Ernesto de Quesada started his cultural activities 100 years ago...
1908 - 2008

Ernesto de Quesada López Chaves

FOUNDER OF CONCIERTOS DANIEL

Mr. Ernesto de Quesada was born on November 1 st, 1886 in Manzanillo, Cuba, when the island was still a Spanish colony. There he went to high school and college and when he finished he dedicated himself to teaching “guajiros” (Cuban indians) how to read. He would get to them riding on his horse and doing long walks that lead him to different far away towns where he performed and extraordinary task.

He meditated for a while and took the money he had earned teaching and some more he borrowed from his mother and left for the United States. He left Cuba in 1905 and went to Boston. There he studied English for a few months – he used to tell me that on Sundays he would go to church (whichever it was Catholic or Protestant) to listen to the priest and get his ears used to the new language - Afterwards he went to Harvard and studied Philosophy and when he finished in 1911 0r 1912 he still had that urge that would last his entire life. He left for Germany .

Berlin at the time was, if not the capital of European culture, one of the most advanced cities of the old continent, in science as much as in arts. It wouldn't take long before he learned the language, just as he had done in the United States . He also had the quality of surrounding himself with good friends…he entered a prestigious agency, one of the most antique agencies in Germany…but he wasn't able to stay for long…World War I exploded and after many setbacks he left for Madrid…it was a favorable time for Spain…

Upon his arrival he found a place to stay in Jacometrezo street, a zone that would soon be demolished to open space for the “Gran Vía”, he stayed there for a few months. In Berlin he had made a big irrevocable resolution: he would entirely dedicate his life to helping and promoting the diffusion of music. In Madrid he started to attend every single concert that was presented and in a short time he had made very good friends among the artists. The most renowned are Estafaniay, Cassadó and Segovia whom he started to represent…

Mr. Ernesto de Quesada Sr. Was one of the most exceptional and original characters in the musical world during the XX century. Without originally having deep musical knowledge, he became little by little an expert in recognizing the value of an artist. He helped numerous youngsters and lunched many of them into fame. He created a musical emporium in Spain that was extended into Latin America and founded over fifty musical culture associations, giving each of them a tail piano. He also founded the “Ópera Nacional de México”. The most renowned interprets of that century, among whom we remember Rubinstein, Heifetz, Arrau, Segovia, Menuhin, Szeryng, Cassadó, Brailowsky, Iturbi…held him dear and couldn't leave him behind when on tour in Latin America . He was ruined several times and was well-off many others…he didn't care much for money which he used only to help in the diffusion of musical culture…

 

Taken from: Memoires of Ricardo de Quesada, current director of Hispania Clásica, which will be published.