New San Diego Civic Organist is from Barcelona, Spain

| January 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

Prieto Ramírez will be only the eighth person in history to havePrieto Ramírez will be only the eighth person in history to have held the position of San Diego Civic organist. held the position of San Diego Civic organist.

Beginning in 2018, Raúl Prieto Ramírez will be San Diego Civic organist and artistic director of the Spreckels Organ Society. A search committee of some of San Diego’s top musical leaders, as well as representatives of the Spreckels Organ Society Board of Trustees and the City of San Diego, worked through 2017 to select Prieto Ramírez from a field of outstanding applicants from all over the world. He follows Dr. Carol Williams, San Diego Civic Organist Emerita, who served on the bench from 2001-2016.

“Out of a large number of internationally based applicants, the Search Committee unanimously chose Raúl to be the next Civic Organist,” says Jack Lasher, president of the Spreckels Organ Society. “He is obviously an outstanding organist, but he also embodies the charisma and personality that we felt were equally important. We are proud of our decision and thrilled to present him to San Diego.”

Prieto Ramírez is artistic director and founder of the Barcelona Summer Organ Festival and Academy, where he has attracted audiences by the thousands. His joy is making great music exciting and accessible for everyone – especially kids – and he is well known for being one of the few concert organists who performs from memory. His powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication and outstanding technique make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles.

Spreckels Organ Society audiences loved him best in evaluations collected during late summer/early fall audition concerts. Critics have praised his performances at major venues all over the world as “simply awe-inspiring.”

Prieto Ramírez has been invited to serve as a jury member at international organ competitions to judge the works of rising stars, and records for the Brilliant Classics label. He teaches master classes at universities around the world from Indiana University to Baylor, and Austria to Moscow, and before joining the Spreckels Organ Society he founded the Sursa American Organ Competition in partnership with the prestigious Moscow Conservatory.

Ramírez’s role as artistic director of the Spreckels Organ Society is already underway as he takes over the planning and scheduling of all Spreckels organ concerts. In addition to year-round Sunday organ concerts at 2 p.m., and the 10-concert Monday night International Summer Organ Festival, he is calling the shots for all upcoming concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion.

“As I became aware of my talent at age 15, I felt the impulse to serve this world making music come alive and shine in the spirit of every human being. As I embraced such a commitment, I never could have dreamed of a better place and better people to share my art with than those of San Diego,” says Prieto Ramírez.

Ramírez will be only the eighth person in history to have held the position of San Diego Civic Organist. His predecessor, San Diego Civic Organist Emerita Dr. Carol Williams, held the position for 15 years before moving to Virginia in 2017 to reside nearer to family.

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