The Auditorium of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria bears the name of Alfredo Kraus, the most international Canary Island tenor and the most beloved by the general public. This is a gesture of tribute and gratitude for his work in the music world, his figure carrying the name of the city to the ends of the earth.
The building that houses the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium, the work of architect Oscar Tusquets, is one of the most outstanding and representative constructions of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Situated at the end of Las Canteras Beach, this isolated and independent fortress was designed as a lighthouse to identify and protect the city. Ever since it was opened, the image of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium as a sentry watching over Las Canteras Beach has become one of the most emblematic views of the city.
It was built between 1993 and 1997, and served as real catalyst that breathed new life into this part of the city and reactivated a culture industry that was crying out for a multi-purpose venue to host events of all kinds.
It was opened on the 5th of December 1997 by H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias accompanied by local tenor Alfredo Kraus. The evening closed with a fantastic concert performed by the Orchestra and Choir of the Gran Canaria Philharmonic, conducted by its tenured conductor, Adrian Leaper.
The guest choir was the Polyphonic Choir of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the pianist, Alicia de Larrocha. Hence the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium became a cultural benchmark for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and an essential venue for holding conferences in the city.
Built on a plinth of volcanic rock, the building offers 16,750 m2 of useful area divided into 25 halls that can host anything from a meeting for 20 people to a major congress or convention for 4,600 delegates..
Together with the halls, it also has spacious interior areas for resting and leisure activities, extending outside through a truly privileged area of the city from where you can look out over the promenade that runs alongside the five kilometres of Las Canteras Beach.
One of the main features of the Auditorium Symphonic Hall, together with an enormous picture window that opens up a wonderful view over the see from the stalls, is a spectacular organ that, with its 2,750 pipes, is one of the largest in the Canary Islands and the only secular one on the island of Gran Canaria.
This instrument was first premiered on the 21st of October 1999 with a concert that was attended by Princess Irene of Greece in the royal box. The recital, given by famous German organist Wolfgang Seifen, was a fund raiser for the World in Harmony Foundation chaired by Princess Irene of Greece.
Designed by master organ builder Gabriel Blancafort and built by his son and heir, Albert Blancafort (Organers de Montserrat), the distinguishing feature of this instrument in particular is that it is really three organs in one, as it can be used as a baroque instrument, ideal for performing music of this period, as a romantic organ, with a darker and more robust sound, and a third organ, the Spanish organ, imitating the classical Spanish master organ builders.
The majesty, sonority and solemnity of sound that this organ gives the Symphonic Hall of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium is undoubtedly another good reason for visiting the auditorium.
In November 2002, coinciding with its fifth anniversary, the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium was extended with the opening of the San Borondón and Alegranza Halls, hence giving the venue new facilities to complement what it offers.
Eight years later, on the 3rd of November 2010, the multi-purpose hall was opened, an area of 587 m2 with capacity for 610 people and with a highly innovative mechanism for folding away the seats, the work of Catalan architect Óscar Tusquets, it is used for events and concerts of all kinds, representing a new kind of space within the Auditorium.
On the 17th of January 2014, on the 30th anniversary of the Canary Island Music Festival – hosted by the Auditorium, the multi-purpose hall of the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium was re-named the Jerónimo Saavedra Acevedo Hall in recognition of the work he did fostering culture in the Canary Islands.
Throughout its life, the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium has consolidated its position as a unique and essential venue in the city as it hosts all kinds of both cultural and social events in its facilities. Moreover, the building, now an inseparable part of Las Canteras Beach, is a characteristic feature of Gran Canaria throughout the world.