Pablo Sáinz Villegas
Pablo Sáinz Villegas

Pablo Sáinz Villegas

About Pablo Sáinz Villegas

Guitarist Pablo Sáinz Villegas is a popular figure who draws large crowds in his native Spain and his adopted U.S. homeland. In addition to traditional Spanish repertory, Sáinz Villegas champions new music for the guitar.
Sáinz Villegas was born June 16, 1977, in Logroño in La Rioja province in northern Spain. He began studying the guitar there at age six and made his public debut just a year later. His right hand is significantly larger than his left. Sáinz Villegas continued his studies in Logroño and quickly made the transition from child prodigy to international touring attraction. In 2001, he moved to New York and lived there for some years, finally returning to Madrid, Spain. After making his debut with the New York Philharmonic, Sáinz Villegas went on to appear with orchestras in more than 40 countries, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. Officially designated a cultural ambassador of La Rioja, Sáinz Villegas has drawn enormous crowds to concerts in Spain (85,000 to Madrid's Santiago Berabéu Stadium) and the U.S. (11,000 in Grant Park in Chicago). In Brazil, he mounted an internationally televised concert from a floating stage on the Amazon River, viewed by millions. As for more conventional indoor venues, he has appeared at top-rank international stages, such as the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, the Musikverein in Vienna, and the Philharmonie in Berlin, where he became the first solo guitarist in 38 years invited to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic. In addition to Spanish music, his concerts have often featured new commissions from composers such as soundtrack giant John Williams, David del Puerto, and Sergio Assad. During the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, Sáinz Villegas was stranded for a time in San Diego, California, because of Spain's lockdown; he gave free streamed concerts under the auspices of the La Jolla Chamber Music Society. While in San Diego, he also singlehandedly forged links between the youth orchestras of San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico, which had previously been unconnected.
Sáinz Villegas began his recording career in 2004 with the Naxos album Guitar Recital. In 2015, he released the recital Americano on the Harmonia Mundi label and was then signed to Sony Classical, releasing the album Volver with tenor Plácido Domingo. He returned in 2020 with a new release, Soul of Spanish Guitar. In 2006, Sáinz Villegas founded the philanthropic project Legacy of Music Without Borders, under whose auspices he has performed for and taught more than 32,000 children and young people. ~ James Manheim

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