Pablo’s latest solo album “Americano” continues it’s exciting journey as it now makes its debut on the top 15 of Billboard’s Classical Crossover Chart! It rides on the list along with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” by John Williams who is also featured on the CD as the world premiere recording of “Rounds”, Maestro William’s first piece ever written for the guitar.
The renowned travel and lifestyle magazine asked Pablo to be an exclusive insiders guide in sharing his favorite things to do in his home region of La Rioja in the north of Spain.
“La Rioja is more than a wine region. Villegas’s sound is inspired by the music of Spain’s La Rioja region, where the Manhattan resident grew up and returns yearly.”
“…in the end it’s about music. It’s about emotions. It’s about having a good time. We’re there to entertain and inspire people through music,”
– Pablo tells Classical Guitar Magazine where the Spanish guitarist is featured on the cover for their latest Winter issue. Pablo talks about his new CD Americano and the challenges of playing concertos. Don’t miss the unique interview by Blair Jackson. Click here to read the full article online. (more…)
Best of 2015 — Classical Music
Mr. Villegas, who has appeared twice with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in as many seasons, gave an astonishing recital that tackled an array of solo guitar music from Spain and elsewhere. This marks the first time that Chamber Music Pittsburgh’s three-year-old “Just Summer” series has been included in the top 10 list, and that’s worth noting: Perhaps the main series at Carnegie Music Hall, which is packed with string quartets, could learn a little something from its summertime counterpart. (more…)
Following a wildly successful album release show nearly two months ago, Americano has continued to enjoy widespread acclaim.
The New York Times featured the album on its Classical Playlist, praising Pablo for his:
“virtuosic playing…characterized by its vividly shaded colors and irresistible exuberance…”
This past month, Pablo Sáinz Villegas made his much anticipated return to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for their season opening concert. His fellow countryman, visiting conductor Gustavo Gimeno, led the PSO and Pablo in an performance of Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette calls Pablo’s performance of the concerto “ utterly riveting.” Of his encore, the same review said,
“…Villegas did his most dazzling playing in his signature encore, Francisco Tarrega’s delightful arrangement of a traditional Spanish Jota melody.”
TRIB Live raved,
“Pablo Sáinz Villegas, who was a big hit performing the same composer’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” a year ago, played the guitar with alluring personality, including finely shaded musical lines.”
“His touch takes you from Brazil to Venezuela to the good ol’ USA here, showing the links that 6 strings can provide,” says Jazz Weekly.
After a sold-out album release show at Joe’s Pub on September 29, rave reviews have been pouring in for Americano. Both WQXR and KDFC featured the album as their Album of the Week, and WOSU Radio describes the true nature of Pablo’s success:
“The heart of the matter… is his beautiful and soulful way of playing, communicating the essence of each piece he plays with great skill and artistry.”
AllMusic calls Americano
“An exceptionally fresh and satisfying guitar release.”
Up next for Pablo is a weekend with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Click here for a chance to view the Pablo’s Joe’s Pub performance.
On September 11, Pablo kicks off his 2015-16 season with the international release of Americano, his first recording for Harmonia Mundi. To celebrate this debut, Pablo will perform selections from the new recording at Joe’s Pub in downtown New York City on Tuesday, September 29. Upcoming Americano showcases in other cities will be announced shortly. Produced by two-time Grammy Award-winner Adam Abeshouse, Americano takes listeners on a musical journey through the myriad guitar traditions of the New World. Highlights include music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, preludes by Brazilian master Heitor Villa-Lobos, the popular standard Granada by Mexico’s Agustín Lara, original bluegrass arrangements, Roland Dyen’s beloved Tango en Skai, and the world premiere recording of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams.
It was Pablo who first premiered Rounds in live performance. Williams comments:
“I feel privileged in having Pablo Sáinz Villegas do the world premiere recording of Rounds. Also, it’s very exciting to see the appreciation of his exquisite artistry growing worldwide. It is a recognition that he so richly deserves!”
– John Williams
Click here for a sneak peek of Americano.
Click here to view full News Release by 21C Media Group
Pablo kicks off the weekend this Friday with world-premiere performance of Sergio Assad’s Concerto Popular do Rio at Guitar Foundation of American Convention
On Friday, Pablo joins the Oklahoma City Philharmonic at the Guitar Foundation of America Convention to give the world premiere of Concierto Popular do Rio by Grammy Award-winning Brazilian composer and guitarist Sergio Assad. A co-commission of the Guitar Festival of America and Cordoba Guitar Festival, Assad’s new concerto was written for and dedicated to Pablo, who also gives its European premiere with the Cordoba Symphony and Juan Luis Perez at Spain’s Gran Teatro de Cordoba five days later on July 1.
