Today has been presented at the press conference the OFF Competition Maria Canals Barcelona, which celebrates its 10th anniversary the 2018/19 season. The journalists and guests have been able to enjoy a tour that has visited the most emblematic places where the OFF Competition has been present in the city such as: Via Laietana, Plaça Catalunya, Passeig de Gràcia, Passatge Maria Canals, the home of Maria Canals, Academia Ars Nova, Sagrada Família, Avinguda Diagonal, Centre Cívic Sant Martí, Badalona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Parc de la Trinitat, Ciutat Meridiana, Parc de la Guineueta, Hospital de la Vall d’Hebron, Plaça Pastrana, Casal Font d’en Fargas until reaching the Mirador dels Somnis of Tibidabo.
In the park there have been speeches by Mariona Carulla, president of Maria Canals Barcelona Competition Association and Jordi Vivancos, general manager of Maria Canals Barcelona Competition Association, and performances by Jorge Nava, Catalan prizewinner of the Maria Canals Competition, Athena, student with a scholarship from the OFF Competition and Francesc Busquets, amateur pianist, to end with the artist Paula Valls, who has played her own work Monsters.
Mariona Carulla, president of the Associació Concurs Maria Canals Barcelona, remaked the importance of the OFF Competition for the Association as a strategic element and approach to citizenship, and Jordi Vivancos, general manager of Associació Concurs Maria Canals Barcelona, has explained the main areas the OFF Competition is organized and has enlivened the bus tour with the most illustrative anecdotes of the last ten years.
In addition, there have been performances by Jorge Nava, Catalan prizewinner of the Maria Canals Competition, Athena, student with a scholarship from the OFF Competition and Francesc Busquets, amateur pianist who presented his own creation, to end with the artist Paula Valls, who has played her own work Monsters. Valls insisted on the fact that her relationship the OFF Competition began years ago, in the framework of Maria Canals Porta Cua in Manlleu: "My father, who is also a pianist, accompanied me after school to play together and we were amazed at how people responded. I think it is a great initiative, which makes the difference with the rest of the competitions that have only a serious tone".
The OFF Competition is the educational, social and informative program of the Maria Canals International Music Competition in Barcelona. It was launched in 2008 to foster piano playing and to facilitate its access for society as a whole.
In its 10 years of existence, the OFF Competition has become a strategic program of the Maria Canals Barcelona Association, including initiatives far beyond the prestigious piano competition taking place every year in March. It develops a prominent social activity and fosters amateur practice in formal and informal education. The Association wishes to convey that the practice and enjoyment of music are essential for everyone’s personal development.
Both the Maria Canals Competition, which is based on excellence and professionalism, and the OFF Competition, which focuses on cultural outreach for all citizens, are coordinated in an organic way: they feed each other and get mutually strengthened.
The Association is determined to break stereotypes such as the elitism of the grand piano, which seems to be exclusive for a few virtuoso pianists, or the alleged difficulty of playing the instrument. The OFF Competition fosters the idea that we can all play, and with enough determination, enthusiasm and work we can actually enjoy the experience, be able to perform a piece or turn piano practice into our main hobby, without the pressure of professionalization.
The OFF Competition is organised in four main areas:
- The Maria Canals “Porta Cua”
- Learning with Maria Canals
- Can you play?
- It’s my turn!
Key figures for the Maria Canals “Porta Cua” (2018/19 season)
330.000 people will engage with grand pianos (an estimate of 500 people/day)
35.000 people will play on grand pianos (an estimate of 50 people/day)
15 towns in Catalonia
6 cities in Spain
Key figures for Learning with Maria Canals (2018/19)
40 general education schools
31 music schools and conservatories
6000 beneficiaries (students)
Key figures for It’s my turn! (2018/19)
95 scholarship students
4 neighbourhoods from 3 cities
21 participating schools
42 introductory piano lessons on the streets
Key figures for Can you play? (2018/19)
This season is intended to overcome the number of videos presented, which in 2017/18 were 150
In the following links you can download the press kit, the route and pictures of the OFF Competition and press conference.