Paloma O'Shea

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Paloma O'Shea Artiñano, 1st Marquise of O'Shea,[1] (born 1936), is a pianist, patron of the arts,[2] founder and current principal of the Queen Sofía College of Music and founder and president of the Albeniz Foundation, which organizes the Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition in Santander (Spain).

Paloma O'Shea was born in Bilbao suburb Las Arenas, Biscay, Spain, a daughter of José O'Shea y Sebastián de Erice (descended from Irishman William O'Shea who came to Spain in the 18th century) and Basque María de la Asunción de Artíñano y Luzarraga, married at Concepción, Madrid, on 2 May 1935.[3] She started studying piano in 1941 in Bilbao and later moved to France to further her music studies.[1] At age 15 she won the Primer Premio Fin de Carrera and performed as soloist with the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra.[4] Several years later she married Emilio Botín, Executive Chairman of Grupo Santander and devoted herself to promoting classical music in Spain.[4]

In 1972 she founded the Concurso de Piano de Santander, which was later named after her and in 1991 founded the Queen Sofía College of Music,[1] a private music school, now one of the leading music schools in Spain.

She was given the rank of Marchioness of O'Shea by the King of Spain in 2008,[1] the Légion d'honneur of France,[2] the gold medal of the Spanish Institute in New York and the Picasso Award of the UNESCO.[2] She has 6 children and divides her time between Madrid and Santander.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "El Rey concede a Paloma O'Shea el marquesado de O'shea (in Spanish)". Diario Montañes. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Paloma O'Shea recibe la Legion de Honor (in Spanish)". Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Paloma O'Shea in a Portuguese Genealogical site
  4. ^ a b Enrique Franco (08/06/1984). "PERFIL: Paloma O'Shea". El País. Retrieved 8 January 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
Spanish nobility
New title Marquise of O'Shea