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(1953-1997) FATHER IRENEU SEGARRA I MALLA

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P. Ireneu
Father Ireneu Segarra i Malla was born in Ivars d’Urgell. He is well-known for having been the Escolania’s choirmaster for forty-five years. But his relationship with the Escolania started a long time before this, because from 1927 to 1931 he was a choirboy in Montserrat. In those days, he had teachers such as F. Anselm Ferrer, who was the choirmaster, and F. Àngel Rodamilans, as the piano professor.

In 1932 F. Ireneu entered the Monastery of Montserrat, where he made his monastic profession on 6th August 1934.

As regards F. Ireneu’s musical studies, we should emphasize, besides the background he acquired as a choirboy, the piano lessons with Frank Marshall (1941-1950), harmonics and vocal descant with Maestro Josep Barberà, vocal descant, fugue and composition with Maestro Cristòfol Taltabull (1949-1951), and the time he spent in Paris in 1952 in order to attend Nadia Boulanger’s lessons. Regarding his knowledge about other young choirs, it is important to stress the contact with Die Wiener Sängerknaben (the Vienna Boys Choir) and with the Domspatzen from the Cathedral of Ratisbona (who were then conducted by Georg Ratzinger, brother of the Pope Benedictus XVI). All this helped F. Ireneu to prepare himself for being in charge of the Escolania.

While he was the choirmaster of the Escolania, F. Ireneu founded the Former Choirboys’ Choir, and he deployed his musical aptitudes and his artistic sensibility in two other fields: musical pedagogy and composition.

The singing method for boys and his method of musical pedagogy are the legacy he gave to the Escolania.


Death of F. Ireneu Segarra





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