MADRID – Academician Jose Manuel Blecua, philanthropist Carmen Mateu, pianist Judith Jauregui and the Fundacion de Español Urgente-BBVA on Thursday received EFE Culture prizes from Spain’s international news agency, which closed out its 75th anniversary celebrations with a concert in the National Auditorium.
After an introduction by Javier Marti, president of the Excelentia Foundation, the organizer of the concert, Madrid Mayor Ana Botella presented the award to Blecua and Spain’s secretary of state for culture, Jose Maria Lasalle, did the same for Mateu, whose award was accepted by her daughter, Isabel Suque.
Secretary of State for Communications Carmen Martinez Castro presented the award to the Fundeu-BBVA, which was accepted by its director, Joaquin Müller, and EFE president Jose Antonio Vera presented the award to Jauregui.
Then, the Santa Cecilia Classical Orchestra and the London & Vienna Kammerorchester, directed by Ukrainian Igor Guppman, performed Beethoven’s overture of “Coriolano,” paving the way for violinist Alexandra Soumm, who played the “Concert in E minor, Opus 64, for Violin and Orchestra” to great applause.
Blecua since 2003 has occupied the “hache minuscula” chair at the Real Academia Española and up until December of last year headed that institution, where he pushed for the use of new technologies in the study and dissemination of the Spanish language.
Mateu, who was not able to attend the ceremony due to a knee injury, in 1987 founded what is one of the key international music festivals, the Peralada Festival, which has been held at Peralada Castle in northeastern Spain for the past 15 years, organized together with the Abertis group.
The Fundacion del Español Urgente, or Fundeu, was founded in February 2005 by Efe and sponsored by the BBVA bank with the backing of the RAE with the aim of promoting the proper use of Spanish in the media.
Jauregui, an outstanding student of Russia’s Vadim Suchanov, is a familiar figure on Spain’s main stages and has had the opportunity to work with the most prestigious international directors.
Also attending the closing ceremony in Madrid were Panama’s envoy to Spain, Maria Mercedes de la Guardia de Corro, the general secretary of the Spanish Soccer Federation, Jorge Perez, and the director of Casa America, Tomas Poveda, among others.
EFE, created as a small national news agency, thus closes its first 75 years of operations as one of the four largest international news agencies and the largest operating mainly in the Spanish language, transmitting three million news articles each year along with 900,000 photographs, 40,000 videos and 40,000 audio news stories
Over the past 12 months, the agency has celebrated its seven-and-a-half decades of uninterrupted activity with conferences, courses and expositions of its historic roots throughout Spain and in many countries in the Americas.
More than 3,000 professionals of 60 nationalities in 120 countries work for Efe providing news services in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Arabic.
In 1995, EFE was honored with the Prince of Asturias Prize for Communication in recognition of its efforts to strengthen ties between Spain and Latin America.