President's Greetings

Paloma o'Shea

Between July and August 2022, we will be holding, for the 20th time, a wonderful reunion that has been repeated in Santander for 50 years now with each new edition of the Santander International Piano Competition: Twenty young pianists coming from four or five continents get together for two weeks in front of our beautiful bay in order to give a boost to their emerging careers and, at the same time, offer 50 concerts to the music lovers of Santander, who fill up the halls of the Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria and also to the music lovers the world over, who are able to follow the different competition phases through the media.

The Competition also has the support of the institutions. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Mayoress of Santander, Gema Igual; the President of the Cantabrian Government, Miguel Ángel Revilla; the Vice-President and Regional Minister of Culture, Pablo Zuloaga; the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta; and to the Director General of the INAEM, Joan Francesc Marco. I am so grateful for the support of the President of RTVE, José Manuel Pérez Tornero, and that of all our private sponsors, companies, and individuals who have joined us in this journey. Without the enthusiasm of all of them and that of their teams, the Competition would not be what it is.

As we open the application period for the 20th Santander International Piano Competition, I remember the hundreds of pianists who have experienced the competition since its creation in the summer of 1972. Throughout this time, I have noticed that the mere fact of applying and preparing for the phases is already a transforming experience that allows participants to advance as artists and as persons. I encourage them to do so.

In Santander we will be welcoming the selected artists as the outstanding artists they already are. Here they will find a jury made up of great international experts presided by an exceptional pianist, Joaquín Achúcarro, as well as by a team of artistic collaborators that reveals our interest in making of the Santander Competition not just a reunion of pianists, but a celebration of music in all its dimensions. The Spanish Radio and Television Orchestra, which has already performed this task brilliantly on previous occasions, will accompany the six finalists, under the baton of its Chief Conductor, Pablo González. The importance of chamber music has always been a distinctive element of Santander, which has led us to institute, on this occasion, an Award for the Best Chamber Music Performer. Once again, we will be having with us the extraordinary Casals Quartet.

The 50th anniversary of the Santander International Piano Competition comes at a time when we all need the healing power of live music after many months of deprivation. The celebration of our half-century of life must also serve to reaffirm the importance of music in our communities, as a source of happiness and a driver of social cohesion.

Paloma O’Shea
Founding President

Paloma O'Shea

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