I’m a self-taught composer, but have also been lucky to receive advice and guidance from well-known figures such as Xavier Montsalvatge, Suzanne Ciani, Luis de Pablo and James DeMars.
During the 2000s, I had the privilege of being taught by the extraordinary Maria João Pires, who premièred part of my work during her Spanish tour with her duo partner, Ricardo Castro, culminating in the Scherzo-El País Foundation’s “Ciclo de Grandes Intérpretes” in May 2004. This experience at the same time further shaped my aesthetic orientation thanks to Pires’ ethical and artistic teaching, as well as the continuous example provided by her life work.
After obtaining a degree in Art History at the University of Extremadura, under the direction of the academic and scholar María del Mar Lozano Bartolozzi, I am now doing a Degree in Philosophy at UNED.
- First prize in Spain’s “Infanta Cristina-Trofeo Loewe” piano competition in 1988.
- First prize in “Marisa Montiel” of Linares in both junior and senior sections (with their respective Musicality Trophies in 1987 and 1992).
- Finalist in the 1987 edition of UER’s Young Musician Competition (in which I starred in the “Musiquísimos” program directed by José Buenagu and hosted by Rafa Izurquiza on TVE1).
- Third prize in “María Canals” de Barcelona international competition (Piano Juniors 1989, for young pianists).
- Unanimous Honorable Mention in the “Kawai-Caja Postal” Award in 1989, when I was 15 (the contest had an age limit of 25).
- Tenured Professor (by public service exam) since 1992 (when I was 18 years old) of the faculty of Professional Conservatories of Music.
I have performed in Madrid (Escuela Superior de Canto, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Olivar de Castillejo Foundation), Barcelona (Casal del Metge, Marshall Academy, Aula Magna from El Liceo Opera House, El Teatre més Petit del Món), Valencia (Sala Russafa Theatre, presenting the Gurdjieff-Hartmann’s meditative concert music and sacred dance for the Fourth Way group led by Jorge Díaz), Castelló (Auditori), Oviedo (Príncipe Felipe Auditorium), Bilbao (Arriaga Theatre), Córdoba (Magdalena Church), Albacete (CCM Cultural Centre Auditorium, Town Hall Auditorium), Cuenca (Theatre-Auditorium, “Pedro Aranaz” Professional Music Conservatory), Málaga (Cervantes Theatre, together with the Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Claudio Ianni, as part of a homage to the brilliant film music of Pablo Cervantes, by way of a special monograph providing panoramic glimpses of his creative career.
I have also performed in Cáceres (WOMAD 2007, Sala Clavellina, San Francisco Auditorium, Sala Capitol, Gran Teatro, Ateneo), Badajoz (Esteban Sánchez Cultural Center, López de Ayala Theatre: where I witnessed the premiere of my “Concierto Conspicuo” by the versatile and dedicated “Atlantis Piano Duo”), Lisbon (Saõ Luiz Theatre, where I participated in the activities of Belgais-Centro de Estudo para as Artes), Évora (Dom Manuel Palace), Salzburg, Austria (Mozarteum, as student of the distinguished pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva) and Canberra, Australia (ISME Congress, acting as representative of Spain, assuming the responsibilities related to the first “Infanta Cristina-Trofeo Loewe” Award).
Thanks to the pianist Guillermo González, my “Nueve Estampas Naïves. In memoriam Michael Ende” appeared in EMEC (Editorial de Música Española Contemporánea). Its stylistic principles were endorsed by Mariko Sato (the widow of the author of “Neverending Story”) and Roman Hocke, Ende’s editor at Thienemanns Publishing House and in charge of his literary legacy. The experience of endowing it with a sense of melodrama, and its later adaptation for didactic concerts that paid homage to the Bavarian writer (prepared and produced by the conductor and award-winning Cristina de Frutos Alonso), opened up new horizons for me, expanding ideas I would then also use in my own compositions.
I also recorded the instrumental part of an album entitled “Canciones de la Tierra”, composed by my colleague Leandro Lorrio and conceived as a rethinking of folklore. I also did the piano section of the Soundtrack of “Tiovivo c. 1950”, a classic theme ever since its initial broadcast and original score by Pablo Cervantes, created to accompany the most intimate moments of the feature film by the Oscar-winning director José Luis Garci.