In a statement about the new concerto, Pablo said:
“One of my goals is to continue developing the symphony guitar repertoire through new concertos commissioned from well-known companies, and to share the expressiveness of my beautiful instrument through a variety of different aesthetics and sounds. I want people to enjoy the Spanish guitar and its unique capabilities at their best.”
Click here to learn more about Pablo’s upcoming concerts this summer.
“My mission is to connect people through music. New York is an environment where I find all the inspiration I need. It’s the whole world in a small city,” Pablo tells Departures in the May/June issue. The Spanish guitarist is featured in the magazine’s article, “The New New York: A Fashion Portfolio by Bjorn Iooss”. Model and actress Chanel Iman, Principal Dancer from New York City Ballet Sara Mearns, soprano Ailyn Perez, and actress Caitlin Gerard are just a few of the influential New Yorkers that join Pablo in this feature styled by Kareem Rashed and Ahnna Lee.
Audiences can see Pablo next when he makes his debut with the National Symphony of Peru performing the Peruvian premiere of John Corigliano’s Troubadours: Variations for Guitar and Chamber Orchestra. Click here for a full list of upcoming performances.
“For Spanish guitar virtuoso Pablo Sáinz Villegas, what the world needs now is more music and wine, the twin passions of his native province of La Rioja, in Spain. Villegas is a Cultural Ambassador of the region’s Museum of the Wine Culture (Vivanco) and founded the international nonprofit Music Without Borders Legacy.”
– DEPARTURES Magazine
luxury magazine, covering
travel, shopping, fashion,
design, arts and culture
Interview by Joe Harper
Pablo is thrilled to announce that he has joined CAMI Music’s distinguished roster of international artists. In a statement about this new collaboration, Pablo said, “I am thrilled to be working with Toby Tumarkin, Theresa Vibberts and the brilliant team at CAMI Music. I feel very connected to their vision of bringing music closer to people. They are extremely creative and enthusiastic, it is so inspiring working together.”
This exciting news follows an impressive season that saw Pablo make debuts with no fewer than seven U.S. orchestras. The Spanish guitarist will kick off the 2015-2016 season with the release of his solo album, Americano. He will also perform with many important orchestras including Pittsburgh, Oregon, Cincinnati, Bergen and Pacific.
CAMI Music will manage Pablo worldwide with the exception of Spain, Portugal and Scandinavia, which will continue to be handled by Humberto Orán , Marta Orán and the wonderful team at Musiespaña.
CAMI Music’s official news release:
Cami Music is proud to welcome Pablo Sáinz Villegas
In his first appearance with the San Antonio Symphony under the baton of Spanish conductor Pedro Halffter in the Tobin Center, the guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas earned an uncommonly warm and extended ovation for his masterful account of Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez”.
In the outer allegros of the Rodrigo concerto, Mr. Villegas impressed with his clarity of line, nimble execution and relaxed, sunny disposition. The slow movement revealed more layers of depth — a rich but focused tone, a keen intuition for pitch inflections, a wide color palette and, most of all, an astonishing interpretive freedom. This was a highly personal account, with lots of tempo rubato giving the music the aspect of on-the-spot improvisation. For all its individuality, however, the performance never seemed like an imposition on the music. Rather, the guitarist was liberating the music from the confinement of notation. This was the most fully realized and fully human performance of the “Aranjuez” adagio in my experience.
For his generous encore, Mr. Villegas offered Francisco Tárrega’s “Gran Jota de Concierto,” a set of variations by turns splashy and lyrical, some calling for wonderfully unexpected color effects including an entirely convincing snare drum.
“This was the most fully realized and fully human performance of the “Aranjuez” adagio in my experience.”
– M. Greenberg. Incident Light
Read Full article here.
Following celebrated debuts with the Pittsburgh, Oregon, and Colorado Springs Symphonies, Pablo “brought down the house”(Fort Worth Star-Telegram) performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez at his debut with the Fort Worth Symphony at Bass Hall this past weekend. D Magazine praised Villegas for his “impressive” technique “in terms of his accurate, sure-fire velocity and his solid, compelling tone quality,” while Theater Jones stated that “Villegas’ technique allowed him to maintain great clarity while projecting a welcoming variety of colors.” After a “hugely enthusiastic audience ovation” (D Magazine) Pablo performed Francisco Tarrega’s Gran Jota.
