Montserrat Torrent (in interpreting mode) and Gabriel Erkoreka (in composition) have obtained this Wednesday the National Music Awards 2021 granted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, endowed with 30,000 euros each.
In the first case, the jury’s ruling has highlighted that, at 95 years of age, it is “one of the longest-lived active performers in the world” and that his work has been extended to research and dissemination, with a “work as a teacher, capable of creating a school that has inspired new generations of organists for decades.”
Likewise, he has underlined “his tireless work both in the recovery of repertoire and in the restoration of historical organs”, such as that of the Sant Felip Neri church in Barcelona.
Torrent (Barcelona, 1926) is indeed one of the most outstanding organists in the country and began her training under the direction of her mother, Angela Serra, a disciple of Enrique Granados.
Professor of organ of the Municipal Superior Conservatory of Music of Barcelona, He has performed as a soloist in Spain, Europe, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and North Africa.
Championing the renewal of a world of the organ that entered into decline as a consequence of the post-war period, she broke into a world monopolized by male musicians and throughout her career she has devoted herself fully to the repertoire of old Spanish music and has contributed to recovering unpublished scores of national composers.
As a curiosity, at the age of 64 she was the interpreter who inaugurated on January 3, 1991 the organ of the National Auditorium’s Symphony Hall, built by Gerhard Grenzing.
On Gabriel Erkoreka, for its part, the jury has highlighted the international projection of his music and the “brilliance” of his career as a creator, in addition to “the richness of his compositional language in which the personal fusion of the sound of traditional Basque instruments stands out” in works such as “Zuhaitz” or “Basalt”.
Born in Bilbao in 1969, his music is the reflection of different motivations, such as nature or the need to preserve it, as well as traditional and folk music of various origins.
Since the 2013 premieres of “Duduk III” in London and “Tientos and battles”, for a saxophone, piano and percussion quartet in Madrid, commissioned by the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical (CNDM), he has experienced other important milestones, such as the “premiere” of his symphonic work “Tramuntana” in 2017 at L’Auditori de Barcelona.
That season, the National Orchestra and Choir of Spain dedicate the White Letter to this Bilbao composer with concerts in which his pieces “Fauve” (2004), “Cuatro differences” (1996), “Veni Creator” (2005), are performed. Concerto for cello and orchestra “Ekaitza” (2011) and “Tres Sonetos de Michelangelo” (2009).
Among the recognitions he has received are the Reina Sofía Prize for Musical Composition in 2008, the Prize for Contemporary Musical Composition of the Basque Government in 1999 or the Josiah Parker Prize and other awards at the Royal Academy of Music.