The Pablo Casals Festival of Prades is unusual having been initiated thanks to the unexpected combination of a strong desire for an artistic event and a passionately committed humanist, who was at the same time an outstanding artist. Faithful to the spirit of its founder, it presents, side by side with the most famous masterpieces, an introduction to lesser know classical and contemporary works.
Undoubtedly one of the oldest festivals still in existence, it is among the most innovative in the quest for to extend its repertoire and introduce new talents. It also includes an Academy that welcomes students from all continents and a composers’ competition, open to all kinds of creative artists from any school. It also hosts ECMA Sessions (European Chamber Music Academy ), each year in November.
Each summer, 40 to 50 events, centred around a theme, create a distinct programme within the world repertoire of classical and contemporary chamber music:
• 35 concerts, the majority of which takes place at 9 p.m. in the Romanesque abbey church of Saint-Michel de Cuxà with its exceptional acoustic qualities. Two or three concerts are given at 9 p.m. in the Prades parish church. Ten concerts are given at 5.30 p.m. in various churches in the Têt valley and there are also 9 student concerts, for which entrance is free.
• 3 or 4 lectures : encounters with composers such as Krzysztof Penderecki or prominent figures such as Hubert Reeves (astrophysician ). In collaboration with the music school and the educational institutions of the Conflent, the Pablo Casals Festival of Prades also organises chamber music discovery sessions to introduce schools students to chamber music.