skip to Main Content

(Sept. 13, 2019, 5:30 PM at CMMB)

Lecture on “the Concert Guitar construction” by SANTIAGO CANALS

The construction of a Concert Guitar follows a chain of processes where the sound target is that leads us to develop different types of research in which each part of the instrument is expression of the luthier’s research and the guitarist’s feeling and awareness. For this reason, it is important and necessary that luthier and guitarist have an interchange of ideas. This conference will develop themes related to the construction and evolution of the guitar from those ones used by Ferran Sor to the present day.


    Santiago Canals began his guitar studies with Ricardo Gonzalez Longo and lutherie with Reno Rios, both will guide and support him throughout his academic studies.

    In 1996 he entered the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UNLP, where he obtained the Bachelor of Music in Guita, in 2002, and the Master Degree, in 2003. At the same time of his studies, he continued to develop his experience in different luthier workshops.

   In 2000, he was granted with a scholarship by the Embassy of Spain to attend the International Course of Interpretation in Spanish music “Music in Compostela”.

(Sept. 14, 2019, 5:30 PM at CMMB)

First lecture on Fernando Sor by JOSEP MARIA MANGADO

“Fernando Sor. A current vision of his life and work.”

During these last fifteen years researches about Fernando Sor’s life and work have known a remarkable progress. Anyway, there are still certain unknowns we hope new researches will clarify in the near future.

In this lecture, in the light of new researches, an excursus on some aspects of his life will be proposed through the new acquired documentation.

This journey will begin with Sor’s birthday in Barcelona, then his studies in Monserrat Monastery, his move to Madrid, his travels in Spain, his troubles with Holy Inquisition, the Independence War (1808-1814), his exile in Paris, his move to London and to Russia and his return to Paris where he will die at sixty-one years old.

Besides, unpublished guitar works by Fernando Sor will be presented.

(Sept. 15, 2019, 5:30 PM at CMMB)

Second lecture on Fernando Sor by LUIS GÁSSER

“Fernando Sor: Pains and Gains of an Existential Journey”

Gabriel García y Tassara, the Spanish romantic poet wrote:

May our world be / the circle of only our shadow.

The image of the world centered in oneself, in one’s subjectivity, and in what is so close that does not transcend one’s own shadow I understand that shadow may be as well the feeling not limited to reason seems to summarize the romantic paradigm. But daily life, and the way one would approach it back then, was not about paradigms nor personal decisions exclusively. The life of Fernando Sor, his successes and contradictions, came to be limited by circumstances he did not decide. The experience of effort and the need of adaptation that we all share, can make us closer to him and to our fellow mankind. To wonder how Sor could have developed his talents in conditions always favorable to him, would be not taking into account that his difficulties contributed to mold his character, or that they were the result of mere accidents. The musician, the man, at the end of his journey, centered on «the circle of his own shadow», could have remembered through the lense of his own subjectivity the relationships and activities that occupied his days. A journey that was neither an aimless wandering nor a consequence of a written script. However, submerged in the existential mystery, it bore fruits. These are the ones we are referring to today.


Luis Gásser studied guitar at the Barcelona Conservatorio Superior Municipal de Música, lute and continuo at the Swiss Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, and received a doctoral degree in performance practices in Stanford University. His professional activities encompass musicological research, composition, performance and teaching. He is the author of four books and several articles, in addition of compositions for chamber ensembles, choir and soloists.

(Sept. 16, 2019, 5:30 PM at CMMB)

Third lecture on Fernando Sor by JAUME TORRENT

“Fernando Sor. The integration of the guitar in the world of cultured music.”

Fernando Sor’s guitar work is considered the most important in all time. However, from the current perspective and as one who looks at the guitar music history from the moment his literature appears to our days, many of the contents of Sor’s work are isolated, despite the importance – and of the transcendent potential-  of the innovative ideas it contains in comparison with those of the works of its predecessors and contemporaries. Many of these contents were not incorporated into the lexicon of the most prominent later composers, who, far from seeing them as platforms for the construction of new instrumental motifs that allowed them to assimilate the emerging musical proposals, would return to the use of the idiomatic motifs of the preceding tradition hindering the immersion of the guitar in the flow of stylistic contributions that would best define musical romanticism.

Over the years, the study of Sor’s work -whether to incorporate them into my repertoire or, simply, to enter in his musical world with no intention other than to enjoy it – has led me to raise a series of questions related to ideas that might have boosted his creative ability. In broad outline, these ideas could have revolved around intentions such as: transferring instrumental motives from the keyboard to the guitar, transcending the stereotyped guitarist motifs of the time, bringing the polyphonic writing of the guitar to the limit of its possibilities, endowing the guitarist writing of an unusual drama until then, to assume the great forms overcoming the limitations to the thematic development that imposes the guitar or to try to use as many tonalities as possible. All this constitutes a set of inherent challenges to a restless personality and creator who, based on the love that Sor felt for the instrument, was fruitful in an immense innovative work whose formal, technical and expressive dimensions are hardly comparable to that of any other composer of the history of the guitar.

