“Les guitarres d’en Quico Pi de la Serra” marks the start of the museum’s season. The exhibition, which will remain open until 28 April 2019, is composed of the magnificent guitar collection that Quico Pi de la Serra – one of the most prominent musicians in the country’s sound and collective history – has brought together from several continents throughout the course of his life. All these objects are intrinsically linked to his work with music and to his artistic and life experience.
Although Quico Pi de la Serra has devoted his artistic life to singer-songwriting and blues, his interest in musical instruments goes far beyond these styles. This can be appreciated in his personal collection, with items belonging to many musical styles, periods and places and that have a great organological, historical and social interest.
Quico Pi de la Serra has gradually acquired these instruments during his travels, always with the intention of learning from the musical culture of each place, and has used them on his records and in the radio and television programmes he has presented. They have thus had a key role in his career and are closely related to his personal experiences.
His first guitars, the sitar with which he learned to play Indian music and the German lute-guitar that appears on one of his album covers are particularly worth noting. We also find Central and South American instruments such as a remarkable guitarrón from San Juan de Chamula (Mexico) or chordophones from Puerto Rico. Other notable instruments include the magnificent archtop guitars, one of which once belonged to George Benson.
In order to take a closer look at Pi de la Serra, on 16 December the musician will perform a concert in the museum’s keyboard room. This event will be supplemented by two guided tours led by Quico Pi de la Serra himself on 24 January and 21 March 2019.
The collection will remain at the Museu de la Música for ten years.
The exhibition “Les guitarres d’en Quico Pi de la Serra” is the result of the 10-year agreement for the loan of the collection concluded between the performer and the Museu de la Música. This means that, until 2028, Pi de la Serra’s full 115-instrument collection will be held by this institution, where it has been inventoried, conditioned, documented and photographed, and which will be included in the museum’s online catalogue.
Quico Pi de la Serra, over 50 years devoted to music
Francesc Pi de la Serra i Valero (Barcelona, 6 August 1942), known as Quico Pi de la Serra, is a Catalan guitarist and singer-songwriter considered to be one of the historic representatives of the Catalan Nova Cançó movement. Having had an interest in music since his youth, in 1962 he joined the group Els Setze Jutges as a guitarist. He made his first appearance at a live concert in La Selva del Camp (Tarragona) with this group. A little later, he formed the group Els 4 gats, a blues-rock group with which he made four records. In 1964, he received the Gran Premio del Disco Español award for the song L’home del carrer, one of his most popular pieces, which has also been performed by Jaume Sisa and Joan Manuel Serrat. In 1968, he performed at the Palau de la Música along with Ovidi Montllor and Raimon.
Following this initial stage, Pi de la Serra sang in shows with Lluís Llach, Maria del Mar Bonet, Pere Tàpies and Joan Isaac, among others, always in Catalan. In 1974, he performed at the Paris Olympia Hall, where he recorded a live album that he later presented in Santo Domingo, Portugal, Germany, the US, the UK, Mexico, Cuba and Canada. His first biography, written by Josep Maria Espinàs, was published that same year.
In 1979, he recorded an album with Maria del Mar Bonet and continued touring round Europe. In 1988, he released a solo album – “Quico, rendeix-te!” – and in 1989, he recorded a double live album at the Palau de la Música, with guest artists including Ana Belén, Luis Eduardo Aute, Joaquín Sabina and Joan Manuel Serrat.
His album-recording rate started to decline in the 1990s, and in 1993, he started presenting the weekly radio programme “T’agrada el blues?” on Catalunya Ràdio. In 2011, he released his twenty-second album, Quico Labora, recorded together with Amadeu Casas on the guitar and Joan Pau Cumellas on the harmonica and featuring blues versions of songs from his own career.
Aleix Palau | 23 October 2018
The Museu de la Música opens the exhibition “Les guitarres d’en Quico Pi de la Serra” with instruments loaned by the artist
The exhibition is the result of the ten-year loan of a 115 instrument collection compiled by Pi de la Serra throughout his life and career. It will be open to the public until 28 April 2019.