40 years contributing to musical excellence and social integration

Last Friday, the Ferrer-Salat Music Foundation celebrated its 40th anniversary, a period defined by the promotion of musical excellence and social transformation through music. In a ceremony held at the Liceu Conservatory Auditorium, which included several performances, the organization looked back at its four decades of activity, where its contribution to social integration through formal music education particularly stands out.

In his welcome speech, Sergi Ferrer-Salat, chairman of the Foundation, highlighted the organization’s mission to promote art “as a tool for transformation and social integration, not only to fill concert halls, but also to transform lives and neighborhoods thanks to the practice of music in schools in areas at risk of social exclusion. During these 40 years, the Foundation has evolved and expanded its activity and projects and has always been defined by its desire to be a platform that provides opportunities for musical talent”.

The Foundation has been expanding its contribution and activities from the start, through four main pillars: the Reina Sofia Prize in Music Composition, currently heading into its 40th edition; musical excellence through the Ferrer-Salat Scholarships (more than 470 awarded to young talents since 2010); more recently, working on social integration with the Primary Music program in Barcelona schools located in areas at high risk of social exclusion; and research, through a pioneering study in collaboration with the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu and the Liceu Conservatory to show the correlation between neurodevelopmental dysfunctions and music learning or playing an instrument.

In the last 15 years, the Ferrer-Salat Music Foundation’s economic contribution through several initiatives amounts to 12 million euros, thus becoming the entity connected to music with the greatest social impact in Catalonia.

During the event, key guests explained each of these four pillars and attendees learned about the experiences of Irene Fontdevilla, coordinator of the Primary Music program; Mari Carmen García, clarinet teacher; the renowned Dr. Miquel Casas, who leads the research project with a top-quality team; Maria Serrat, General Manager of the Liceu Conservatory, and Victor Estapé, Academic Director of the Higher Music Studies Centre at the Liceu Conservatory, who discussed musical excellence; and finally, composers Ramon Humet and Octavi Rumbau, both winners of the Reina Sofia Prize in Music Composition, in 2006 and 2020, respectively.

Naturally, music was present throughout the event. The audience enjoyed the performances of Circle of life, Elton John and Tim Rice’s very well-known work, by first-and-second-year students of the Liceu Conservatory’s Professional Centre, as well as the indisputable talent of the Foundation’s scholarship holders with the Liceu Conservatory’s string quartet performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Quartet No.2 in A minor, Op.13, and the saxophone quartet’s performance of Marcelo Zarvos’ Nepomuk’s Dances.

Here’s to many more years of transforming lives and creating equal opportunities: deeds, not words!

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