The objective of this lecture is to discuss some of these aspects that, supposedly, could have been behind the compositional talent of Fernando Sor.


Jaume Torrent epitomizes the composer-performer, an emblematic figure in the guitar world from the Classical period until the early 20th Century. His catalogue of compositions as well as his contributions to the advancement of guitar technique are both numerous and of transcendent importance.

Jaume Torrent is the first composer in the history of the guitar who has developed a polyphonic musical style that is both organic and functional in tonalities such as A flat Major, C Sharp Major, E Flat Major, F Sharp Major, etc. (tonalities which have traditionally been considered as inappropriate for the guitar). His 24 Fantasías, written in all Major and minor keys, and his 8 Sonatas represent a unique contribution to the guitar repertoires due to their harmonic variety, modulations and formal structure. Vladimir Mikulka states: «…these works for the guitar follow compositional paths which, until now, were only found in the piano literature of the great composers. For guitarists, the scope of his achievements make his compositions some of the most important works in our repertoire». Jaume Torrent has composed more than 200 works for guitar which have been published by important publishers. These works are grouped into approximately 80 opus numbers which include guitar solos (Waltzes, Sonatas, Intermezzos, Suites, Songs, etc.), chamber music with guitar (Duets, Trios and Quintets) and Concertos for guitar, guitar and violin or guitar and flute and orchestra. His Concierto de Rialp for guitar and symphonic orchestra, Op. 70 is considered as “one of the best Concertos for guitar written until the present which can rival the great Concertos written by such important composers as Joaquín Rodrigo, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Leo Brouwer or Lalo Schifrin, among others”. This opinion is shared by authoritative figures of the guitar world, musicologists, conductors and composers such as Ángelo Gilardino, Patricio Mátteri, Henri Jul Hansen, Jordi Cervelló, etc.

Along with his work as a composer, Jaume Torrent has developed a new guitar technique based on the systematic use of certain mechanical aspects of guitar technique which, until now, had not even been considered as possible. His innovations include: extension of the left hand, anticipations, etc. With this new guitar technique Jaume Torrent is able to achieve a sonic projection far superior to that which is possible using traditional guitar technique. Furthermore, his technique improves the clarity and possibilities for dynamic contrasts both of which allow the guitar to be included in larger chamber music ensembles and orchestras than was previously possible. In addition this technique makes it possible to use all major and minor tonalities and permits a far greater range of expression.

He is a regular performer on the international scene and has performed as soloist with prestigious European and American orchestras such as The Paris Symphonic Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, the RAI Symphonic Orchestra, Dresdner Philharmonie, National Orchestra of Ucrania Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony of Bulgarian Radio, the R.T.V. of Luxemburg, the American Wind Symphony, Symphony of Bursa, Westcoast Symphony, Sinfónica de Valencia, etc.. He has performed with important conductors such as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Phillipe Entremont, E. García Asensio, Kurt Masur, H. Pensis, R. Austin Boudreau, M. Natchev, D. Tosi, M. Galduf, I. Palkin, G. Aykal, and E. van Tiel. In 2004 he was awarded the Golden Fortune Prize in Ucrania in recognition of his outstanding career. In March, 2012 he performed as soloist in four of his own Concertos for guitar and orchestra in the International Festival “Prospectives XXIIè siècle” in France. This was the first time in history that a guitarist-composer has ever performed four of his own Concertos in one program. Later that year, in October, 2012 he recorded his Concierto de Rialp with the Polish Baltic Philharmonic conducted by Ernst van Tiel.

(Sept. 9, 2017, 5:30 PM at Teatre Regina)

Lecture-documentary by Maria Ribera Gibal

about Emilio Pujol

Emilio Pujol was one of the most important musicians who contributed to the classical guitar’s development. He was born in Granadella, a small town in Catalunia, in 1886. Later, he moved to Paris and Barcelona where he died in 1980.


Guitarist and musicologist was born in Guissona, Spain. She took her PhD with a thesis on the life and work of Emilio Pujol Vilarrubí at the University of Barcelona.

He graduated in 2011 in guitar at the Liceu Conservatory of Barcelona under the mentorship of maestro Guillermo Pérez Quer. As a final carrer project, she presented the documentary “Emilio Pujol, Teacher of Life” and then her name was included in the Guitar Encyclopedia by Francisco Herrera.

Maria combines her researches with teaching and concert activity in solo performances and together with the duo Ribera-Sabat.

Back To Top