A Cultural Pioneer of the Algarve turns 25 years
The Amigos de Música celebrated their 25th Anniversary on Thursday, April 28th. 2016. A group of members and guests gathered in the late evening sunshine at Os Agostos for a pre-concert champagne reception.
Before the concert Amigo President Helga Hampton welcomed all those present. She proudly summarised the various achievements of the Amigos over the past quarter century. During this time the Amigos de Música has basically tried to stimulate the early cultural awakening of the developing Algarve with wonderful music played by world class artists.
She said: “The Amigos de Música was founded in 1991, when the Algarve was a neglected corner of a country with a great history and just coming into European consciousness as a holiday destination, bringing more and more foreign residents here who looked for sun, sea, sand and golf. But there was a lack of a cultural element. This is when the Centro Cultural and we, the Amigos de Música, came to the fore. We invited some of the finest musicians to the Algarve.
We organised ourselves on the basis of a private membership, non-profit organisation and as we grew, an ever growing and ever generous membership, together with good sponsorship, made it possible for us to add a charitable aspect to our activities. Another reason to be proud.”
Over the years the Amigo’s Sponsorship of Young Portuguese Musicians has helped promising young Portuguese music students financially with their studies abroad. Helga Hampton read thank you notes from Nuno Marques and Ana Beatriz Ferreira, two young pianists helped by the Amigos. Nuno, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and now an international concert pianist, and Ana Beatriz, just finishing a Masters degree from the Royal College of Music in London, benefitted greatly from the Amigos help.
The Amigos thanked the hosts of their new venue, Maria and Antonio Farajotta, for giving the Amigos a new home after the Centro Cultural closed in 2014. The Amigos, together with their artists, will ensure that Quinta dos Agostos will continue to be known as a temple of good music. Guests and non-members are welcome to come to the concerts.
Erla Walther, on behalf of all Amigos, thanked Helga for all her work over the years, and presented her with a sculpture by Philippe Claisse – very appropriately of a figure playing the violin!
The musician for this anniversary was the renowned British pianist, Paul Crossley. He gave the evening a most celebratory and festive note by playing works by Schumann, Brahms and Granados. An encore by Bach was touchingly dedicated by Paul to several Amigos who no longer are among us.
For more information visit www.amigos-de-musica.org