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.‎

‎“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.‎
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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.‎
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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.‎
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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.‎
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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.‎
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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.‎