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“Your city is full of pianos”, an initiative by the Fundación Jesús Serra and the Maria Canals Competition, comes to León

"Fundación Jesús Serra, from Grupo Catalana Occidente, and the Maria Canals International Music Competition begin their recognised 2019 initiative, “Your city is full of pianos”, which will fill the streets of León with music on Friday 10 May. The city centre will become an outdoor music stage with 7 grand pianos for the citizens of León and its visitants to enjoy this original initiative, with the support of the León City Council."

The instruments will be located in emblematic spaces within the old quarter, following the same route as the Camino de Santiago that crosses the city from the Santa María de Regla Cathedral, one of the crown jewels of Gothic art in Spain, to the Convento de San Marcos. History, art and music will meet at locations such as the Romanesque Basílica de San Isidoro, where the first courts of the Kingdom of León were held in 1181, and which houses the Royal Panteon, as well as the famous Chalice of Doña Urraca; or the Casa Botines, which is one of only three buildings that Gaudí created outside of Catalonia.

From 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., these pianos will be available to professional musicians, conservatoire students, schools and amateurs, who will turn León into a large live music hall. Among these musical works of art, two concert grand pianos which are usually only found in concert halls will exceptionally be available to the public for one day. These instruments are a Bosendorfer Imperial and a Yamaha CFIII; the rest of the grand pianos are Yamaha C7 (parlour grand piano) and C3 (baby grand piano).

León’s teaching community of has thrown itself into this initiative, which will include dozens of children from the city’s schools, who will all enjoy a master class and the experience of playing the piano, guided by the Director of the Maria Canals International Music Competition, Jordi Vivancos, and by qualified staff from the Professional Music Conservatoire of León.

Locations of the 7 pianos in León:

1.- Church of Santa Ana (Calle Santa Ana, 44) - Beginning of the Camino of Santiago in the old quarter of the city

2.- Plaza del Grano

3.- Gaudí’s Casa Botines (in front of the façade) (Plaza San Marcelo, 5)

4.- León Cathedral (at the Plaza de Regla)

5.-Plaza de Santo Martino

6.- Royal Collegiate of Saint Isidoro (in front of the façade) (Plaza de San Isidoro, 4). 7.- Convento de San Marcos

The day’s highlights can be shared on social media through photos, videos and messages with the hashtag #pianosLeon.

 The “Your city is full of pianos” project aims to promote researching and playing music universally through citizens’ involvement. It is one of the highlights organised jointly by Fundación Jesús Serra and the Maria Canals Competition to bring music closer to the entire Spanish population.

“This initiative begins in 2019 in a city with strong bonds to culture and art. It is a real pleasure to share it with all the citizens of León and its visitors so that they can enjoy the city and its monuments even more”, declares Nacho Gallardo, director of the Fundación Jesús Serra. Furthermore, Jordi Vivancos, director of the María Canals Competition, stresses the importance of this project through which “we have found a way of bringing music and piano closer to the entire society, and of showing and promoting the involvement of the country’s finest talents with the prestigious Maria Canals International Music Competition”.

Margarita Torres, the city’s Councillor for Culture, Heritage and Tourism, stated that “León has always been sensitive towards music, we support this art by organising events such as the International Organ Festival or the Historic Music Series, also at our conservatoires and schools. This week we will also support this project that brings the pianos onto streets so that everybody can enjoy them”.

Close collaboration between Fundación Jesús Serra and Maria Canals Competition has allowed this cultural activity to take place in several capital cities such as a Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Seville, Cadiz, Malaga, Salamanca, Toledo, Santiago de Compostela or Valencia. After León, the initiative will travel to the city of Granada on 20 September.

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Jone Paredes

Jone Paredes