José Ángel Hevia, new president of the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers 12/Nov/2018
The Asturian musician is an acknowledged promoter of folklore and traditional music

José Ángel Hevia has today been elected president of the Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE). This has been decided mostly by the members of the Board of Directors which met on Monday, November 12, in Madrid. The Asturian musician has obtained 20 votes in favour, 12 abstentions and 2 against from the 34 authors present at the meeting (1 of the 35 has not attended due to illness).

Hevia becomes the 41st president of the institution. Throughout its 119 years of history, the institution has been presided over by composers (such as Ruperto Chapí, Amadeo Vives, Francisco Alonso, Jacinto Guerrero or Moreno Torroba), playwrights (such as Benito Pérez Galdós, Pedro Muñoz Seca, Carlos Arniches, Eduardo Marquina, Juan José Alonso Millán, Ana Diosdado or Santiago Moncada) or filmmakers (such as Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón or José Luis Borau), amongst others.

“I will work to encourage dialogue and understanding amongst all of us who are members of this Board of Directors and I will be president for everyone and for all the partners that are part of the institution. We have a long way to go before attaining the standards of efficiency and quality that this institution deserves. The defence of the creator, whether big or small, musician, choreographer, filmmaker or playwright, will be my first objective”, Hevia affirmed in his first statement after being elected.

The Asturian piper has extensive experience in the defence of copyright and in the institution’s operations, as he has been part of its Board of Directors on two previous occasions: in 2007, as a member of the College of Minor Rights  and in 2018, as member of the College of Publishers through Busindre Producciones S.L.

His election is the result of the electoral process convened on October 26, 2018. Hevia succeeds the musician José Miguel Fernández Sastrón, who has been president of the institution for just over two years (April 2016 to October 2018).

New SGAE Supervisory Board

After the election of the new president, the following have been elected as vice-presidents: Teo Cardalda, for the College of Minor Rights; Antonio Onetti, for the Audio-visual College; Fermín Cabal, for the College of Major Rights, and ALABAMA MUSIC BUSINESS, S.L. (Clifton J. Williams) for the College of Publishers.

Similarly, the Supervisory Board has been established. This is the body to which the permanent and executive administration of the institution belongs and comprises, in addition to the chairman, 13 members appointed by the Board of Directors based on proposals from the respective professional associations: 2 from Major Rights, 5 from Minor Rights, 3 from Audio-visual and 3 from Publishers. 

Promoter of folklore

José Ángel Hevia (Villaviciosa, Asturias -1967) (Minor Rights - Composer). When he was only four years old, the magic conjured up by a man and his bagpipe on a pilgrimage in Amandi inspired a passion for that instrument in Hevia. Despite the neglecting of traditions and the generational disconnection that was prevalent in Asturias at the time, Hevia was one of the few who connected with those old bagpipers. He went on to recover a wealth of popular knowledge that he later channelled into his music.

Following in his footsteps, his sister discovered a love for drumming and, soon afterwards, they began to perform together. In 1991, they won the National Folk Music Show for Youth Institute Young Performers, organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The prize was the recording of an album: Hevia. This was the first of a long list of awards he has received during his career: Eduardo Martínez Torner Ethnomusicological Research Award, two Remis Ovalle Memorials, Trophies for bagpipe soloists at the Lorient Interceltic Festival, several editions of Oviedo Folklore City Contest and Exhibition, Folklore   Promotion Prize and The Asturian Traditions of the Oviedo Town Hall, amongst others.

His solo career began in 1997, with the recording of Tierra de Nadie. The album was released in 1998 and went gold and platinum in several countries such as Spain, Italy, Hungary and New Zealand. Music Awards Best Newcomer, Ondas Award or the Multiplatinum are some of the accolades he received following the release of that work, which took him on tour throughout Europe, America and Japan.

Since then, he has played continuously, performing at numerous festivals, including Celtic, pop, jazz, or religious, such as the “Vatican Christmas Concert” in 2001. His successes continued with the following albums, Al Otro Lado (2000), Étnico ma non troppo (2003), Obsession (2007) and, most recently, Al son del indianu (2018).

Throughout his professional career, he has revolutionized traditional music by taking it beyond Spain. With more than 2.5 million records sold worldwide, he is considered the inventor of the electronic bagpipes.

In addition to being an instrumentalist, Hevia is the composer of most of the songs on his albums. He is an honorary member of the Academy of the Asturian Language.