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The Primer Palau Prize confirms the impulse of a new generation of organists (ABC - 28/11/2018)

The winner of this edition is Joan Seguí, who chose a masterpiece by Liszt to appear in the contest.

The young organist Joan Seguí yesterday picked up the Primer Palau award this year. Born in Barcelona twenty two years ago, Seguí joins an impressive list of winners in this contest: after twenty-three editions, the cycle-contest organized by the Palau de la Música can boast of having among its winners names like the pianists Javier Perianes , Enrique Bagaría, Daniel Ligorio and José Menor; the cellist Pau Codina; and formations such as the Quiroga Quartet, all of them with fruitful careers. Another organist, Juan de la Rubia, also appears on the list. Master of Seguí, he also chose him as his assistant in the basilica of the Sagrada Familia, of which De la Rubia is the titular organist.

Still somewhat overwhelmed by the award, Seguí admits that "having grown up in Barcelona, ​​playing at the Palau is reaching a peak: it is the only concert hall in the city that has an organ". The musician adds: "The Primer Palau cycle already offers the opportunity to play there. In addition, having received the prize... ». Each year, the First Palau selects a group of young interpreters who are given the opportunity to offer a 45-minute recital. A jury chooses, after listening live, the winner. The coordinator of the cycle, Mercedes Conde, explains that it was born of the awareness that "one of the most critical points of the long and not always easy career of any musician is the moment in which the student graduates in higher education and, despite having completed his integral training as a musician, he must face the real world ». Giving them the chance to act in a scenario like the Palau is a way to help them in this process.

Seguí convinced the jury to present himself with a single work to the contest: the gigantic "Ad nos, ad salutarem undam" by Franz Liszt, a virtuosic and demanding score that he executed by heart, in a risky maneuver that worth the effort itself. He has also received the special prize of Catalunya Música, thanks to which the Catalan public broadcaster specialized in classical music puts its equipment at the interpreter's disposal to record a demo. Therefore, the next step, in addition to looking for concerts, will be to decide which works he chooses for the occasion. For the moment, he says: «I do not want to specialize in a specific repertoire so as not to renounce others».

Regarding the future of the organists, Seguí notes that "a new generation is emerging and I like to know that I am not alone: we are a few, and we also have a very good relationship between us". This year's award also certifies an increasingly widespread feeling: "It seems that the organ world is reborn in Barcelona, with the inauguration of new instruments," explains the young interpreter, who already thinks in the long term: «Let's hope our generations come back with the same level or even better».

Pep Gorgori

Joan Seguí gets the Primer Palau Prize - ©A. Bofill
Joan Seguí gets the Primer Palau Prize - ©A. Bofill


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