“María Parra Peñafiel is a pianist but also something more. For both her and some others of the same race, music is life itself, relieved of all burden. Music is the reason (or the unreason) for the life of this artist who, through the tips of her fingers, offers testimony of a demand for truth and beauty from which, in short, no true artist can escape …”.
Maria Parra Peñafiel, born in Soria, began her musical studies aged eight, ending her (professional) degree with the grade of A with Honours in the final senior degree course as external student in Tarragona’s Convervatory. She studied improvisation techniques and jazz harmony at the “Taller de Músics” in Barcelona, finishing over three years with the prestigious teachers Jacques Rouvier and Prisca Benoit at the Senior Conservatoire in Paris. She holds a postgraduate diploma in the “Master in Spanish Music” from the renowned pianist Alícia de Larrocha, awarded at the “Marshall Academy” in Barcelona.
MARIA PARRA. El correo de Andalucia. 4/01/2015
“«Learning with Alicia de Larrocha was a gift from life»”
Her training included such teachers as Núria Delclós, Cecilio Tieles, Marta Sardaña , Lluís Vidal, Montserrat Santacana and María Teresa Monteys, and master classes with Carmen Bravo on Mompou, Eulalia Solé, Monique Deschaussées in Paris, Richard Beirach in New York, Jan Wijn of the Amsterdam Conservatory, Alexander Jenner at the Wiener Meisterkurs in Vienna, Barry Douglas in Tarragona, with Leslie Howard and Josep María Colom at Musikeon in Valencia and with Dimitri Bashkirov in Vigo. Maria Parra Peñafiel has taught in a variety of Catalan centres and conservatories (Reus, Tarragona, Vilaseca, Taller de Músicos), she has imparted master classes in Spanish music in Spain and Germany (the Ensemblia Festival) and has taken part in papers on education and in conferences.
She has played in many European countries, appearing at various piano festivals such as “Ensemblia”, the “Neckargemünd” international festival in Germany, “Pianorama” in Florence, “Festival de Sant Pere de Rodes” in Girona, in the “Museo Cau Ferrat” in Sitges, the French Summer Festival in Sarlat and at the “Chateaux Chantants” festival, also in France, as part of the international seminar on architectural and cultural heritage. She played concerts in homage to her teacher Alicia de Larrocha in 2010.
Maria Parra Peñafiel also composes, participating with “Tarragona’s song” which accompanies the Time-Lapse Tarragona images directed by the photographer Pep Escoda to promote the city.
She is the creator and director of the Tarragona “Bouquet Festival”, amalgamating Historical Heritage, music and wine, whose purpose is to propel young talents. This year she will start an other festival in Reus (Vermusic) with the same philosophy.
Her new CD “rêverie” at the end of 2014, with label VERSO, and with the support of “La Quinta de Mahler” in Madrid has been a great release for this pianist, having been echoed much of the specialized press and the Spanish media with the best criticism as the magazine RITMO, Hoyesarte, El arte de la fugaa, Magazine Scherzo, RNE radio clasica, RTVE among others. This Cd has been recognized by “Melómano” Magazine with the Gold Medal best recording 2014.
She has performed as soloist with the Camera Musicae Orchestra, conducted by Tomàs Grau, at the celebration of its tenth anniversary.
Her latest release Mouvement is being the confirmation and recognition of this pianist. She has been the Cover of RITMO magazine in January 2017.
Recently she was named honorary senator in Tarragona for her contributions to the culture sphere of the city.