11th - 14th October 2023
Pre-registration forms

The ‘Associació Joan Carles i Amat’ of Monistrol de Montserrat presents this first International Academy dedicated to the illustrious “monistrolense” Joan Carles i Amat, who lived in this town, in Central Catalonia, between 1572 and 1642. The aims is to give continuity to the activities of ‘Any Joan Carles i Amat’ (Joan Carles i Amat Year), held throughout 2022 to commemorate the 450th anniversary of his birth.

Due to Carles i Amat multifaceted profile, he was an archetypal «Renaissance man»: scholarly doctor, author of treatises like Fructus Medicinae (first edition Lyon, 1623), man of letters, who wrote the famous Quatre-cents aforismes catalans [Four hundred Catalan aphorisms] (first edition 1636) and above all, musician and theoretician, author of the famous treatise Guitarra Española de cinco órdenes, published in 1595 and considered the first in Europe.

The Central Act of the commemoration took place in Monistrol de Montserrat on September 24, 2022, with a concert starring a true legend of early music: Hopkinson Smith. The success of his concert is the reason why the central focus of the Academy will be the course on historical plucked instruments (baroque guitar, vihuela, lute and theorbo), also open to classical guitar, which will be taught by the same Swiss-Nortamerican maestro.

In parallel, there will be two classical guitar courses taught by Àlex Garrobé (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya - ESMUC) and Guillem Pérez-Quer (Conservatori Superior del Liceu de Barcelona), as well as an introductory course for children and young people by Marc Rodríguez Ballarà (music teacher at the FEDAC School in Monistrol).

The inaugural act of Academy will be the Concert by Sophie Klussmann & Hopkinson Smith, conceived expressly for the occasion and which will take place in the Església de Sant Pere (Saint Peter Church) in Monistrol on Wednesday, october 11th at 9:00 pm.

The informative sessions will be three conferences related to the medical, literary and musical profile of Joan Carles i Amat by Doctor Miquel Bruguera, the paremiologist Víctor Pàmies and the musicologist Francesc Xavier Alern.

Links of interest:
COURSE PROGRAM (October 12, 13 and 14)
  • Thursday 12th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th (10:00 - 13:00 h / 15:30 - 18:30 h): masterclasses with Hopkinson Smith *
  • Thursday 12th (09:00 - 13:00 h / 15:30 - 18:30 h) and Friday 13th  (09:00 - 13:00 h): masterclasses with Àlex Garrobé y Guillem Pérez-Quer **
  • Thursday 12th (09:00 - 12:30 h): elementary level classes with Marc Rodríguez Ballarà (Monistrol students only)

  • Masterclasses with Hopkinson Smith: Centre Cultural Can Gibert (c/St. Joan, 1)
  • Masterclasses with Àlex Garrobé y Guillem Pérez-Quer: premises of the ‘Associació Cultural Art i Esplai’ (c/del Pont, 2) and Local de la Penya Blaugrana (c/Manresa, 3)

Saturday 14th at 20:00 h  on the premises of the ‘Associació Cultural Art i Esplai’
Concerto of course participants
Free admission

* Baroque guitar, vihuela, lute and theorbo, also open to classical guitar
** Classical guitar

In each course there will be two categories of participants: ACTIVE AND PASSIVE (AUDITORS)


Masterclasses with Hopkinson Smith
Maximum 12 students (one-on-one lessons: 45 minutes)
Attach brief academic curriculum and mp3 audio of a piece of free choice (maximum 2 minutes)

Masterclasses with Àlex Garrobé and Guillem Pérez-Quer
Maximum 12 students (one-on-one lessons: 45 minutes)
Participants should have completed 4th course of profesional level, or equivalent

B. PASSIVE PARTICIPANTS (AUDITORS) (entitled to participate in discussions)
Until full capacity (consult with the organization)

  • Hopkinson Smith course: 160 € - includes meals on all three days (subsidized activity)
  • Àlex Garrobé and Guillem Pérez-Quer course: 25 € - Includes meals on class days (subsidized activity). Consult the Form for the global price in the case of choosing both teachers

