“virtuosic playing characterized by its vividly shaded colors and irresistible exuberance…” – The New York Times
The soul of the Spanish guitar runs in Pablo Sáinz Villegas’s blood. Born and raised in La Rioja, Spain – the country with unique and deep ties to his chosen instrument – Sáinz Villegas is lauded for his singing tone and consummate technique. He is known for a sound so rich and full that it does not require amplification.
He has appeared with orchestras in more than 30 countries, including Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Bergen Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Orchestre National de Lyon, Israel Philharmonic and, in North America, with New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Toronto Symphonies. He enjoys fruitful collaborations with conductors including Giancarlo Guerrero, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Carlos Kalmar, Helmut Lachenmann, Juanjo Mena, Alondra de la Parra, composer George Crumb and the late Frühbeck de Burgos. In recital, he has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Puerto Rico’s Festival Casals and Italy’s Merano Festival, as well as in duet with violinist Augustin Hadelich at Ohio’s Linton Music Series and at Rheingau Musik-Festival.
Sainz Villegas’ engagements this season include his recital debut at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Hall, a tour of Japan with Orquesta Nacional de España, a gala concert with his long-time supporter Placido Domingo at Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (seating 80,000), a return to Utah Symphony Orchestra, concerts with Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia and a recital tour of the USA including at NYC‘s 92nd Street Y.
Sáinz Villegas is dedicated to expanding the guitar’s repertory and audience. He premiered Rounds by John Williams, and has worked closely with Sérgio Assad, whose Concerto of Rio de Janeiro, was written for and dedicated to Sáinz Villegas. He has also given first performances of works by Maria Dolores, and will premiere a new concerto by Lorenzo Palomo this season.
An active recording artist, Sáinz Villegas released his debut solo album Americano last season. It has since become a bestseller for the Harmonia Mundi label. He also recently recorded a trio of Rodrigo concertos and his previous releases include Histoire du Tango, a collection of violin-guitar works with Augustin Hadelich for the AVIE label, and Manuel Ponce’s Concierto del sur,which he recorded with Alondra de la Parra for Sony Classical.
In 2007 Sáinz Villegas founded the Music Without Borders Legacy (MWBL), a non-profit organization that seeks to bridge cultural, social, and political boundaries through classical music. The foundation has reached more than 15,000 vulnerable young people internationally. Sáinz Villegas also serves as cultural ambassador for La Rioja’s Vivanco Foundation and its Museum of Wine Culture, considered the most prestigious wine museum in the world.
Born in 1977, Sáinz Villegas studied in Weimar, relocating in 2001 to New York City, where he studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and where he lives to this day. He was previously a winner of the Andrés Segovia Award and the Tarrega Competition and was the first guitarist to win El Ojo Crítico, Spain’s top classical music honour.
For once, at this special concert, it is not predominantly about music. Instead, the musicians would... read more