2023 EMILI PUJOL UNIVERSE | Public success at Guitarfest and new encounter with the guitar course and contest

  • Historic milestone for Guitarfest: 17 concerts in 12 towns and almost 2,000 attendees

  • Return of the Campus and the Pujol Contest, won by a young Mexican guitarist

Torrebesses | August 28, 2023 | 8:10 p.m.


Absolute full house in all the concerts held in the dozen edition of the Garrigues Guitar Festival that began in the town of Soleràs last Saturday, July 1 and which premiered for the first time at the Guitarfest. Worship spaces were resonant settings for the highest interpretations of plucked strings in imposing churches such as La Granadella, Garrigues Cathedral, or exquisite Romanesque churches such as Torrebesses and Vinaixa. From the Italian Baroque, through the Spanish Renaissance and succumbing to Latin American folklore and popular Catalan music, they also had a space for the most current and avant-garde repertoire.

All concerts were received with excellent cultural experiences such as guided tours of the Floresta castle or the cave paintings of Cogul, spectacular frescoes from Bellaguarda or Espluga Calba, accompanied by gastronomic pairings with local products to a special and prepared menu for guitarfest. Through the charm of 12 towns and 17 concerts, under the heat of guitar chords, almost 2,000 people enjoyed a summer that closed the edition last Friday, August 25 in Torrebesses.

Emili Pujol Symposium, Campus and Contest

The municipality of Torrebesses became the center of the Pujol Universe for a whole week. Guitars from all over the world found the environment where maestro Emili Pujol lived and coexisted with his locals. The first edition of the Pujol Campus and Contest was held in 2019 with the complicity of the populations of Granadella i Torrebesses. This year, this last one, was the space where the second edition of the contest took place along with the course.

The Pujol Symposium, treating as monographic conferences to publicize the human figure and the artistic relevance of the illustrious musician, began with the Emili Pujol Guitar Clinic Campus, a four-day meeting, from July 24 to 27 and held at the Torrebesses Dry Stone Interpretation Center.

The participants resolved, under the intervention of specialists from the Barcelona Performing Arts Prevention Center, issues as fundamental as physiotherapy, Pilates, psychology and nutrition, all for the correct performance of the artist. And for the technical and aesthetic work of the instrument they had the professionals Maria Esther Guzmán and Carles Herraiz on the guitar, and David Murgadas for the antique instruments. All starting from the pedagogical philosophy of teacher Emili Pujol.

Next, on July 29 and 30, at the Sant Salvador Church in Torrebesses, the second edition of the Emili Pujol International Guitar Competition was held, a classical guitar performance competition for guitarists up to 35 years old, whose purpose is to learn and illustrate his compositional work and that this year the Cuban work of maestro Pujol was the obligatory score developed in the first phase. The second phase was free choice for the three finalists and selected by the members of the Jury formed by Pili Ramon, professor at the Tarragona Conservatory; Carles Herraiz, professor at the Lleida Conservatory; and José Galeote, guitarist and composer from Barcelona. The winners were:  José Daniel Salceda, representative of Mexico, winner of the first prize and public prize; Izan Rubio, Catalan representative of Spain with the second prize, and third prize and special Emili Pujol prize for Junhui Kim, young representative of South Korea.

The Pujol Universe has received funding from Next Generation European funds to expand and diversify the cultural offer in non-urban areas of the Generalitat of Catalonia, a state framework promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports. The Department of Culture of the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Provincial Council of Lleida with the Institut d’Estudis Ilerdencs and the Torrebesses City Council have also provided support.

The proposal aims to become an incubator of creation, production, exhibition and artistic competition related to the figure and work of the maestro Emili Pujol, the central axis of which is the instrument of the guitar, developed in a rural and experimental environment, and as backbone element of nature and its ecosystem.


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