FPdGi Awards

Pablo Ferrández and Soleá Morente, 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award ex aequo

The winners were chosen for knowing how to combine their exceptional talent, their extraordinary capacity to move audiences and their entrepreneurship in leading musical projects.


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Cellist Pablo Ferrández Castro and singer Soleá Morente Carbonell have been named joint winners of the 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award. The winners’ names were announced today at an event presided over by H.M. the Queen of Spain at the Alcazaba Cultural Centre in Mérida that was attended by more than two-hundred people. The jury announced the result of its deliberations this morning, highlighting Ferrández’s “brilliant artistic career” and “his extraordinary capacity to create sound universes”, and recognising Morente as “a totally genuine artist with the ability to lead musical projects in a world that is often difficult for women”.

The jury, led by journalist Montserrat Domínguez, was made up of writer, journalist and film maker Luis Alegre; entrepreneur and theatre producer Jesús Cimarro; artistic director of the Palau de la Música Catalana Víctor García de Gomar, architect Rafael Moneo, film maker Gracia Querejeta, director of the Extremadura Youth Orchestra and 2016 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award winner Andrés Salado and actor Maribel Verdú. The event presided over by H.M. the Queen of Spain was also attended by the president of the Government of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara; mayor of Mérida, Antonio Rodríguez Osuna; secretary of State for Education, Marcial Martín Hellín; president of the Assembly of Extremadura, Blanca Martín Delgado, the Spanish government delegate in Extremadura, Cristina Herrera Santa-Cecilia and the president of the FPdGi, Francisco Belil, among other representatives from the Government of Extremadura, Mérida City Council and the provincial councils of Badajoz and Caceres, as well as cultural and social figures from Extremadura, Princess of Girona Foundation trustees and previous award winners.

On hearing the verdict, Ferrández Castro said he was delighted and felt “honoured to form part of this family of extremely prestigious award winners”. The latest FPdGi Arts and Literature Award winner heard the news in Finland where he was working.

 Soleá Morente, in turn, was equally grateful to receive this recognition. “It is the most important award I have won throughout my entire artistic career for my work to the world of culture and literature”, she said. The official announcement ceremony for the 2018 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award was presented by journalist and humourist Juan Carlos Ortega with the participation of artist Hugo Fontela (2014 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award) and soprano Auxiliadora Toledano (2013 FPdGi Arts and Literature Award). To round off the event, the president of the Princess of Girona Foundation, Francisco Belil, thanked all the Extremadura institutions that had made the meeting possible, highlighting the talent of the young people involved and “spreading their infectious enthusiasm”.

For Extremadura’s young people, the day began at nine o’clock in the morning with a parallel activity involving a creative workshop in which 85 young people searched for innovative ideas capable of “making the city synonymous with culture and using it to boost and attract tourism”. The participants divided up into teams of four and worked against the clock for 180 minutes to design a project that would successfully resolve the problem they had been presented with. The winning team, named 3Tú, proposed creating a platform where Extremadura’s young people could develop and disseminate content in real time on Mérida’s cultural heritage, thereby contributing to increasing youth employability. 

The creator of this adventure Xavier Verdaguer, an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and founder of the Imagine Creativity Center, explained that this dynamic sought to “shake young people up a bit so that they acquire an entrepreneurial attitude, because creativity is not an innate quality, but one that is learned through a methodology”. He was talking about the Lombard methodology, which he shared with the participants during the challenge, and which consists of going through different phases in order to turn a problem into an opportunity. The phases in this methodology include formulating the problem, brainstorming, creating a prototype and learning to publicise the project.


The FPdGi Awards tour

The 2018 Princess of Girona Foundation Awards have been launched in Mérida, in the Arts and Literature category, after which the Scientific Research Award will be announced in Seville (21 February), the Business Award in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (7 March), the Social Award in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (21 March), and finally the International Organisation Award in Soria (11 April). The Princess of Girona Foundation Awards, with a prize of €10,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by Juan Muñoz, recognise the innovative and exemplary work of young people aged between 16 and 35 years, and that of an organisation in the European Union working for young people. The awards will be presented at the end of June in a ceremony presided over by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain in Girona.



Pablo Ferrández Castro (Madrid, 1991) began playing the cello at the age of three with his parents. At 13, he joined the prestigious Queen Sofia College of Music as one of the youngest students ever accepted and went on to win the prize for best student for four consecutive years, receiving a full grant to cover his studies. In October 2011, he joined the postgraduate programme at Kronberg Academy (Germany), studying under Frans Helmerson, with the support of Sodalitas Stipendium. He has also studied with renowned musicians such as David Geringas, Philippe Muller, Gary Hoffman, Arto Noras and Ivan Monighetti.


Ferrández recorded his first album (which includes concerts for the cello and orchestra by Dvorak and Schumann) with the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Radoslaw Szulc and, shortly afterwards, released a second disc with concerts by Rossini and Menotti, recorded with the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra conducted by Heinrich Schiff. Pablo has played his ‘Lord Aylesford’ Stradivarius (1696) cello at concerts he has performed in locations such as Amsterdam, Tokyo, Paris (Auditorium du Louvre), Florence (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Madrid (Auditorio Nacional) and Buenos Aires (Teatre Colón) with orchestras such as the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Buenos Aires Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn and with conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov and Ryan McAdams.

Soleá Morente Carbonell (Madrid, 1985) - Flamenco and pop-rock singer Soleá Morente, daughter and sister of celebrated artists, studied Hispanic philology at the University of Granada. After finishing her degree, she launched her artistic career collaborating with her father, the renowned flamenco singer Enrique Morente, and her sister, singer Estrella Morente. In addition to working with different artists such as Jota, Antonio Arias, Florent Muñoz and Eric Jiménez, Soleá has released two albums under her own name: Encuentro (El Volcán/SONY), with Los Planetas, and Tendrá que haber un camino. As an actor she has appeared in plays such as Yerma, directed by Miguel Narros, Lisístrata with José Carlos Plaza and Clara Bow with Secun de la Rosa. In January 2018 she launched her latest album Ya no solo te veo a ti (El Volcán/SONY).



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