  • Hopkinson Smith course: 80 € - includes meals on all three days (subsidized activity)
  • Àlex Garrobé and Guillem Pérez-Quer course: 15 € Includes meals on class days (subsidized activity)

NOTE: For the Hopkinson Smith course there is a part-time listener modality: one day €25 / two days €50 (consult the organization)


Photo: Judith Schlosser

Born in New York in 1946, Swiss-American lutenist Hopkinson Smith graduated from Harvard with Honors in Music in 1972. His instrumental studies took him to Europe where he worked with Emili Pujol, a great pedagogue in the highest Catalan artistic tradition, and with the Swiss lutenist, Eugen Dombois, whose sense of organic unity between performer, instrument, and historical period has had lasting effects on him. He has been involved in numerous chamber music projects and was one of the founding members of the ensemble Hespèrion XX. Since the mid-80’s, he has focused almost exclusively on the solo repertoires for early plucked instrument, producing a series of prize-winning recordings for Astrée and Naïve, which feature Spanish music for vihuela and baroque guitar, French lute music of the Renaissance and baroque, English and Italian music of the 16th early 17th century and music from the German high baroque. His lute versions of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin and his Suites for the cello have opened up new channels of understanding of these works.
Hopkinson Smith has performed and given master classes throughout Eastern and Western Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Japan sometimes combining the life-style of a hermit with that of a gypsy. He lives in Basel, Switzerland where after his emeritation at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis he now teaches in postgraduate studies at the Institut für Hochschulentwicklung und Weiterbildung at the Musikakademie Basel.
Hopkinson Smth starred in the Commemorative Concert of the 450th anniversary of Joan Carles i Amat on September 24, 2022 in Monistrol de Montserrat, together with actress Sílvia Bel.


Photo: Laia Garrobé

Since winning First Price at Fundación Guerrero Guitar Competition and the Musical Youths of Spain Competition, his concert career has quickly developed in more than forty countries performing in some of the most prestigious international halls, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Radio France Auditorium in Paris, Auditorio Nacional (Madrid), Palau de la Música Catalana (Barcelona) or the Lutowslasky Auditorium (Warsaw).
He has premiered Works by various contemporaty composers, among which stand out the Mare Nostrum Concerto, by Salvador Brotons, …di un soffio d’aura, by Agustín Charles and the Concierto de Petrer by Simone Iannarelli.
PhD on Art History and Musicolgy by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Àlex Garrobé has been professor at Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco (MUSIKENE), Escola de Música de Barcelona-Universitat Autònoma, and the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC). He has presented master classes all over the world.
He has released six CDs on the labels Harmonia Mundi, Opera Tres and Columna Musica. After listening to his CD dedicated to British composers, Sir Malcolm Arnold expressed the opinion that it was: “A masterly interpretation”, to which he added “It is gratifying to hear one’s music played so superbly”.


Photo: Juan Mario Cuéllar

Considered by the specialized critics as a virtuoso guitarist, with impeccable technique and exteme sensibility, capable of cativating all kinds of public in his concerts, Guillem Pérez-Quer is an internationally renowned concertist, with a long history, who has performed to the most important audiences in the world. He studied with great teachers:  Juan Fco. Garrido, Óscar Cáceres, Leo Brouwer, Betho Davezac, Eli Kassner, and the great guitarist Maria Luisa Anido –student of Miquel Llobet- who considered him one of best students.
Winner of prestigious prizes such as the Manuel de Falla Interpretation Contest and the XXV Maria Canals International Contest, among others. He has three albums published with President Records Ltd. (London) together with her wife the Canadian guitar player Danielle Kassner as the Kassner&Quer Guitar Duo. He is often giving lectures and master-classes around the world and been part or the jury of numerous international competitions.
He is the Head of the Department of Guitar of the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Liceu in Barcelona.


