FESTIVAL MIXTUR 2015: Agustí Charles



Born in Manresa, Agustí Charles began his music studies at an early age. His first works in composition date from the 80s, under the guidance of his first composition teachers: Miquel Roger, Albert Sardà and Josep Soler. Later he studied with Franco Donatoni, Luigi Nono and Samuel Adler, as well as working with other composers and conductors including Joan Guinjoan, Cristóbal Halffter, J.R. Encinar and Ros Marbà. He has had much recognition for his work, receiving nearly fifty awards, among these are the most important national and international composition prizes. He has also received commissions from important institutions and prestigious performers, as a result of which his music is performed worldwide. His work “Seven looks” was awarded the prize of the Association of Spanish Symphonic Orchestras (AEOS) and has been played by all the major Spanish orchestras between the 2004 and 2008 seasons.  Recently, in 2008, the Italian Stradivarius Records Co. has published a new monographic CD with part of his orchestral work, played by the Orchestra of the Community of Madrid and directed by José Ramón Encinar. The Tritó Records Company edited a new monographic CD in 2010 with the Symphonic Orchestra of Barcelona and National of Catalunya, directed by Jaime Martin. In March 2011 the premiere of his second opera, “Lord Byron, un estiu sense estiu”, will take place in the Staatstheater of Darmstadt, Germany. The libretto is by Marc Rosich with stage direction by Alfonso Romero Mora. At the present time he teaches composition, occupying the chair in composition at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Aragón.

How do you prepare yourself for Mixtur 2015?

live music in each and every moment of my life, I bring it with me, I imagine it, and think it, and sometimes I succeed in writing a bit of everything I imagined. Not knowing the composers I might find there does not allow me to predict a specific way to react to them, as each one will need his or her own way. My experience and daily routine are my ongoing preparation.

How do you plan your interaction with the young composers that will be your students during this Workshop? 

A composition lesson is a type of interaction between two different experiences of a creative undertaking. As my career is longer than theirs, I am able to synthesize easily several of the aspects related to that creative experience, for when the time comes to ask questions and show possible ways for those composers to walk on their own they can do it. But that doesn't mean that the path I give is the best, but only another one that offers a different perspective, from another angle. It is during the walk through that path when the skill of the musical-creative undertaking is acquired, and to do so we need to watch attentively our surroundings. My goal is to achieve that experience.

What do you expect of participating in a project like this? What does teaching give you?

Most importantly, to have fun while transmiting my enthusiasm to do what I love the most, and learn... never stop learning. It is the best way to learn, not only in music, but in life.

Do you think changing from teaching composition to executing your own creation carries with it a substantial difference?

I do not think it is possible to teach one thing and then do a different one, at least for me. Creation (or composition), be it mine or somebody else's, when it is in front of me and I must have an opinion, if I cannot feel it like it is mine, I cannot give my opinion convincingly, and that would be dreadful. Teaching is another aspect of my act of composing, but in this case I just avoid the responsibility of its authorship, not its creation.


Agustí Charles is a resident composer in our Workshop on Composition and Sound Experimentation 2015 and has a new piece commissioned for Festival Mixtur 2015.