The prolific recording artist and leader of I Musici and Quartetto Beethoven di Roma was 90 years old

felix ayo

Violinist Felix Ayo

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Spanish violinist Felix Ayo has died at the age of 90. He is known for being founder, leader and soloist of the I Musici ensemble, as well as founder of the Quartetto Beethoven di Roma piano quartet and was an award-winning recording artist.

Ayo was born in Sestao, northern Spain in 1933. He received his diploma with honours at the age of 14 and continued his studies in Paris, Siena and Rome. At the age of 18, he founded the ensemble I Musici, performing as its leader and soloist for 16 years. In 1970 he formed the Quartetto Beethoven di Roma piano quartet.

His international performing career took him all over the world, including concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, Berliner Philharmoniker, La Scala, Teatro Colón, Musikverein, Sydney Opera House, Teatro Reál, Festival Hall, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw, Suntory Hall and Bunka Kaikan, giving hundreds of concerts as soloist, in recitals and with the Quartetto Beethoven di Roma.

Ayo recorded with Philips, Columbia, EMI and Dynamic. He won the ’Grand Prix du Disque for his recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the ’Edison’ award twice, the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” three times, the “Mar del Plata” prize and the Italian Critic’s Award for Beethoven’s piano quartets. He recorded Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and his latest recordings included works by Tartini, Viotti, Mendelssohn and Turina.

As a teacher, Ayo gave regular masterclasses at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome for 15 years, gaining the title of professor emertius at the institution. He gave seminars in Spain, Canada, Australia, US, Germany, Japan, Italy and Denmark. He was often invited to be a member of the jury in international competitions, including the Paganini, Sarasate and Lipizer competitions.

Ayo received the ’Premio Roma’ and the ’Premio San Michele’, commemorating his life dedicated to music.

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