We have on this occasion the opportunity to help in the dissemination of the V meeting of Madrid plucked string conservatories with an interview by its promoters: Ramiro Morales, Jesús Sánchez and Pablo Zapico. I remember looking forward to the first event that was held and, although I could not personally attend all of them, I consider it to be an already fundamental and especially refreshing event in the panorama of the plucked string in Spain. Focused mainly on students, it is a clear example of how three renowned plucked string professionals manage to combine their concert activity with a teaching and pedagogical work in which they also invest an extra commitment, the fruit of which is precisely the celebration for the fifth year of this event. It is also great news that, as in many other cases, there are first-rate musicians accompanying the students from the beginning of the musical career. So we are especially happy to participate and help with these events where, without a doubt, one feels like family. We encourage you to read the interview and to participate in the meeting.   [notification type=”notification_info” ]Remember that the appointment is from 10:30 on January 28, 2017, at ICES Padre Soler, in San Lorenzo de Escorial.[/notification]     Program
  • 10:30   >> Opening and welcome
  • 11:30   >> Workshop on strings, by David Morales
  • 12:45   >> Student concert
  • 14:30   >> Lunch
  • 16:30   >> Conference (Sibelius for lute players), by Rodrigo Sancho
  • 11 a 19 >> Exhibition of instruments, scores, books, records …
What is the goal of these meetings?
  The answer is very simple, the only intention we have is that at least during this day we have a meeting day for teachers and students of this specialty, where we can meet and exchange all kinds of experiences, always with the limited time of this unique event, but at the same time with the intensity imposed by this same framework. It offers us a unique opportunity to appreciate the work of others within our field, which I believe, always enriches our way of thinking and working whether you are a student or a teacher, and also allows us to present it to the public, which although diverse, is in part specialized, which is not easy because we need to offer attractive activities that do not resemble the “weekly classes”.  
How did the idea of starting to organize these meetings come about?
It was a proposal made by the CIEM professor “Padre Antonio Soler” of San Lorenzo del Escorial, D. Ramiro Morales, which was immediately supported by all of us and put into practice in that same course five years ago, it was evident and natural Because it unites us all, friendship, respect and the need to exchange ideas, the direct consequence was the organization of the first meeting and as soon as it was over, we felt, given the magnificent experience, that we should continue in the following courses.  
Who organize the meeting and what support do you have?
The organizers have always been the teachers of the three Professional Conservatories of our specialty in Madrid: Jesús Sánchez, Pablo Zapico and Ramiro Morales. We try to make the Meeting rotate, so the first support is from our conservatories by facilitating the use of their facilities. And then the invaluable presences of luthiers from all over Spain exposing their instruments and offering talks, The Vihuela Society with its publications and promotion, speakers with historical conferences and presentation of their theses, Municipal Schools that have contributed students to the concert, photographers who they cover the day,… anyway, we are very happy with the results because we don’t have a penny of financing! All those who participate do so for true love of art and for the pleasure of sharing. From here we thank everyone.    
What content and activities can be found at the meeting?
The central activity is the concert of students, who are the true stars and vital nucleus of the Meeting. The instruments exhibition is a unique opportunity to test them and chat with the builders since we are talking about world-class luthiers, and they come to visit us at our house… it is a joy. And last but not least, we always have a colloquium or theoretical or historical conference: we have had workshops on strumming technique and figueta, talks on instrument care, on intabulations, authors’ monographs, etc. This year we will cover the topic of computer programs with applications for plucked strings and tablatures. And since not everything is going to be so specialized, we have established the already classic menu of meetings: Cocido Madrileño.  
How do you think this encounter differs from other plucked string events?
Mainly in that it is oriented to the world of teaching. It is a point of alignment in what means the regulated teaching of these instruments currently here in the Community of Madrid, where fortunately there is more than one conservatory teaching this specialty. We felt that it was our responsibility to unify their study and create a joint work space where students and teachers could relativize and enrich each other without thinking that we are alone in the world. Our goal is to learn and there is not an iota of competition or haughtiness.      
How do you think this event will continue in the future? Is there a plan to expand it, change it in any way?
Our hope is that each year’s meeting is the best one to date. With each edition we take the opportunity to try to celebrate it a little better and it does not seem that we are going to get tired. The meeting is destined to celebrate many more years and to excel in longevity. We hope so. But the very nature of the event requires us to celebrate it annually and in one day. Otherwise, it would surely lose convening power. We are limited by your time and frequency. We are always forced to discard some activity due to lack of hours and this is our limitation, at least for now. We do not know what the next step could be for the event to grow, but we have discussed some ideas that could be viable; such as holding a bi-annual meeting at the national level or, more modestly, having the participation of a guest center from outside the Community of Madrid in each edition.          

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