I am delighted to announce the launch of a unique piano festival in Sierra de Gata, a beautiful, rural and largely unknown part of Spain.
This intimate and bucolic festival will be held in the garden of the Casa Rural Las Fuentes de Agata in Hoyos, Caceres, Extremadura from the 12-15 of August 2021.
Four extremely gifted international young musicians will give four evening concerts over the four days of the Festival. Admission will be free and a buffet and canapés will be available.
Concerts will start at 8.30 pm and finish by 10.15 pm. There will be a half hour interval mid-concert
Guillaume Sigier ( France, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique du Paris)
Beethoven: Sonata Op. 110
Granados: Valses Poéticos
Rachmaninov: Sonata Op. 28
Born in 1988, Guillaume Sigier starts playing the piano at age 7 in Valenciennes, then he joins Lille’s conservatory, where he studies with Marc Lys and Christophe Simonet.
In 2005, he gets into the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) of Paris in Henri Barda and Isabelle Dubuis’ promotion. In the meantime, he improves his training with the study of harmony, accompaniment and chamber music, with Cyrille Lehn, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, Yumi Otsu, Claire Désert, Ami Flammer and Yovan Markovitch. After obtaining his Artist Diploma in Paris, he is has studied at the Royal College of Music of London with Ian Jones.
All along his career, he gets some advice from such personalities as Susan Manoff, Anne Quéffelec, Daria Hovora, Florent Boffard, Denis Pascal, Hortense Cartier-Bresson, Jean-Claude Pennetier, and also takes part into several master classes with Roy Howatt, Ian Jones, Philippe Bianconi, Gilbert Amy, Michel Béroff, Emmanuel Strosser, Christian Ivaldi and the members of Trio Wanderer, Peter Nagy, Avedis Kouyoumdjian...
He regularly performs recitals in France and abroad in many festivals (Jeunes Talents, Aix-les-bains Festival, Pablo Casals Prades Festival, Ravéliades, 30th Société Chopin Festival, Piano à Lyon Festival, Novi Sad World Piano Conference...). He also plays at the National Archives, the Bouffes du Nord Theater, in the Singer-Polignac Foundation, in the National Residence of the Invalids, in the Polish Ambassy, in the Salle Pleyel (prélude au concert) in Paris, and also in the Kyoto International Music Students Festival. As a soloist, he plays Beethoven’s Piano Concerto, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and recently Ravel’s Concerto in G major at the Cité de la Musique, Paris, conducted by Philippe Aïche.
Keen on chamber music, Guillaume plays with the cellist Honorine Schaeffer during the 31st International Piano Festival of La Roque d’Anthéron - The duet receives the support of Ivry Gitlis - and recently with young violonist Verena Chen during the 1rst International Vioin Festival of Beijing, but also with artists as Yan Levionnois, french oboist Olivier Stankiewicz...
He did many apparitions at the French Radio, including “Le matin des musiciens”, « Générations Jeunes Interprètes » by Gaëlle Le Gallic, “La Matinale”, “Carrefour de Lodéon”, all on “France Musique” channel.
Rewarded during the 57th Maria Canals International Piano Contest in Barcelona, he receives the Ravel award of Ciboure city in 2011. Laureate of the Rhine Gold Foundation in 2012, he has won the World Piano Teachers Piano Association competition. Generously supported by the Leverhulme Postgraduate Student, he is a laureate of the « Révélations classiques de l’Adami ».
Simone Alessandro Tavoni (Italy, Royal College of Music and Trinity Laban in London)
-Frescobaldi: Two toccatas
-Beethoven: Sonata Op.109
-Chopin: Rondo Op. 16
-Debussy: Image oubliées (1894)
-Tavoni: Fiasco (Chasco)
-Scriabin: Sonata no. 3
Simone Alessandro Tavoni has given recitals internationally across Europe and U.S in venue such the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St Martin in the Fields, Steinway Hall in London, Liszt Museum in Budapest, Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, the Aarhus concert hall and the Florence Conservatory hall.
In 2019, Simone has been selected as a Parklane Group Artist, as Keyboard Charitable Trust Artist and received the Luciano and Giancarla Berti full-ride scholarship to attend the Aspen Music Festival and School studying with renowned professor Fabio Bidini.
