The Madrid City Council continues with the program of activities to commemorate the centennial of the death of the architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco (1845-1923). Conferences, theatrical itineraries and concerts will take place in the final stretch of the cultural agenda designed by the Department of Culture, Tourism and Sports to remember the author of iconic buildings in the capital, such as the Palacio de Cristal and the Palacio de Velázquez, both located in Retiro Park.
Among all the activities that will take place from September 15 to November 30, approximately 4,500 places will be available, which will be added to the nearly 10,500 offered since the beginning of the programming last April.
A theatrical piece about the figure of the architect
On September 22, the second season of the dramatized itineraries began (until October 15), which were already carried out in June and July. These tours, which run around the Crystal Palace, offer an experience that combines artistic creation, research and historical rigor. The play, written expressly for the centenary, allows us to get closer to the figure of the architect who is the protagonist of the anniversary who, despite the deep mark he left on the city, is not well known by the citizens. The performances will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and will have more than 1,000 seats.
From September 15 to 17, the ‘Sound Retreat’ festival. Piano, jazz and varietés in the Madrid of Velázquez Bosco’ will offer a series of open-air concerts that will take place in the Velázquez and Cristal palaces of the Retiro Park, an outstanding work of the Burgos architect. It is a tribute to Velázquez Bosco through the music that was heard in the Madrid of his time. At that historical moment, the piano was the musical medium par excellence, so the composers Granados, Albéniz, Turina, Falla and many others will dedicate many of their creations to this instrument, which will be present in the repertoire of two concerts: >Musical architectures in the Silver Age and Sorolla: A musical imaginary, with more than 3,150 places available.
In addition to the classic program, the festival will also show the most playful sound of Madrid’s cafes and theaters at that time, thanks to the Cabaret Rodante, which will immerse the viewer in the bohemian and irreverent world of cuplé. , the magazine and the variety theater. In addition, a show has been designed for family audiences on the occasion of this centenary: The Crystal Architect, a musical story that will tell the adventures of Ricardo Velázquez Bosco, woven with the most fun and popular repertoire of the time (September 16 and 17).
Series of conferences
On the other hand, a cycle of nine conferences entitled ‘On the centenary of the death of Ricardo Velázquez Bosco (1843-1923)’ has been scheduled, which will take place from October 5 to November 30, under the direction of Javier García. Gutiérrez Mosteiro. The cycle, in which more than 500 people can register, will explore the different professional facets of Velázquez Bosco. Thus, he will address the importance of drawing in his work, his teaching work, his connection with the Institución Libre de Enseñanza and his contribution to the development of Restoration Madrid as a great European metropolis.
It will also cover his role as an architect restoring monuments, work that laid the foundations for modern heritage intervention in Spain. In relation to this facet, his performance in the mosque of Córdoba will be analyzed, as an example of the evolution of his thought. Finally, specific aspects of his work will be analyzed, such as production in the nearby city of Guadalajara, construction with iron or the role of the arts in his architecture, examples in a time of change, of the coexistence of traditional means of production and industrial development.
Precursor of a new city
At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, Velázquez Bosco contributed to developing, in architectural terms, the city of Madrid. His constructions are testimony to the sociocultural and urban reality of the moment, and largely exemplify the beginning of a new city, with an eclectic language that would later be recovered and developed by his disciple Antonio Palacios.
Velázquez Bosco obtained recognition during his lifetime, as he was appointed academic of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando (1888), as well as director of the School of Architecture (1910). Among his merits are the restoration of the western façade of the Casón del Buen Retiro as well as the rehabilitation work of the Córdoba mosque or the discovery and excavation of Medina Azahara, actions that were awarded the Grand Cross of Carlos III.
To participate in all activities, except the Rolling Cabaret show, it is necessary to register through the website paseamadrid.reservaspatrimonio.es. Added to all of them is a photographic exhibition that will be held, starting September 8, on the Paseo de Coches del Retiro, curated and promoted by the Official College of Architects of Madrid and the Madrid City Council and which is curated by Miguel Ángel Baldellou. The exhibition will allow a graphic approach to the main works of the architect, a reference in the configuration of Madrid’s heritage.
More information about the architect’s career and work, as well as the program of activities (with access to the reservation center for registrations in the different initiatives) at centenariovelazquezbosco.com