History of the Festival

The Torroella de Montgrí Music Festival started out in 1981 with a small number of concerts held in the medieval town centre – the Gothic church of Saint Genís, the portico-ed Gothic-Renaissance town square and the late 17th century former Augustinian monastery. 38 annual festivals have been held to date with 882 concerts and audiences totalling more than 424,500.

Many great musicians have performed at the Festival, including pianists Joaquín Achúcarro, Bella Davidovich, Itamar Golan, Katia and Marielle Labèque, Piotr Anderszewski, Olga Kern, Fazil Say, Boris Berezovsky, Alice Sara Ott, Grigory Sokolov, Eric le Sage, Rudolf Buchbinder, Alessio Bax, Ronald Brautigam, Josep Colom, Alexander Melnikov, Arcadi Volodos, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Alexei Volodin, Alexander Tharaud and Jan Lisiecki. Violinists have included Giuliano Carmignola, Fabio Biondi, Isabelle Faust, Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Amandine Beyer. Cellists visiting the Festival, among others, have been Mischa Maisky, Radu Aldulescu, Natalia Gutman, Lluís Claret, Ophélie Gaillard, Gautier Capuçon and Tatjana Vassiljeva.

Singers who have given recitals include Jaume Aragall, Victòria dels Àngels, Barbara Hendricks, Teresa Berganza, Patricia Petibon, María Bayo, Julia Lezhneva, Núria Rial, Xavier Sabata, Josep Bros, Anna Prohaska, Pene Pati, Raquel Andueza, Marta Almajano, Anna Alàs, Laia Frigolé and David Alegret. Other musicians have been double-bassist Franco Petracchi, harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, guitarists Narciso Yepes and Pepe Romero, saxophonist Jan Garbarek, flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, clarinettist Laura Ruiz and the harpsichordist Benjamin Alard.

Orchestras that have come to the Festival include the Philharmonics of Minsk, Riga, Tallinn, Novosibirsk, Ostrava, Gottwaldow, the Armenian Philharmonic, the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya (OBC), the Spanish National Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Prague Philharmonic and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Visiting chamber ensembles have included the Prague, Moscow and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra (Budapest), the Virtuosi di Roma, I Solisti Italiani, the Vienna Soloists and the Chamber Orchestras of the Berlin, Riga, Vienna and Czech Philharmonics; also the Virtuosi di Praga, the Prague Radio Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Sinfonietta, the Berg Chamber Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields and the Camerata Salzburg.

The main groups specialising in early music that have visited Torroella are the Capella Reial de Catalunya and Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall, Europa Galante with Fabio Biondi, Musica Antiqua Köln (Reinhard Goebel), Il Seminario Musicale (Gérard Lesne), the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Gottfried von der Goltz), the Gabrieli Consort and Players (Paul McCreesh), La Real Cámara (Emilio Moreno), The King's Consort (Robert King), L'Arpeggiata (Christina Pluhar), The Tallis Scholars (Peter Phillips), The Sixteen Consort and Players (Harry Christophers), Il Giardino Armonico (Giovanni Antonini), Ensemble La Fenice (Jean Tubéry), Harmonie Universelle (Florian Deuter), Al Ayre Español (Eduardo López Banzo), Concerto Köln (Werner Ehrhardt), Ensemble Zefiro (Alfredo Bernardini), the Ricercar Consort (Philippe Pierlot), Orfeo 55 (Nathalie Stutzmann), Musica Florea (Marek Stryncl), the Dunedin Consort (John Butt), the Accademia Bizantina (Ottavio Dantone), Tasto Solo (Guillermo Pérez), the Acadèmia 1750 (Ottavio Dantone, Stefano Demichelli and Liana Mosca), Il Banchetto Musicale, I Turquini and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Among the choirs and vocal consorts there are the Escolania de Montserrat, King's College Choir, Saint John's College Choir, the Tölz Boys’ Choir, the Glinka Choir (St. Petersburg), the Jeunesses Musicales World Youth Choir, the Patriarchate Choir of Moscow, the Prague Radio Chamber Choir, the Orfeó Català, the Prague Madrigal Singers, the Choir of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the Prague Philharmonic Chorus, La Stagione Armonica, The Hilliard Ensemble, the Namur Chamber Choir, La Xantria, the Ensemble Micrologus and the Ensemble Organum.

