Barcelona, “La Musica i La Paraula” ( Music and Words )

After a very busy first week of lessons at the Royal College of Music, London, I excitedly hopped on a plane on Friday to Barcelona for a weekend of music, great food, fantastic company, and joyfulness.

Upon my arrival at Barcelona, I was greeted at the airport by the Néstor Bayona, a conductor, and pianist that I met in Berlin, who kindly took me to his family home, which was about a two-hour drive away in Lleida where he introduced me to his parents and the rest of the ensemble. His wonderful parents Albert and Marina made me very welcome and soon made me feel like part of the family. It was a joy to stay with them. However before I could hit the hay, I had a rehearsal in the evening with Néstor on the Haugtussa cycle by Grieg, which he had invited me to Catalonia to perform. It was wonderful to keep the music alive and develop new ideas to continue the creative spontaneity of telling the stories of the pieces. We then concluded the evening in true Spanish style with snacks and nibbles outside in the beautiful Mediterranean evening.


Nestor’s Family Home, Lleida


On Saturday we had another rehearsal at Néstor’s home around lunchtime, and I was able to hear Frans van Schoonhoven, violin and Malena Pflock, cello rehearse their Shostakovich Piano Trio number 2 in E minor, op. 67, which was very emotionally demanding and very challenging. Once we were all happy with our pieces, we had a fantastic three-course Spanish meal at a fabulous restaurant, with enough paella to make one’s stomach explode! It was very delicious, and I enjoyed every bite.


Auditori Municipal Enric Grandos, Lleida


Rehearsing For The Mozart Quartet


After lunch we continued our day by travelling to the venue, Auditori Municipal Enric Granados, it was a beautiful concert hall in the heart of Lleida, and it was every exciting to perform here, mainly due to the capacity of the venue and the fantastic resonance of the hall. The programme was very varied and included a surprise appearance by an actor, Marc Cartanyà presenting monologues to link the pieces and to set the mood. I began the cycle offstage and then walked on during my first piece to create an eerie atmosphere and to suggest the sound of the mystical voice from the mountains. It was thrilling to try the performance in a different staging which enabled me to use skills that I had learnt in Berlin to control and shape the atmosphere to tell the story. I enjoyed it immensely and would love to go back. My performance concluded the first half which meant I was able to enjoy the second half as a spectator and support my friends. The second half was brought to a close with a beautiful rendition of Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor, KV.478. In which Nestor, Frans and Malena were joined by Jordi Roure on Viola.


Me With Nestor Boyana Before The Concert



Frans van Schoonhoven , Marc Cartanyà, Me, Jordi Roure, Malena Pflock and Nestor Boyana


Once the show finished, the night was not yet over! That evening in Lleida, there was a celebration and the community gathered to watch a concert and to dance the night away. We stayed for a while, and I loved the happy atmosphere. Especially when they began to sing Disney songs in Spanish! Just how I like to party!  🙂




Then after a very pleasant sleep, I woke up early this morning to travel to Barcelona to perform the same program there. We left quite early as it was a lunchtime performance and we passed the time on the road trip with great music and lots of jokes. We found the venue, Musitekton, and arrived an hour before the concert; this meant we had to be very efficient with or time management to ensure that all the players were able to warm up and to test the acoustics.


The venue was very intimate, and the walls were lined with string instruments as the owner also builds and repairs string instruments, so it was a unique and individual place to perform. Music was most certainly in the air! The concert went very well, and we all enjoyed ourselves connecting with the very attentive audience.


Jordi Roure, Me, Frans van Schoonhoven , Malena Pflock and Nestor Boyana


I concluded my trip with yet another huge Spanish meal with my colleagues and new friends where I tried black rice (black from squid ink) and many different styles of seafood.  While I was there, I also tried the local delicacy snails Catalan style and they were surprisingly delicious. However, I don’t think I would be brave enough to cook them at home.

I had the most fantastic time, and it was great to spend two days immersed in the Spanish culture and to experience my first professional international recital in Spain. I would love to go back and perhaps next time sing in Spanish!

55 thoughts on “Barcelona, “La Musica i La Paraula” ( Music and Words )

  1. Lucky you! I have only ever visited Barcelona once, and then briefly, for a fairly famous football match. I had no chance to explore – I wanted to see La Sagrada Familia – and I have had no opportunity since.

    1. I’ve seen the Basillica but I didn’t go in, like you I’ve only been to Barcelona for a day at a time. I love meeting Spanish families and living the culture and life even if only for a short time. It was great. I hope you get to go back.
      Best wishes

    1. I like being challenged artistically on the performance and presentation, seeing what works and getting feedback, I was told that it didn’t matter that they couldn’t understand the individual words of my songs as my presentation told the story really well so that was good news to me.
      Best wishes

    1. Gracias 😊. I can’t believe how fast the pace of life is in London, the streets and roads are still full of people at 10pm at night and the stores are still open! I’m loving it.
      Best wishes

    1. I do try and find something good in bad situations even the two hour delay in the airport on the way home allowed me to write and prepare my blog post 😄.
      Best wishes

  2. It sounds like you had a marvelous trip and unforgettable experiences both in your performances and in new foods! LOL! You look lovely in the photos. Hugs! Xx

  3. What an amazing weekend! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself and the concerts were a success. I’m pleased you were still able to sing after those large meals!

  4. This makes me smile Charlotte ~ you are truly in your element and it is just the beginning of the year for you too 🙂 Wonderful photos, with you looking terrific. Keep up the great run and wishing you well!

  5. Sounds like you had a great time in Lleida and Barcelona! Hablo Espanol?
    Hope that you can go back and sing your songs in Spanish. Adios, Charlotte

  6. Excelente, amiga! 🙂 Make sure to visit some of Gaudi´s places! 😀
    I am pleased to read your updates… best of luck … and keep it up! Aquileana 🙂

  7. You just keep piling up the amazing experiences! With the career path you are on, can it be long before I have the chance to hear you in the US? And I love that black dress with the red flowers! That’s just FAB-ulous!

  8. Disney songs in Spanish? 🙂 Just don’t tell me what I’m eating until after the meal is over. Snails? I’m always impressed with the architecture of these different countries. I wish we had a few more like these in the U.S. Happy Weekend.

  9. Hi I’m new I’m new to the blogging life and was wondering if you could read my work and follow me I’d appreciate it as i am interested in literature and spoken word and lack a bit of confidence Thank you for your time and have a nice day

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