Mr. Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta, Musicologist and Professor of Gregorian Chant of the Conservatory of Music of Madrid. He is also an Honorary Member of the Spanish Society of Musicology (of which he was its Director) and Deputy Director and Numerary Academician of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.
Brief curricular trajectory:
Fernández de la Cuesta had as his school the Monastery of Silos (Burgos), where he acquired a solid humanistic formation and in classical languages, at the same time he delved into the best teachers in the liturgy and its history and in the Gregorian chant, whose technical knowledge He grew up in France with the monks of Solesmes. Being prior of Silos it directed the chorus of gregorianistas of the monastery, with which it recorded several discs that obtained prestigious awards.
Graduated in Romance Philology by the UNED, he assumed after the retirement of Fr. Samuel Rubio the chair of Gregorian chant of the Conservatory of Music of Madrid, where he has developed a great pedagogical work in the field of Musicology. He was president of the Spanish Society of Musicology between 1982 and 1993, a stage in which he gave the association an extraordinary international dimension. Appointed a Full Member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in Madrid, he has been the deputy director of the same since 2010. He cultivates links with the countries of Latin America, training young musicologists from various countries of the Hispanic world for the recovery and preservation of the legacy musical that from the pre-independence period preserve their cathedrals and monasteries, work that is carried out in collaboration with the Carolina Foundation. He also maintains and directs a group of Gregorianists, with whom he gives concerts all over the world, having received numerous awards for this work and also for his record projection.
He has made fundamental studies about our Medieval legacy: the old Spanish or Visigothic-Mozarabic song, the Calixtino Codex of Santiago de Compostela, the Las Huelgas Monastery Codex, the music of troubadours and trovers, the Cantigas de Alfonso X el Sabio , also focusing on themes of the Renaissance, such as his celebrated translation of the Latin of the Seven Books of Music by the organist and theoretician Francisco Salinas.
A tireless publicist, he has also been a frequent participant in international congresses and symposiums. He has been part of the Council of Culture of the CEYAC, of the Community of Madrid, being Joaquín Leguina president of the Autonomous Community. He is currently a member of the Culture Board of the Ministry of Culture of the Community of Madrid. Being deputy director of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Madrid, led the creation of the Elementary Conservatory of Music of Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid), his place of residence. He is currently a member of the State Board of Performing Arts and Music.
Most relevant distinctions:
Ismael Fernández de la Cuesta has numerous awards and recognitions, most notably the Grand Cross of the Order of Alfonso X the Wise, granted by the King of Spain. He has achieved gold and platinum records for his CDs of Gregorian chant and liturgical music. Among his many international recognitions it is worth mentioning the Grand Prix de l’Académie Charles Cros for his album Códice Calixtino – Antifonario Mozárabe, the Grand Prize of the International Festival of Fine Arts of Tokyo for his record album Tomás Luis de Victoria, Hebdomada Sancta, and He was nominated for the EMMY Award in Hollywood in 1996 for his concert program on the PBS TV in the United States, The Gregorian Chant, Songs of the Spirit.
It should also be noted that Professor Fernández de la Cuesta, has been awarded the Most Important Foreign Musicologist Award of the American Musicological Society in 2015.