Ambassadors

LISARDO LOMBARDÍA

 

There is no opposition between the universal and the local. You are a citizen of the world to the extent that you identify with a specific place on the planet. Traditional culture reinvents itself each day. Culture is often the cutting edge of the economy.

Lisardo Lombardía Yenes was born in Asturias (Pola de Laviana, 1955)

Holder of a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Oviedo, he practiced as a family physician for some years. Since he had been attracted from an early age by Asturian culture in general and music in particular, he acquired a classical music education in the University Chorus in Oviedo, an ensemble that was very well-known nationally and internationally during the years of Spain’s political transition.

In 1983, he was among the founders of the Belenos collective, a group for ethnographic studies in Asturias. At present, he continues to preside its foundation that publishes the prestigious journal « Asturies, memoria encesa d’un país » and organizes expositions and seminars on specific topics. As an ethnographic researcher, he often publishes in Spanish and in the Asturian language. He was the creator and artistic director of “Celtic Nights” in Oviedo, of the Celtic Harp Festival and the Oviedo Folk Festival, all of which were held in the capital of Asturias during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

In 1983, he joined the Asturian Phonographic Society, where he began to produce Asturian traditional and folk music records, including Beleño, Arpa Céltica, Xuacu Amieva. Starting from 1987, at a new record company, Fonoastur, he began to work very productively recording and distributing music, producing more than 100 records that provide exposure for names such as Llan de Cubel, Felpeyu, Mariluz Cristóbal Caunedo, Muyeres, Ramón Prada, many bands of Asturian bagpipes, choruses ... He has also directed theater and musical productions and taken part in video production teams.

In 1988, the newspaper La Nueva España, the newspaper with the greatest daily circulation in Asturias, asked him to launch a cultural center associated with this newspaper. Since then, he has directed the « Asturian Press Club » of La Nueva España, a forum that soon became indispensable, and which hosts more than 25,000 persons each year who arrive to attend roughly 250 ceremonies or debates, which serve to give voice to politicians, writers or high-profile artists of national and international importance, and at the same time to give voice to the local association who take part in daily life in Oviedo and Asturias.

Since 1985, Lisardo Lombardia, as a distinguished expert on Brittany and the Celtic regions, has been the representative of Asturias for the Interceltic Festival in Lorient, and in 2007 he became its managing director. The year 2018 was his twelfth year in charge of the world’s leading Celtic music festival.

In the course of those years, he strove for the professional consolidation of the Festival and the reinforcement of ties with Breton associations. As a defender of the value of minority cultures and holder of a cosmopolitan view of interceltism, he has successfully improved the position of the Celtic regions less visible in the Festival and its openness toward the Celtic world’s diasporas and its contemporary cultural mixtures. He has also given greater visibility to Breton language and culture. Since 2009 he has been a member as “qualified person” of the Cultural Council of Brittany, the official organization of that region, which is the only one of its kind. In 2015 he received the silver medal from the Principality of Asturias.