Biography

Acclaimed for his “sophisticated handling of the sound” and “stupendous virtuosity”, Abel Sánchez-Aguilera has appeared as a soloist in ten countries (Spain, France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, United States and Brazil). He has been heard, among others, on the stages of Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), Mozarteum (Salzburg), Gasteig (Munich), Neue Schloss (Stuttgart), Scriabin Memorial Museum (Moscow), Sheremetev Palace (St. Petersburg), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia) and Steinert Hall (Boston), and in festivals such as Musikfest Stuttgart (2014, 2016), TransArt 2017, Festival Romantique de Buc (2013-14), Musique au Palais (2015-16) and “Les Amateurs virtuoses!” (2009-15). He has performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto no.3 with the New Philarmonia Orchestra (Massachusetts, USA, 2012) and the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto (Padua, Italy, 2017).

Born in Madrid, Abel Sánchez-Aguilera graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Music in his native city under the guidance of Fernando Puchol and Juan Carlos Martínez. Subsequently he has continued his studies with Ya-Fei Chuang, both at the New England Conservatory in Boston and at the Salzburg Mozarteum Internationale Sommerakademie, which he has attended for six consecutive years. He has also received artistic advice from Robert Levin, Luiz de Moura Castro, Ilze Graubin and Marisa Montiel.

A laureate of several international competitions, Abel Sánchez-Aguilera has been especially recognized for his advocacy of the modern and contemporary piano repertoire. He was awarded First Prize in the “Alexander Skrjabin” competition (Salzburg, 2015), First Prize and best contemporary interpretation award in the Open Piano Competition (2013), the Prize of the Mozarteum Sommerakademie (2013), First Prize “Musik der Extraklasse” (Salzburg, 2011), First Prize and audience award in the Boston International Piano Competition (2011), First Prize (piano category), Third Prize (overall solo category) and Fourth Prize (concerto category) in the competition “Premio Città di Padova” (2016) , among others.

In commemoration of the centenary of the composer’s death in 2015, Abel Sánchez-Aguilera performed Alexander Scriabin’s complete piano sonatas at Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), as well as the rarely heard sonata “to the memory of Scriabin” by Leonid Sabaneev. He has given the premieres of the works Brevedades by C. M. González-Portela (1999) and his own compositions Morella (2016) and Scriabiniana (2012).

He is a member of the editorial team of the Sorabji Archive (UK), for which he has prepared first critical editions of two of Sorabji’s major works (Tāntrik Symphony for piano alone and Piano Symphony no.3). He has privately taught students from three continents.

Parallel to his musical activity, Abel Sánchez-Aguilera has contributed to an entirely unrelated field – that of biomedicine. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and for 16 years he performed research in the field of leukemia and lymphoma, both in Spain and in the United States. His scientific work, represented by no less than 28 articles and book chapters, led to the discovery of a potential application of the commonly used drug tamoxifen for the treatment of some blood cancers, and to the identification of novel prognostic markers for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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