Pablo Sáinz Villegas
Praised as “the soul of the Spanish guitar,” PABLO SÁINZ VILLEGAS has become a world- wide sensation known as this generation’s great guitarist. With his “virtuosic playing characterized by irresistible exuberance” as described by The New York Times, his interpretations conjure the passion, play- fulness, and drama of Rioja, his homeland’s rich musical heritage. He is known for his passionate, emotive, and open-hearted playing, whether he is performing at inti- mate recital halls, or playing with Plácido Domingo for an audience of over 85,000 at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, where Maestro Domingo hailed him as “the master of the guitar.”
Sáinz Villegas has continued to thrive over the past year connecting in new ways with his audience. He was one of the few select artists to participate at the 2018 Grammy’s Classical event at Carnegie Hall in New York, and he has record- ed a much-anticipated duo album with Plácido Domingo. Highlights of his recent collaborations with Domingo include a performance on a floating stage in the Amazon River streamed worldwide to millions, as well as a special anniversary concert at Chile’s National Stadium. Last season, Sáinz Villegas also made his debut at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival under the baton of Carlos Kalmar at the Millennium Park in front of an audience of 11,000 and completed summer tours with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He also gave the world premiere of “Rounds,” the first composition for solo guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams.
Routinely drawing comparisons with legendary exponents of his instrument such as Andrés Segovia, Sáinz Villegas has already appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages, including Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philharmonie in Berlin, and at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Known for a sound so rich and full that it does not need amplifica- tion, his concerto performances in more than 30 countries regularly inspire new invitations and re-engagements. He has played with the world’s top-level orchestras including the Pittsburgh, Bergen, and Israel Philharmonics, as well as Cincinnati, Spanish National, and Boston Symphonies. He made a series of important debuts under the baton of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and has enjoyed fruitful collaborations with conductors including Juanjo Mena, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Gustavo Gimeno, and Cris- tian Măcelaru.
Sáinz Villegas continues to search for ways to communicate with young audienc- es and to inspire them with music. A born communicator, the guitarist explains: “Mu- sic is among things we cannot touch and that is what makes it most powerful.” Over the last decade, he has created projects that bring music out of the concert halls, reaching more than 20,000 young listeners through volunteering his time, establishing music programs, visiting schools, and cre- ating unique community activities around the globe. His efforts have earned him invitations to play for the Spanish Royal Family and the Dalai Lama.
An active recording artist, Sáinz Villegas is now an exclusive Sony Classical record- ing artist. His next album with Plácido Do- mingo will be released in the fall of 2018. Billboard named him “the global ambas- sador of Spanish guitar” after the release of his solo album on the PIAS | Harmonia Mundi USA label; Americano quickly made its debut in the top 15 on the Billboard chart. Most recently, he recorded the three Rodrigo concertos with the National Orchestra of Spain under the baton of Juanjo Mena, thereby becoming the first soloist in more than 20 years to record the Concierto de Aranjuez with the ensemble.
Born in La Rioja in northern Spain, Sáinz Villegas was inspired to take guitar lessons at age six and gave his first public performance at just seven years old. Over the years, he accomplished an impressive collection of over 30 international awards, including the Segovia award which he won at age 15 and the coveted Gold Medal at the Inaugural Parkening International Guitar Competition. Sáinz Villegas lives in New York City.