The Tenerife pianist Guillermo González is considered to be one of the greats in Spanish music and is one of Spain’s most celebrated exponents of the piano. His long professional career has earned him numerous and memorable critiques, which mention his profound knowledge and interpretative versatility of the piano literature of all periods, as well as major awards:
– Spanish National Music Prize (1991)
– Major award granted by the Spanish State in its specialty
– Spanish National Record Prize (1980)
– For the recording of works by Teobaldo Power (EMI)
– Albéniz Medal (2009)
– Awarded in the centenary year of the composer’s death
– The CEOE Foundation Musical Performance Prize (2001)
The protégé of José Cubiles, Vlado Perlemuter and Jean Paul Sevilla, he received his musical education at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Santa Cruz de Tenerife and later at Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, the Schola Cantorum de Paris and Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Paris, winning prizes in major international piano competitions from a very young age: Milan, Vercelli (Viotti), Jaén, Tenerife, etc.
In 1998, he edited a new version of the Iberia musical score according to Albéniz’s original work, offering the composer’s manuscript in a facsimile edition as a world premiere, plus two others -urtext and revised- (ed. Schott), the latter being the reference edition for the study of the work, and used in the classes taught by relevant pianists, such as Daniel Baremboim, for example.
Guillermo González has given numerous recitals and concerts with orchestras such as: Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, Dresdner Philharmonie, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Classic Chamber Orchestra of New York, Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica Radio Televisión Española, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra… in Spain, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany,Australia, Austria, France, China, Russia,The United States, The Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Brussels, Switzerland and throughout Latin America, in prestigious venues such as The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, The Bayerischer Rundfunk, The Santa Cecilia de Roma, The Palais de la Musique Strasbourg, The Bratislava Philharmonic, The Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, The Teatro de la Maestranza opera house in Seville, The Teatro Real in Madrid… In 2008, he was chosen as the sole pianist to represent Spain and the Hispanic world in the prestigious concert that took place in the new 5,500 capacity National Theatre of China, for the Beijing Olympic Games’ cultural events, performing with such esteemed pianists as Lang Lang and Philippe Entremont.
Since 2005, Guillermo González has presided over an ambitious project, together with the Superior Conservatories of Shanghai and Central China, to teach and disseminate Spanish music in the country where his edition of Iberia was also published (Shanghai Music Publishing House).
His numerous recordings include those made for Radio France, Radio WGMS in Washington, radio and television in Caracas, television in Georgia (Russia), and the European Broadcasting Union (for whom he recorded Iberia by Albéniz live, broadcasting throughout Europe and Canada), as well as the albums dedicated to Scriabin, E. Hallfter, Falla, A. Oliver, García Abril, Zulema de la Cruz, Carlos Cruz de Castro, José Luís Turina and Teobaldo Power. Special mention should be made of the complete works of Albéniz in four albums for the Naxos International label, whose version of Iberia won the rating of “excellent”, 5***** record in BBC Music Magazine, with the following critique:
This is real music […] Guillermo González’s interpretation matches the best in every way, and often exceeds the subtlety of inflection and rhythm curve. […] Their sound has a broad spectrum but is never nasty, characterization is both varied and vivid. Jeremy Siepmann
He has worked intensely as a teacher, Professor at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, Extraordinary and Honorary Professor of the Consevatorio Profesional de Música de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Professor of the Conservatorio de Música de Malaga and Director of the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Segovia,, and has been invited to form part of the jury in numerous international competitions, as well as to teach a Master Class in Spanish and foreign conservatories and musical institutions: Summer Courses at the Complutense University of Madrid, Manuel de Falla Courses at the International Music Festival of Granada, Kean University (New Jersey), Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Bilkent University of Turkey, Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne (Australia), Shanghai Superior Conservatory, Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing)…, as well as being a member of the jury for “The China International Piano Competition” (Xiamen), the most important piano competition held in that country, of which he is the first and only Spanish guest musician. For 17 years he has been president of the International Piano Competition of Jaén, being awarded the Gold Medal for his work.
He is a member of the Royal Academies of Fine Arts of Tenerife, Granada and Cádiz. In 2007, in an academic ceremony, the University of Granada awarded him for his decisive contribution to the creation and subsequent development of the Orquesta de Cámara de la Universidad de Granada.
Guillermo González has received recognition from his country, with various distinctions: The Gold Medal of the island of Tenerife, the Hijo Predilecto title of La Laguna (Tenerife), the Hijo Adoptivo title and Medal of the town of Garachico (Tenerife) and Honorary Member of the Canary Home in Madrid.
Several Spanish music schools and companies are named after him.