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Spain Embassy celebrates World Book Day in India

Embassy of Spain in India celebrated the World Book Day in India. It joined hands with Penguin Random House in India to bring Spain’s culture and literary works to India. A concert was also organised in this regard.

Soprano Minerva Moliner and pianist Alejandro Picó-Leonís wooed audiences with their performance.

The Embassy of Spain recently celebrated the World Book Day in India in collaboration with Penguin Random House. With this, the embassy opened the doors for book lovers in India to have a better access to Spanish literature. Penguin Random House in India has published Spanish classics in India, making these books easily accessible as well as affordable for India’s Spanish speaking population.

Every year, April 23 marks the World Book Day in Spain. On this day, every book lover was offered a flower on the purchase of a book. The embassy and Penguin Random House India collaborated with 11 bookstores of four Indian cities and participated in this Spanish tradition, commemorating St. George’s Day in India.

The embassy also gave its Indian audiences a glimpse of some of the books of Spanish writers to experience this cultural treat. A concert was organised where Spanish performers took the centre stage at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

Soprano Minerva Moliner and pianist Alejandro Picó-Leonís performed 'art songs' on poems having a theme of love and roses.

Talking about their performance, Picó-Leonís shared, “This is our first visit to India. The World Book Day has an exchange of books and roses. This theme works beautifully with our programme. We too are performing on some sensual poems by famous poets that talk about love and roses.”

An art song is a special musical genre prevelant in Europe. Viennese composer Franz Schubert set the basis of this repertoire where famous poems written by accomplished writers were chosen and converted to melody using piano.

The duo performed on a total of 22 compositions written by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and Spanish composers Joaquín Turina, Fernando Obradors, Enrique Granados and Eduard Toldra. While Moliner enacted the songs, Picó-Leonís supported her with piano accompaniment.

Gaurav Shrinagesh, CEO, Penguin Random House India and Southeast Asia revealed details about the genre of books that would be available to Indian readers.

“Penguin is pleased to collaborate with the Embassy of Spain to bring some of the greatest, most timeless literary works in the original Spanish language to Indian readers. It is only art, culture and literature that let us transcend borders and come together as a larger community, and Spanish is one of the more popular foreign languages in India. So, it was only a matter of time before original Spanish-language books found their way into our bookstores and bookshelves," he said.

Several representatives of the diplomatic community, including several European, Latin American and US Ambassadors attended the event.

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