Pablo Sáinz Villegas, guitar
Rodrigo Fantasía para un gentilhombre
Pablo Villegas is hailed by critics as one of the world’s leading classical guitarists and celebrated as a natural ambassador of Spanish culture with performances in more than 40 countries since his auspicious debut with the New York Philharmonic under Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos at Avery Fisher Hall.
His “beautifully rounded guitar tone” and “soulful rendition” (The New York Times) makes him one of the most sought-after soloists by today’s foremost orchestras, conductors and festivals. A champion and supporter of new repertoire for guitar, he performed the world premiere of ‘Rounds’, the first guitar piece to have been written by five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams.
Pablo Villegas has performed in the presence of the Dalai Lama as well as the Royal Family of Spain and has the honor of being an Ambassador to Vivanco Foundation and its museum of wine culture in Spain, considered the world’s best by UNESCO.
Performance highlights for the 2014/2015 season include engagements with the Pittsburgh Symphony, National Orchestra of Spain, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Oregon Symphony, and the Rheingau Music Festival.
Among his previous season highlights are recitals at the Aspen Music Festival and Kennedy Center as well as soloist engagements with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Royal Seville Symphony, Bilbao Symphony and the National Orchestra of Lyon.
He has performed as soloist with worldwide orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and the Boston Symphony at the renowned Tanglewood Festival. Further, he has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Philharmonie in Berlin, Carnegie Hall in New York, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, the Sala Verdi in Milan, and the Vienna Musikverein. Along with fellow Spaniard Frühbeck de Burgos, he has shared the stage with renowned conductors such as Carlos Kalmar, Juanjo Mena, and Alondra de la Parra, with whom he recorded for Sony Classical.
Villegas is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including “El Ojo Critico“ making him the first guitarist to ever win Spain's top classical music honor. Prior to winning the famed Parkening International Guitar Competition, Pablo was already the recipient of more than 30 international awards, including the Francisco Tárrega Award and the Andrés Segovia Award at age 15.
Known for his outreach programs, Villegas is the founder of “The Music Without Borders Legacy”, a program sponsored by Caixa Bank that seeks to bridge communities across cultural, social, and political borders for the benefit of children and youth, which has served more than 15,000 children.
Pablo Villegas was born in La Rioja, Spain and is currently based in New York City.