ALEGRIA BENZECRY DE BERACASA 



She was born in Caracas, Venezuela on the 6th of February 1915 and died in Caracas, Venezuela on the 5th of January 1989.

Alegria was very passionate about Music, Art, Literature and different cultures in general. She studied piano and won the first prize "del colegio de San José de Tarbes." She met Carlos at a very young age as they were neighbours and they got married on September 9th 1936.


On many occasions, she travelled to Europe with her parents, especially to Paris where she felt greatly drawn by the French culture. Here, she learned the language and more about their art, all of which helped Alegria helped to improve the cultural movement of Venezuela.

She lived in Paris for many years and eventually, with the help of interesting masters such as Rostropovich, Mauritzio Pollini, Daniel Barem Boyn, Isaac Stern, in 1986 they created the Carlos and Alegria Beracasa Music Foundation. In order to raise the foundation’s profile these well-known musicians played for them in their concerts. All these great musicians came to Caracas, Venezuela, not only to perform, but to give master classes to the young. She also organised musical cruises in order for ‘child' performers to play in different Mediterranean countries like Greece, Turkey, Israel etc and sponsored concerts all around the world.


In 1986, Alegria was named “Citoyenne d’Honneur de la ville de Montpellier”, where the mayor named a street after her. When there was a music festival, she brought the young Venezuelan orchestra to perform. The mayor of Montpellier honoured her with the key to the city because every year she brought young musicians to take part in this extravagant event.


She was also the president of the Board for the Gallery of National Arts and ‘Inter American Music Friends’ (related to the OEA), who gave her the Silver Medal and Honour Diploma in order to thank her for her work in stimulating music. Furthermore, President Jacques Chiroc himself gave both of them (Carlos and Alegria) the Legion of Honour in 1987.


Another extraordinary achievement in her life was the creation, along with her husband, of the first school and workshop to educate children with Down Syndrome in Venezuela called AVEPANE. This project was close to her heart and was embarked upon with her sister, Reyna Benzecry, who had a daughter with Down syndrome who inspired this idea. In this way she met the Kennedy family, who visited the foundation in Venezuela, and subsequently invited Alegria and Carlos to the White House to a cultural garden party where she met many significant people who were greatly interested in the work they were doing. Liora B, Year 9

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