Graduated at Royal College of Music with professor Andrew Ball, and Simone has recently attained an Artist Diploma at Trinity Laban Conservatoire with professors Deniz Gelenbe and Peter Tuite. He began his musical education in Italy with professor Marco Podesta’ and pursue his studies at the Liszt Academy of Budapest with Dr.Kecskes Balazs and in Germany at the Hochschule fur Musik un Darstellende of Stuttgart with Dr,Peter Nagy. In 2016 was selected for the BBC pathway scheme and he is a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School.
Péter Kiss (Hungary, Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest )
Bach: English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808
Saint-Saëns: Suite pour le piano Op. 90
Saint-Saëns: Valse mignonne Op. 104
Liszt: Après une lecture du Dante: Fantasia quasi Sonata
Bartók: Piano Sonata (1926) Sz. 80
“The most beautiful part of music for me is when I have the chance to play with others. But no matter whether I play as a chamber musician or as a soloist, I primarily want to be a musician and not a pianist.”
As a chamber musician and as a soloist, Péter Kiss has performed with many excellent partners: he has played with Zoltán Kocsis, Kristóf Baráti and Jonathan Cohen, as well as Barnabás Kelemen, Gergely Vajda and the Amadinda Percussion Ensemble. He has given recitals in Chicago, Cleveland, Santiago de Chile, New Delhi, and Beijing, and presented workshops in Chicago and Beijing. Contemporary music and the music of earlier periods – by Brahms, Bartók, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Mozart, Beethoven or Bach - coexist in organic harmony in the life Péter Kiss. With the structure of his concerts, he regularly tries to call the attention of the audience to the connection between contemporary music and the music of earlier times.
Mr Kiss has been, and still is, in touch with a number of significant composers of our times: he presented the Dances of the Brush-footed Butterfly by Péter Eötvös in 8 countries and he played the world premiere of Oh Rose. He has worked with Steve Reich, Michael van der Aa, Marta Ptaszyńska and Ivan Fedele. As a member of the Ludium Ensemble, Péter Kiss has been working intensively with the music of György Kurtág ever since he was a student at the Liszt Academy. Kurtág has supported the efforts of the ensemble, led by Gábor Csalog and András Kemenes, with his personal presence and instructions. With Péter Háry and Dániel Szendrey, Péter Kiss is a founding member of Trio Inception that features the unusual line-up of French horn, cello, and piano. Contemporary composers have written dozens of pieces for them, at their request, and they also plan to announce a composing competition to support the creation of new pieces.
Creative processes are highly important for the pianist: he has composed his own cadenzas for several piano concertos, including Mozart’s Concerto in D minor and Beethoven’s Concerto in B flat major. He is not satisfied with simply learning the notes and phrases: no matter what style or age it comes from, he examines passionately the building blocks of the music.
Apart from the 40-50 concerts he plays each year, Péter Kiss is also active as a professor of the Faculty of Chamber Music in the Liszt Academy. Péter Kiss won third place in the Piano Competition of the Hungarian Radio and came first in the Barletta International Piano Competition. He has been awarded the Annie Fischer Scholarship three times. In 2011, he was granted the Artisjus Award for his work for Hungarian contemporary music and in 2015 he received the Junior Prima Award for his achievements as a performing artist.
Ramón Grau Perales (Spain, Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid)
Concierto y Conferencia "El primer siglo del piano en España: romanticismo, folclore y mirada a Europa." (Concert and Talks: The Romanticism, Folklore and the influence of other europeans music in the style of Spanish Composers of the XIX/XX century.
