Sociedad Filarmónica de Málaga
Calle Marqués de Valdecañas, 2
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The Sociedad Filarmónica de Málaga was created in 1869 as from the Sociedad de Conciertos Clásicos. It is the oldest institution of this type in the Iberian Peninsula and set the basis of the Royal Conservatory of Music María Cristina.
In 1868, the Sociedad de Conciertos Clásicos was founded in Malaga by Antonio Capa, and its members were charged 40 cents per concert. In 1869, this institution became Sociedad Filarmónica, limiting maestro Capa to project management, the presidency being occupied by Antonio Palacios and by then, with a Board.
At the beginning most of the concerts were financed by ladies and gentlemen from the city. The matter became so important that project management was offered to the famous musician Eduardo Ocón Rivas. For such a task, he demanded that solfa classes should be taught among the members. Moreover a violin class was created being entrusted to Regino Martínez Basso.
In 1880, the Conservatory of Music was created with the help of the Town Hall and the County Council. Thanks to the latter, everything became very relevant. An era of great splendour arrived and through its halls passed Rubinstein, Albéniz, Gayarre and other performers.
After being in unexpected locations like shops, stores, etc., the society rented the top floor of the Liceo building, formerly the old convent of San Francisco, which by then was already a declining institution, such that in the end, the society took over the entire building. Then, the Royal Conservatory of Music María Cristina emerged and from that moment, they did not stop collaborating for much time. When Eduardo Ocón Rivas died, the project management of the Society and the Royal Conservatory split, although they never stopped collaborating in one way or other for the musical cultural development of Malaga.
From Liszt to Wilhem Kempf, Sarasate to Szeryng, thanks to the Sociedad Filarmónica, great virtuosos have passed through the city, reaching its greater splendour in the years of the Second World War and after. In that moment, its president was Miguel Ángel Ortiz Tallo. After his death, his role was continued, with no less energy by Miguel Martín García-Varo and Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, but the new generations seemed to have had lost some interest for music and a slight decline began due to different causes like the transfer of the Conservatory to El Egido. The fantastic building then suffered great abandonment and there was a rumour that it was going to be demolished. Juan de la Rosa, President of the Caja de Ahorros de Ronda heard about this and decided to intervene, refurbishing the marvellous building for the city.
Today, the Fundación Unicaja, to whose social work it belongs, conserves it perfectly and places it at the service of the Malaga citizenship. It counts with the Silver Medal of Merit to the Fine Arts, the prize Ciudad de Malaga of the Town Hall and the Medal of Honour of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Telmo.
The Sociedad Filarmónica de Málaga counts with about 200 subscriptions. Almost all of them are for families, such this quantity practically becomes the double of members.
Currently, the Sociedad Filarmónica develops somewhat more than twenty concerts per season with a significant attendance by members that increase every year. Through its halls, every year some of the most prestigious chamber ensembles pass, besides soloists and choral groups.
The Fundación Obra Social Unicaja grants the Society the use of the Sala Unicaja de Conciertos María Cristina, this being a hall of an extraordinary beauty, recognised in all the musical fields of Europe as one of the halls with the best acoustics.
Next 2018-19 season the Society will celebrate its 150th anniversary.