Introduction letter

The Fundació Privada Rius i Virgili was founded in 1996 after having lived through our parents’ suffering as they were dying of cancer. That painful experience of watching and suffering horribly alongside the patient, along with our sense of powerlessness to do anything, were the reasons that prompted us to take a vital decision in our lives. We decided to devote our entire family inheritance, the fruits of the Rius i Virgili family’s lifelong work, to the struggle to beat cancer, while also bearing in mind the therapeutic effects music can have on suffering.

Thus was the Fundació Privada Rius i Virgili created.

At first, in its zeal to beat cancer, the foundation allocated its resources to granting prizes and aid for research, the main beneficiaries being university graduates and medical school students.

Initially, with regard to music, we thought that there must be young talented people who did not study music or pursue further musical education through either a lack of resources or their own indecision. For this reason, we began to stimulate middle-level musical training by awarding prizes to students at this level. The award winners had the chance and the incentive to have their compositions performed in a concert. Initially we held the concerts in the auditorium of the Barcelona Municipal Music Conservatory, and gradually we encouraged all the local conservatories to participate.

Time has gone by and the foundation now has ten years under its belt since it was founded back in 1996. Over these years, we have realised that constant advancements are being made in medicine, that science is making headway and that the illnesses that used to lack a cure no longer concern us. What is more, new illnesses have arisen that require new fields of research and investigation.

For instance, twenty years ago no one had heard of AIDS or the Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease.  We believed that these other illnesses that kept appearing also required the foundation’s aid and support in the quest for curative or at least palliative treatments.

For these reasons, we decided to expand not only the fields of medical research but also the profile of the beneficiaries of the foundation. Not only should we be awarding prizes university graduates and medical school students, we also had to go a step further. For example, why not grant a prize to an engineer who has discovered a machine able to perform a curative treatment for a certain disease?

Likewise, the foundation also wished to go a step further in the field of music by fostering upper level musical training by awarding prizes and/or grants to university graduates in music.
Over time, the range of aid that the foundation grants has become increasingly broad. In addition to prizes, grants are also awarded, as are any type of aid that can help spur advancements in the scientific world in any of the specialities within the field of medicine, as well as to foster musical knowledge and culture.

After ten years, we still have the same enthusiasm and impetus that we had at the start, and we have no dearth of future plans to ensure that the foundation keeps growing every day towards fulfilling its goals, both inside and outside Catalonia.

Montserrat Rius i Virgili.
Núria Rius i Virgili.
Avgda 317, nº 6 - 08860 Castelldefels - Telf. i fax 93 665 17 71