Raúl Prieto Ramírez
RAÚL PRIETO RAMÍREZ is the first Spanish organist in recent times to establish himself among the elite of the international concert scene. His powerful personality, passionate expressiveness, gift for communication, and outstanding technique make him shine in a wide range of repertoire and styles.
Milan Cathedral described him as “an extraordinary mix of transcendent virtuosity, technical skill and intellectual control, and a genuine Mediterranean sense of musicality. His interpretations, all of the highest level, demonstrated great artistic maturity, security, and eloquence – something possible only in musicians who have raised their art to an existential level.” (Fabrica del Duomo de Milano, Italy)
After his debut in the UK The Sentinel wrote about Prieto Ramírez that “Raúl played the organ with such enthusiasm. He made it talk in a way that I have never heard it talk before. The footwork on the pedals and hand movements between the four manuals were like lightning. For a person so young to be able to play such pieces for one hour continually from memory, was simply awe-inspiring.” (Ron Richards, The Sentinel, UK)
Prieto Ramírez was appointed at age 27 as the first Organist-in-Residence of the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (Spain’s National Concert Hall), a position that had never existed before. Within the first six months of his appointment, he increased attendance at the hall’s organ recitals by a multiple of 30, and critics hailed him as one of the most exciting talents on the music scene in Spain. Right after Madrid, he developed the most successful organ festival in his country, based in Barcelona, where he fills the Basilica in Mataró with audiences of over a thousand. Prieto Ramírez is now a successful concert organist with a busy global schedule that takes him to major festivals and concert halls around the world. He studied in Stuttgart with Ludger Lohmann on a scholarship from the German government and with pianist Leonid Sintsev from the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg. He also worked on interpretation of the most important schools of organ literature with leading teachers such as Marie-Claire Alain, Guy Bovet, Eric Lebrun, Lionel Rogg, Zsigmond Szathmáry, and Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and he also studied composition, orchestra conducting, improvisation, and continuo playing. The premieres of many of his works have been recorded and broadcast in Spain, including chamber music, organ music, many pieces for solo instruments, and a concerto for organ and orchestra premiered in Barcelona during the City Festival.
Since September 2014, Prieto Ramírez is the organist in residence at Sursa Concert Hall and on the organ faculty at Ball State University. He continues as the artistic director of the annual summer International Organ Festival and Academy in Barcelona. He has been widely recorded and interviewed for radio and television in several European countries, Canada, Russia, and in the U.S. His first two compact discs, on the Brilliant Classics label, were recorded at Milan Cathedral in Italy and at the famous Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona.
Follow him on facebook.com/raulexperience or at raulprietoramirez.com.