During the 2016 Deer Valley Music Festival, the Utah Symphony has launched a weekly interview series entitled “Between the Barlines,” which seeks to reveal aspects of guest artists’ lives outside of the music for which they are known, including things such as their backgrounds, their influences, and their non-musical interests.
Nicknamed “The Soul of Spanish Guitar,” Pablo Villegas has won international acclaim for his guitar performances that are as passionate as they are intimate. Born and raised in the musically and culturally rich landscape of La Rioja, Spain, Pablo won the Andrés Segovia Award at the age of 15, launching a succession of international wins that include Gold Medal at the inaugural Christopher Parkening International Guitar Competition. He has since performed for both the Dalai Lama and the Spanish royal family, and it was he who gave the world premiere of Rounds, the first composition for guitar by five-time Academy Award-winner John Williams. A born communicator, Pablo explains: “Music is a social tool, and opening people’s hearts, and helping them connect to the inner life of the emotions, is my mission.”
In this interview, Pablo comments on his musical upbringing, from watching his hero Andrés Segovia on TV at the age of 6 to his early love for musical performance. A passionate and earnest personality, Pablo talks about his many hobbies from salsa dancing, to cooking with friends, to hiking. A man dedicated to inspiring the future generation, Pablo also discusses the emotional power of music, connecting and celebrating people with his performances and his non-profit organization, Music Without Borders Legacy.
When talking his upcoming performance at the Red Butte Garden with the Utah Symphony, Pablo says, ”When my management told me about this I was oogling about the festival and the environment. I can’t agree more with the philosophy of this festival which is sharing and having a unique experience of music surrounded by nature…I love that because music can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and when people feel comfortable in jeans and shorts and having a picnic, music in those circumstances can be magical…I can’t ask for more and I can’t wait. And I look forward very much to be there and share my values from Spain and my music, playing probably the most beautiful concerto ever written for a soloist in an orchestra…I invite every single person from Utah to come to Red Butte Garden and be part of this celebration of music, and this celebration of themselves.
Be sure to listen to our interview with Pablo Villegas here!