My musical compositions enjoyed world premieres by exciting artists such as Andrei Gavrilov, Javier Perianes, Sophia Hase and Eduardo Ponce; the pianist (and tireless investigator of new repertoires) and writer Diego Fernández Magdaleno; Laura Sabatel and Óscar Lobete, Manuel Escalante; an exceptional team formed by the clarinet player Víctor Díaz Guerra and pianist José María Villegas; The Joecom Orchestra and the incomparable Mariana Gurkova, as well as the fabulous “Sonido Extremo” Ensemble, with Beatriz González Díez as its spectacular pianist.
In 2010 the record company Columna Música published “Intima intention. Obra para piano”, a monographic album of my short pieces, broadcast by Catalunya Música, Canal Extremadura Radio and Television, as well as Radio Clásica. In 2014 the Editora Regional de Extremadura brought out “Para el Piano”, an anthological collection of contemporary music in which I participated.
From 2013 to 2021, I attended Cuenca’s “Música y Significado” Symposium, a wonderful venue for discussing and comparing one’s progress with avid music lovers. The event, organized by Radio Clásica and UIMP, and operating under the auspices of the formidable musical analyst and brilliant communicator Luis Ángel de Benito, is a summer meeting point in which participants share all areas and approaches to humanistic knowledge related to music.
On another note, my “Cinco Toccatas desde el Término Medio” was the basis for a Master’s Thesis awarded an outstanding mark, thanks to the merits of the Madrid pianist Laura Checa Paz (tutored by the multifaceted musicologist Paulino Capdepón Verdú), marking the culmination of her postgraduate studies at the Katarina Gurska Academy of Music.
Later on, two theoretical approaches of my work were also welcomed very favorably: the first in the Final Degree project (June 2019) of the Zafra pianist Laura Domínguez Meca (regarding circumstances favorable to all that exists of pure genesis in this music), and which was taught by Laura’s piano teacher, the admirable pianist Jorge Lechado López, at the “Manuel Castillo” Conservatory of Music in Sevilla.
The other project was a Master's thesis whose advisor was the great musician, humanist and scholar Brenno Adelchi Ambrosini and which the pianist Clara Sánchez Rincón defended successfully at the COSCYL in Salamanca in 2019, by examining the influences, both musical and other, which have nurtured my music.
The most recent investigative work regarding this music was a Master’s thesis on the piano preludes, presented before a panel of judges in September 2021. It was written by the pianist Juan Carlos Moñino Delgado (also at the COSCYL in Salamanca), who had received tutelage from Miriam Gómez-Morán, professor at said institution, and (no less important), also a recognized specialist in the work of Franz Liszt.
I also had the honor of participating in the album “Nana”, a tribute to the lullaby of Hispanic roots launched with art and delicacy in 2015 by the Dutch House “Brilliant Classics”. The album, performed by the eminent soprano Carmen Solis and the splendid pianist Eduardo Moreno, starts off with consecrated authors such as Don Manuel de Falla and Federico García Lorca, and finishes with track no. 20, “Nana del niño malo”; a lullaby I composed from the poem of the same title by Rafael Alberti to complete this edition.
My compositional imaginary was further enriched when the prodigious plastic artist Isabel Ramos Gutiérrez explored it in a dreamlike, even metaphysical way, revealing those latent potentialities, those myriad shared intuitions lying in both her and my aesthetic languages. This spiritual affinity resulted in the series “Serendipity: piano, piano… Guillermo and his music”.
My “Diez Nocturnos para piano” have been reviewed, compiled and published in 2022, also by the Madrid team of EMEC. They draw an intimate and autobiographical portrait of the evolution of my compositions over the past two decades. They have been published in two volumes (The first featuring Nos. 1 - 5 and the second, Nos. 6 - 10), along with analog versions intended for digital commerce (these also divided into unitary formats).
I have also sporadically worked on the side as a music promoter. I have collaborated with Canal Extremadura Radio, first in the mythical, now defunct program "El Diapasón", which showcased the great lyrical tenor and writer Alonso Torres Ventosa), and later in the popular "El Sol sale por el Oeste", hosted by the incomparable duo Ana Gragera and Antonio León. I also collaborated years ago with other media, such as the Periódico Extremadura newspaper and the Guía de Ocio magazine (by Jesús Paniagua), these being both my most inexperienced and perhaps consequently also most daring ventures into the world of the written word before the eruption on the scene of Twitter and Facebook.Versión en inglés: Nuria García-Agulló. Octubre de 2022.