World music has been represented by notable figures such as Ravi Shankar, Miriam Makeba, Alim Qasimov, Houria Aichi, Carmen Linares, Maria del Mar Bonet, the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, Manolo Sanlúcar, Oumou Sangaré, Cristina Branco, Savina Yannatou, Miquel Gil, Yungchen Lamo, Josep Gimeno El Botifarra, Sarband and Lucilla Galeazzi, Ute Lemper, and the Kodo drummers.

From its beginnings, the Torroella Festival has offered a number of educational activities designed to benefit young Catalan musicians. These have been advanced courses for instrumentalists, students’ concerts, chamber music courses with the Camerata Lysy from the International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad, series of concerts by young performers, the Jaume Aragall Competition for Opera Voices and now the Fringe, the youngest, emerging part of the Festival, providing opportunities for ensembles, individual musicians and compositions of differing styles and disciplines, with performers who are taking their first steps on the professional stage.

Soquadro Italiano
Soquadro Italiano
Monteverdi Day
Monteverdi Day
Concert Festa Major
Concert Festa Major
La Maquiné
La Maquiné

As from 2014, a new event has enriched the summer cultural agenda of the Costa Brava, the Jazz l’Estartit Festival, which brings to Catalonia internationally famous performers from the world of jazz, with music of different jazz genres – tradition from the past or music looking to the future. The Festival follows the example of the jazz concerts which were programmed as from the late 1980s at the Torroella de Montgrí Festival, with artists that included Stéphane Grappelli, the Tete Montoliu Trio, the orchestra of the Catalan Association of Jazz Musicians, the Max Sunyer Septet, Didier Lockwood and the Lluís Vidal Trio.

To date, the Festival has featured outstanding artists such as the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Brad Meldhau -John Scofield - Mark Guiliana, the James Carter trio, Albert Sanz - Javier Colina - Al Foster, the Avishai Cohen trio, Dave Holland & Kenny Barron, the Dianne Reeves Quintet, Chris Cheek, Jordi Rossy, Jerry González, Perico Sambeat, Chano Dominguez, Martirio, Horacio Fumero, David Xirgu, Jordi Sabatés, David Soler, Esteve Pi, Llibert Fortuny, Miles Sanko, the Gabriel Amargant Quintet, Joan Mar Sauqué & Joan Chamorro, the Gramophone Allstars & Judit Neddermann, King Salomon, the Madeleine Peyroux trio, Kandace Springs, Mezquida-Aurignac-Prats, the Carlos Sarduy Quintet and the Carles Benavent trio, and Jorge Pardo and Raynald Colom.

Avishai Cohen
Avishai Cohen
Llibert Fortuny
Llibert Fortuny
Miles Sanko
Miles Sanko
Al Foster
Al Foster
Cecile McLorin
Cecile McLorin
Brad Meldhau
Brad Meldhau
Scolfield & Mark Giuliana
Scolfield & Mark Giuliana
Martirio&Chano Domingo
Martirio&Chano Domingo
Kenny Barron
Kenny Barron
Diane Reeves
Diane Reeves
Dave Holland
Dave Holland
O Sister!
O Sister!
DJ's
DJ's
Passeig Molinet
Passeig Molinet
Mare Nostrum
Mare Nostrum
Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera
Stefano Bollani
Stefano Bollani

The Torroella de Montgrí Festival has been a member of the European Festivals Association (EFA) since 1992.

The Torroella de Montgrí Festival has been awarded the EFFE Label 2017-2018 by the European Festivals Association, a distinction only given to the best festivals in Europe. The reasons given by the jury for giving the award highlighted “the Festival’s efforts to bring music to a wide public and to foment contacts between young musicians and established professionals, making use of a sound infrastructure which is a potential for a festival that, despite its many years of existence, has never lost contact with society".

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