th century Sevillian composer who dedicated the pieces to the Sevillian painter’s work and that are found in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville: Annunciation, Infant Jesus, Virgin with Child, and the Adoration of the Shepherds.

The Foundation’s Music Program

In addition, the Focus Foundation offers an extensive educational program that aims to bring organ music closer to those studying at the Mandatory Secondary Education level, by striving to impart theoretical knowledge of the different parts of the instrument such as the box, console, air provision system and the pipes, as well as the long history of this instrument that stretches back to the second century B.C., all of which is explained by school and college organist teachers. To complete the activity, the youths will be offered a live hearing at the hands of José Enrique Ayarra, the Foundation’s resident organist. The next sessions will take place on March 7 and 21. Contact for more information and bookings.

The Grenzing Organ, heads the Foundation’s Music Program

The organ in the Venerables was built by the renowned German organ builder G. Grenzing, in 1991 and is also celebrating its 25th anniversary. Built at the request of the Foundation for the Chapel in the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes, for 25 years the organ has headed the entire music program that the Focus Foundation has offered. Such a program is of international reference for its remarkable quality, in which the most qualified world class organists have taken part. Among them, we find the likes of Ton Koopman, Gustav Leonhardt, Marie-Claire Alain and Jean Guillou, to name a few.

The construction of the organ was undertaken at the behest of Father José Enrique Ayarra, organist at the Foundation since 1989, to fill a musical gap that was present in Seville at that time. While it would be true to say that there are dozens of organs dating back to the Baroque period still around in Seville that are well-suited for listening to the works by the greatest maestros from the 17th century, there is not another instrument around that allows enthusiasts to enjoy the most demanding pieces as well as ones that are faithful to European Baroque music. So this is what the Foundation has been offering to enthusiasts over the last 25 years. 

Therefore, during the past quarter of a century, the Foundation’s music program has been focused on offering the best organ Baroque music, in addition to promoting and encouraging Spanish organists and offering the youngest listeners didactic recitals that are performed on this instrument, as well as explaining its history, its parts and its music.   

Focus (Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla)

The Fundación  Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla (Focus) was created in 1982 as a result of the cultural work begun in 1972 by Abengoa with the publication of the works Temas Sevillanos and Iconografía de Sevilla (Themes of Seville and Iconography of Seville). A collection of documents, books and engravings on the Kingdom of Seville and by Sevillian authors was created during the same period.

This initial cultural work that was inspired and favoured by Abengoa, gave rise to the support of a number of activities that proved to be of benefit to society. The Focus Foundation was created as a result of this conviction in the 1980s.

1991 was a key year in the organization’s more recent history when its headquarters were moved to the Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes – a 17th century building that is owned by the Archdiocese of Seville- as well as inaugurating its exceptional Barroque organ. From that moment on, the institution has organized 34 exhibitions of plastic art that more than a million people have visited and has a music program of international acclaim for the organ.

Following the acquisition of Velázquez’s Santa Rufina by the Foundation in 2007, the Hospital de los Venerables has housed the Diego Velázquez Research Centre, a leading institution for studying and disseminating the Baroque era and the Sevillian period of this universally renowned artist. Attention to this crucial moment of the Golden Age is completed with the legacy of Professor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, received by the Foundation in 2011. Consisting of his library, photo library, archive and collection of artworks, its cataloging is enabling to create a library specializing in Baroque art and culture. This entire heritage is promoted by Focus Educa, an educational area, by means of which awareness of culture is raised and brought closer to society.


José Enrique Ayarra Jarne

Born in Jaca (Huesca), he graduated in Piano at the Zaragoza Conservatory, and earned a diploma in Organ from the Institut Catholique in Paris under the direction of Professor Edouard Souberbielle. He holds a degree in Theology from the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca and in Gregorian chant from the Catholic University of Paris. He has been the resident canon organist at the Seville Cathedral since 1961 and at Focus-Abnegoa Foundation (Hospital de los Venerables) in Seville, since 1988. He is a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and was Professor of organ from 1979 to 2002.

He holds numerous awards, has given over 1,000 organ concerts in 32 countries, and has recorded repertoires of works from the Renaissance to the 20th century on CD.  As a teacher he has given courses in Spanish music in the most important foreign universities and academies. He been a member of the jury in several international organ competitions and is a renowned researcher and publicist.


Recitals: March 4, April 1, May 13 and June 3.
Time: 11:30 am.
Price: 6 euros.

For more information about the exhibition:

For press and media:
Cristina Cabrera
+954 937111

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