Cellist Ivan Monighetti and the Casals and Quiroga quartets were among those to receive the school’s highest distinction for their contribution and collaboration with the institution

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Monighetti photo Marcin Stępień, Casals Quartet photo David Ruano, Quiroga Quartet photo Igor Studio

Clockwise from left: cellist Ivan Monighetti, Casals Quartet and Quiroga Quartet

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The Reina Sofía School of Music held its closing ceremony for the 2023-24 academic year on 18 June 2024, where the institution’s awards were presented in the presence of Spain’s Queen Sofía.

The institution’s highest distinction, the Honorary Medal, crafted by sculptor Julio López Hernández, was awarded to those who had made an outstanding contribution to the school. This year’s medals went to the Aline Foriel-Destezet cello chair professor Ivan Monighetti, as well as the Casals and Quiroga quartets.

Monighetti was the last pupil of Mstislav Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatory and won first prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1974. He is also a cello professor at the Music Academy in Basel, and his students include international soloists such as Sol Gabetta, Kian Soltani, Nicolas Altstaedt and Asier Polo.

Cuarteto Casals was founded at the Reina Sofía School of Music in 1997 and won first prize at the London and Brahms-Hamburg competitions. It has enjoyed an international performing career and records for Harmonia Mundi.

Cuarteto Quiroga was founded at the school in 2003 and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2023. The ensemble won the 2018 National Music Award of Spain and were prize winners of several major international competitions. In 2013, the quartet became the first artists in residence of the Royal Palace of Madrid, allowing them to give performances on a unique set of decorated Stradivari instruments.

’We are deeply moved by this award and are especially touched because it was at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, where we took our first formative steps, under the guidance of our beloved teacher and musical father, Rainer Schmidt, and where we also met another essential figure in our training, Walter Levin,’ Cuarteto Quiroga commented on social media.

Composer Péter Eötvös, who died in March 2024, also received a medal posthumously. He was an advisor to the Sinfonietta, conducted the School’s orchestra on several occasions, and was a resident composer at the Santander Encounter of Music and Academy.

Queen Sofía additionally presented the school’s plaques to several professors, including double bassist Wies de Boevé, singer Juliane Banse, choral chair Simon Halsey and Patricia Phelps de Cisneros. She also awarded diplomas to the most outstanding students in a range of disciplines across the school.

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