Concert Sophie Klussmann & Hopkinson Smith
Wednesday, 11th at 9:00 pm
Església de Sant Pere de Monistrol de Montserrat

Works by: Anonymous s. XVI, Sermisy, Moulu, Tromboncino, Cara, Holborne, Campian, Dowland and Pilkington   
General admission at single price of € 10 (sale at the box one hour before the concert)
Students of the course: free


Photo: Marco Borggreve

Born in Freiburg / Germany, Sophie Klussmann studied at the music conservatories of Detmold and Köln. Awards include the Mozart Competition Würzburg and the Trude Eiperle Stiftung. She is now a versatile concert, opera and recital singer who has worked with conductors such as V. Jurowski, H. Rilling, I. Metzmacher, M. Janowski, M. Gielen and M. Bosch and with orchestras like Radio Orchestras of Berlin, the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, SWR Orchestra, Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich and the Wiener Akademie. In 2022, she performed at the Copenhagen Philharmonic Hall with Christoph Eschenbach Brahms’ German Requiem. Early in her career, she was member of the opera Halle, singing the leading soprano parts such as Pamina, Nannetta, Dorinda but also Wellgunde and Waldvogel in Wagners Ring. In 2021/22 she sang the leading role of „The merry widow“ by Franz Léhar at the State Theatre of Cottbus.
With the Akademie für alte Musik, Collegium 1704 and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, she worked intensively in the field of ancient music. In 2022/23, she will perform a renaissance program with the Lutinist Hopkinson Smith at several venues. In the field of contemporary music he has recorded works by Kurtág, Ligeti and Stockhausen, and in the Lied he has acted in the   Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Kempten Festival and the Stift Festival Holland.
His recordings include Dixit Dominus by Händel (Harmonia Mundi), songs by Zemlinsky (Capriccio) and song cycles by S. Gervasoni (Cini Forum Venezia).


 https://associaciojca.org/media/HOPKINSON SMITH 2.jpg
Foto: Santi Periel

Curriculum at the section ‘PROFESSORATE’

Hopkinson Smith, in this case taking on the role of accompanist, and the German soprano Sophie Klussmann, present this concert designed as the inaugural act of the Acadèmia Internacional Joan Carles i Amat 2023. The first part will comprise works from France (chansons au luth) and Italy (frottole) from the beginning of the 16th century, and the second works of English Renaissance by Holborne, Campian, Dowland and Pilkington around 1600.
There cannot be a more appropriate prelude for an eminently pedagogical initiative, such as a course on historic pulsed string instruments, than this concert performed by himself, with the particularity of the participation of the human voice. The treatise of Carles i Amat is, above all, a work conceived for the precursor instrument of our current guitar as an accompaniment to the voice. In this sense, the fact that Hopkinson Smith has focused in recent years on the lute (after having performed and recorded extensively in the repertoire for the five-course guitar throughout his long career) forces follow the rule in the case of this concert. However, this is separate from the proposal because of apparent concordances. After all, both the lute and the guitar are members of the same family and have a perfect bond of union. Although the guitar was predominant in the Hispanic orbit while the lute was so in France, Italy and England, the Hispanic guitar crossed borders to radiate in those territories over time.   


 Thursday 12th, Friday 13th and Saturday 14th

Thursday 12th at 7:00 pm. DR. MIQUEL BRUGUERA
“El Dr. Joan Carles i Amat (1572 - 1642) i el país en què va viure” (Doctor Joan Carles i Amat and the country in wich he lived)
Centre Cultural Can Gibert (c/ St. Joan, 1)
Free admission

Photo: Col·legi Oficial de Metges de Barcelona

Born in Barcelona in 1942, Miquel Bruguera i Cortada PhD in Medicine with postgraduate studies at ‘Hópital Saint-Antoine’ de París and the Royal Free Hospital in London.
Consultant to the Hepatology Service at the ‘Hospital Clínic de Barcelona’ and a  professor at the ‘Universitat de Barcelona’. Among his positions in other fields of medicine, Chairman of the ‘Col•legi Oficial de Metges de Barcelona’ and the ‘Consell de la Professió Médica” of Catalan Ministry of Health.
Awards: ‘Medalla Narcís Monturiol 2000’, ‘Medalla Josep Trueta 2010’, ‘Creu de Sant Jordi 2011’.
Great admirer of the figure of Joan Carles i Amat, as a head of the “Galeria de Metges Catalans” (Medical Doctors Gallery) of ‘Col·legi Oficial de Metges de Barcelona’, includes an interesting review about the old “monistrolense” doctor.