Parte I (S. XIX)
- Pedro Pérez de Albéniz: Variaciones brillantes sobre la introducción de la ópera "Norma" de Bellini (1832)
- Marcial del Adalid: Improvisación fantástica para piano (1850)
- Eduardo Ocón: Bolero para piano "Recuerdos de Andalucía" (1867)
- Javier Jiménez Delgado: Scherzo para piano (1894)
- Cleto Zabala: Gran Fantasía Brillante para piano sobre la zarzuela "La Tempestad" de Chapí (1883)
Parte II (S.XX)
- José María Usandizaga: Impromptu (1908) y Rapsodia Vascongada (1909)
- Enrique Granados: "Fandango del Candil" de "Goyescas" (1911)
- María Rodrigo: "La Copla Intrusa" (1931)
- Manuel de Falla: "Fantasia Baetica" (1919)
Ramón Grau finished his Bachelor in Madrid with Ana Guijarro and studied piano part-time at Liszt Ferenc University in Budapest with Jenö Jandó. He earned several first awards in Spanish national piano competitions and played as a soloist in several Spanish cities. He also offered recitals at International Music Festivals of Jimena de la Frontera, Lucena and Úbeda, in Scherzo Foundation’s XVI Young Performers Cycle (Madrid, 2018), in Teatro de la Zarzuela (Madrid, 2018 and 2020) and in Teatro Monumental (Madrid, 2018). In November of 2019 he debuted in Czech Republic with Hradec Králové’s Philharmonic Orchestra playing Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain. At the theatre field, he has developed his activity as a pianist at Teatro Español of Madrid in “Twilight of the Gods” (2011) and “Antigone” (2013) and at the Teatro de la Zarzuela of Madrid where he currently works as répétiteur. He is a member in several chamber music duos: with David Sánchez, bass, with Aaron Lee, violin, and with Syilvia Torán (piano 4 hands and 2 pianos).
We offer a festival that:
- is free to the public, regardless of their means, and
- supports the careers of emerging young pianists by giving them performing and earning opportunities in a nurturing, appreciative and non-competitive environment
- provides an educative festival programme that enriches the culture of the Sierra de Gata.
I have been inspired by the successful model of the late Robert Turnbull’s piano festival En Blanc Et Noirhttps://www.enblancetnoir.com) in Lagrasse, near Carcassonne, France.
I want to bring a festival to this part of Spain which is very close to his vision of a piano festival in an atmosphere of calm, freshness and peace.
The swimming pool at Las Fuentes de Agata
The view from La Casa Rural Las Fuentes de Agata
The Festival venue is in a rural location but only ten minutes’ walk from the lively medieval town of Hoyos where bars and shops stay open until late. Following the Festival all the villages of La Sierra come together for “Las Ferias”, a week of fun, celebration and festivity.
The closest airports are Madrid and Porto (Portugal), both are about two and a half hours drive away. The use of a car is strongly recommended as you are sure to want to explore the many beauty spots and medieval villages of La Sierra de Gata. Car rental is available in the nearby town of Coria (20 minutes drive from Hoyos) and of course at Madrid and Porto airports.
For more information about travel or car-hire please feel free to get in touch. If necessary we may be able to arrange a lift, even from the airport to the town.
There are many bed and breakfast options near the town of Hoyos. A few options are:
Please enquire directly on the website before making any bookings so that we can help you organize your stay.
The Sierra de Gata offers many interesting places to visit such as St Martin the Trevejo, Villamiel, Robredillo de Gata, Gata etc. Nearby are the lovely historic medieval towns of Caceres, Ciudad Rodrigo all about one and a half hours drive from Salamanca.
Street view of the village of San Martin de Trevejo, a designated Cultural Heritage Site, famous for the streams that flow in almost every narrow streets
The Castle near the village of Villamiel
The natural swimming pool of Acebo, 5 minutes drive away from the festival location.
The medieval town of Ciudad Rodrigo with its 12th century walls and rich history
The Festival is a UK registered charity and participation is free to the public. Our only income is through voluntary donations. This means we must actively raise funds to enable us to provide this extraordinary weekend of music.
Could you help us, please?
You can be a festival sponsor, or simply donate a small amount as and when you can.
Be a Festival Sponsor (donations of £100+)
Please get in touch if you’d like to help with our costs such as musicians’ fees, piano hire, the Festival programme, or just a more general donation to help the Festival run smoothly.
Sponsors will receive a souvenir of the festival, a free drink at each concert and two excursion trips.
(We’d also love to give you a mention in our programme, ‘tho this is not obligatory! We will of course respect your anonymity should you wish.)
Become an Associate Member of the Festival (£25+)
As an Associate Member you will be invited to inform the shape of the festival and participate in it as a valued member of the team.
Make a donation
If you’d prefer to make a simple, no-frills donation. Any amount however modest is greatly appreciated.
Please you can make your donation by bank transfer to the festival account or by cheque payable to:
Name of the bank: Lloyd Bank
Flat 23, 333 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4FD
Paisajes Piano Festival Sierra de Gata is a UK Registered Charity No 1194006