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The Maria Canals International Music Competition and Fundación Jesús Serra returns to fill Barcelona’s Paseo de Gracia with music once more

"The Maria Canals International Music Competition and Fundación Jesús Serra will be back to fill the Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona with pianos this Saturday, March 10."

The Paseo de Gracia Goes Grand (El passeig de Gràcia porta cua) initiative will place 10 grand pianos on the iconic street for any passersby to play. Highlighted among these musical jewels are an Imperial Bösendorfer and a Yamaha CFIII, in addition to Yamaha’s C7 and C3 models. This initiative is being carried out in collaboration with the association Amigos del Paseo de Gracia.

The locations of the pianos on Paseo de Gracia are:

1. Paseo de Gracia, 6
2. Paseo de Gracia, 13
3. Paseo de Gracia, 38-40
4. Paseo de Gracia, 43
5. Paseo de Gracia, 59
6. Paseo de Gracia, 70
7. Paseo de Gracia, 80
8. Paseo de Gracia, 91
9. Paseo de Gracia, 104
10. Salvador Espriu gardens/Jardinets de Gracia

The pianos will be available between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Throughout the event, citizens can enjoy recitals given by students from different schools and conservatories as well as from the students who have been awarded scholarships from the Maria Canals International Music Competition and Fundación Jesús Serra through their social project, ¡Me toca! (My Turn!), which provides boys and girls from neighborhoods with a high percentage of social vulnerability with the opportunity to study piano, and which currently boasts more than 80 participating 6 and 7-year-old children. 

For the first time, those who play all 10 pianos spread throughout Paseo de Gracia will earn two invitations to attend the competition rehearsals that will be held in the Palau de la Música. The organization will print some cards that those who are interested will have to stamp at each of the 10 pianos. Furthermore, the best moments captured throughout the event will be shared on social networks through photos, videos, and messages with the hashtag #PianosBCN.

This highly anticipated action is one of the activities found within the framework of OFF Maria Canals, which groups together all the educational activities that the Maria Canals International Music Competition carries out. The close collaboration between Fundación Jesús Serra and the Maria Canals International Music Competition to bring the piano and music to the people has allowed them to bring this participatory activity to cities like Madrid, Bilbao, Toledo, Salamanca, Cádiz, and Seville. The next “Pianos in the Street” actions will be in Valencia (May 11), Málaga (May 25), Bilbao and Getxo (September 20), Santiago de Compostela (October 13), and Madrid (October 18).

About the Maria Canals International Music Competition

This event will serve to give the starting pistol shot to the 64th edition of the Competition, which will be held at the Palau de la Música between March 11 and 22, and which will include the presence of 93 young pianists with 34 nationalities. This year, participants will compete for more than €80,000 in prizes and paid concerts, among which we should highlight the increase for first prize, the Fundación Jesús Serra Prize, which for the first time will be €25,000.

Furthermore, in a parallel manner, the Competition will also carry out other activities that form part of the Maria Canals OFF Competition in order to promote the universal spread and practice of music through citizen participation. During the month of March, the Competition head to the street with various grand pianos that will be placed in public spaces in Barcelona and will be available for citizens to play.

The Maria Canals International Music Competition, founded in 1954, and one of the oldest music competitions in Spain, has become an annual benchmark on the international piano stage. Maria Canals and her husband, Rossend Llates, were the creators of the Competition, along with the collaboration of many people and families of civil society in the city of Barcelona.

In 1958, the Competition joined the World Federation of International Music Competitions, and continues to be the only competition with Catalan origins in the federation. It is currently one of the competitions with the largest international scope and most prestige in the world. 

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About Fundación Jesús Serra

Fundación Jesús Serra is a non-profit private entity created in memory of Jesús Serra Santamans, a well-known business owner and patron who founded Grupo Catalana Occidente. Its purpose is to support cultural, business, teaching, musical, sporting, social, and research initiatives.

Within the framework to promote culture and in collaboration with the Maria Canals International Music Competition, Fundación Jesús Serra has organized the “Pianos in the Street” initiative throughout distinct Spanish cities since 2012. Furthermore, it helps to advance the musical career of the winner of this prestigious competition by sponsoring a national tour during concert season in important concert halls in Madrid, Bilbao, Tenerife, Granada, and Seville.

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Jone Paredes

Jone Paredes