Original Article: Diario La Rioja
BY JONÁS SÁINZ | @JonasSainz
Pablo Sáinz Villegas will surprise 5 Riojan locals who embody great human values, by serenading them.
He considers himself the guitarist of the people. In addition, like olden day heroes that came to the aid of the defenceless, or modern superheroes with extraordinary superpowers, now he is going to earn the nickname of the guitarist of the good people. Although, on this occasion he is not the one in the limelight. Next week in Logroño, Pablo Sáinz Villegas will serenade five anonymous Riojan locals who embody great human values. “Serenade your values”, an initiative by this Riojan musician’s own charitable association, the Legacy of Music without Borders (LMSF), will be dedicated to these five people but hopes to extend this tribute to “millions of anonymous heroes that do great work every day, silently yet constantly, when they demonstrate human values that transform society and make a difference” (more…)
Videos: Amy Pearl; Audio: Edward Haber; Text and production: Brian Wise;
Listen to Interview by Naomi Lewin
The classical guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas has made his home in New York City for a decade, but his performances have a strong sense of his roots in La Rioja, a region in the north of Spain celebrated for its complex red wines as well as its earthy, indigenous folk music. That includes the Spanish Jota, a folk dance that is normally played with mandolins and guitars, singers and dancers.
Performing solo, Villegas featured the colorfully virtuosic dance in a Café Concert performance of Tarrega’s Gran Jota de Concierto, which featured a variety of strumming and percussive effects. (click here to view video)
Villegas came to WQXR on the cusp of a busy season. He’s making debuts this year with seven U.S. orchestras, including the Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oregon Symphonies. For six of those seven he’ll be playing Rodrigo’s soulful and challenging Concierto de Aranjuez. He also has a new album due out in early 2015, called “Americano.” But as Villegas stated at several points during his visit, “music is a journey” and for him, it began at age six when he saw the celebrated Spanish guitarist Andrés Segovia performing on television.
Audiences and critics alike responded enthusiastically to the debut performances by Pablo Sáinz Villegas with the renowned Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Omer Meir Wellber – who was also making his PSO debut replacing Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the beloved Spanish maestro who died earlier this year. Writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Elizabeth Bloom praised the “impressive” collaboration of soloist and conductor in Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” arguably the most famous work for guitar and orchestra, noting, “Mr. Villegas, who played without amplification, maintained clarity and crispness throughout. Most stirring was his passionate account of the second movement, which was inspired by the composer’s despair at the miscarriage of his first child and the fear he would lose his wife, too. Mr. Villegas had thoughtful phrasing and gorgeous coloring: mahogany lows, steely highs, teardrop-like harmonics.”
In the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, critic Mark Kanny praised “the soulful Spanish Guitarist” for the “lovely round sound” he achieved from his “magnificent instrument,” reporting, “Villegas received an extended standing ovation.” His encore, ‘Recuerdos de la Alhambra’ by Francisco Tárrega, was exquisitely played in Frühbeck’s memory.”
“Mr. Villegas had thoughtful phrasing and gorgeous coloring: mahogany lows, steely highs, teardrop-like harmonics.”
“Villegas received an extended standing ovation.”
Spanish guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas steps up his American presence this season, making debuts with no fewer than seven U.S. orchestras. For his first appearances with ensembles including the Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Oregon Symphonies, the guitarist plays Rodrigo’s soulful Concierto de Aranjuez, a signature work that also serves as the vehicle for his upcoming collaborations with Spain’s National Radio & Television and JONDE Orchestras, and which features on his forthcoming recording with the National Orchestra of Spain. In recital, meanwhile, Villegas – an “exceptional and gifted performer” (Classical Guitar magazine) – appears at Carnegie Hall, the New York City Classical Guitar Society, the Guitar Foundation of America Convention, Puerto Rico’s Festival Casals, and Italy’s Merano Festival, besides dueting with violinist Augustin Hadelich at Indiana’s Linton Music Series and Germany’s Rheingau Music Festival.
This past weekend saw Pablo Sáinz Villegas in two sold-out performances at the Aspen Music Festival, with his frequent duo partner, violinist Augustin Hadelich, and Korean pianist Joyce Yang for a program called “Tango, Song, and Dance”. The trio first performed this program together at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC in April. In its review of the performance, the Washington Post said, “The music was delightful and well-played by three crack musicians.”
“The most riveting moments involved duets. Hadelich and Villegas made Astor Piazzolla’s 1986 ‘Histoire du Tango’ spring to life with thrusting musical gestures played with deep wells of soul.”
– The Aspen Times