Friday 13th at 7:00 pm. VÍCTOR PÀMIES
“Paraules rimades d’un savi monistrolenc: Els Quatre-cents aforismes catalans” (Rhyming words of a wise man from Monistrol: The Four Hundred Catalan Aphorisms)
Centre Cultural Can Gibert (c/ St. Joan, 1)
Free admission

Photo: Xavier Dengra

Víctor Pàmies i Riudor (Barcelona 1963) is a philologist, linguist and blogger specializing in paremiology (the collection and study if paremias or proverbs). He is known for his publications in this discipline, for his collection of Catalan proverbs in more than twenty specialized blogs, and for his seminars for non-expert public. Since 2002, he has published various studies on Catalan paremiology on the Internet, offering tools and content such as a collection of Catalan-Spanish proverb, a compilation of Catalan-Spanish “dites” (sayings) and idioms, a dictionary of quotations and a thematic collection of proverbs, among others.
With regard to his work fot the general public, since the mid-2000s, he has developed a large part of his activity to the more than twenty blogs that he maintains. He has also stood out as a popularizer on the web by paying tributes to key figures of Catalan culture.
In 2012, he presented the “Mapa de paremiologia tòpica dels Països Catalans” (Topical Paremiology Map of the Catalan Countries), and in January 2023, in collaboration with “Softcatalà”, he launched the new portal “Paremiologia Catalana Comparada Digital” (Digital Comparative Catalan Paremiology), which includes 150.000 paremias of the more than 650.000 that he has collected over 25 years.  
He is the author of the critical review of the new edition of the Aphorisms by Joan Carles i Amat, published by Morera Edicions in November 2022 under the title “Dites Catalanes”.

Saturday 14th at 7:00 pm. DR. FRANCESC XAVIER ALERN
“L’extraordinari Tractat de Guitarra de Joan Carles i Amat” (The extraordinary Guitar Treatise by Joan Carles i Amat)
Local de l’Associació Cultural Art i Esplai (c/del Pont, 2)
Free admission


Francesc Xavier Alern (Barcelona 1969) is doctor in Art History and Musicology (2015 Extraordinary Doctorate Award Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - UAB), has a degree in History and Music Sciences and senior music professor in specialising on the guitar. His academic training includes studies in Philosophy at the UAB and renaissance and baroque stringed instruments at the Conservatori de Vila-Seca (Tarragona).
Currently, Alern combines his teaching as an associate professor of Musicology at the UAB, where he teaches Renaissance music and Musical Paleography, with the research, intepretation, music criticism and cultural management. He has previously been a teacher in schools and conservatories including the ‘Escola Superior d’Ensenyaments Musicals de Barcelona (ESEM - Taller de Músics) and the ‘Conservatori del Liceu’.
He also organized his own historical music festival and collaborated with various early music groups, performing more than thirty concerts in recents years.
This year he published the chapter “Ensenyar i aprendre música a Catalunya als segles XV, XVI i XVII” (Teaching and learning music in Catalonia in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries) in ‘Història de la Pedagogia Musical a Catalunya’ (Àngels Arnaus, Cèsar Calmell, Reina Capdevila i Santi Riera, coord.), Barcelona: Generalitat de Catalunya i Biblioteca de Catalunya, pàgs. 33-80).

Language: Catalan/Spanish (with synopsis printed in English)

Photo: Alba Holgado

Monistrol de Montserrat, birthplace of Joan Carles i Amat, is a picturesque town in Central Catalonia located at the foot of the Muntanya de Montserrat with a thousand-year history, the origins of which date back to the 10th century. But is not until fourteenth century that the town was born, with the emblematic Pont Gòtic (Gothic Bridge) that croses the Riu Llobregat (Llobregat River), built to facilitate access to Montserrat for ancient pilgrims.
Monistrol preserves a rich historical heritage, has an intense community life and enjoy very good communications.

For more information:

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