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Agustí Charles at the Nou Sons Festival

This year, as well as focusing on music from Japan and its dialogue with the West, Nous Sons, Barcelona's leading festival of contemporary music, also highlighted three outstanding Catalan composers of our day: Benet Casablancas (Sabadell, 1956), Jep Nuix (Barcelona 1955-1998) and Agustí Charles (Manresa, 1960). Each of these musicians followed a path of his own in composition to an international reputation. The festival featured a performance by the Arditti Quartet, a group that always arouses the interest of the public due to its precise interpretations and the strong personality of its founder Irvine Arditti. The quartet's concert on 23 February featured the much lauded premiere of Agustí Charles' String Quartet No. 2, a work that possesses, in the words of Jorge de Persia, "a strong presence, in a profile it maintains throughout the piece, with tension" (La Vanguardia, 25-02-08). On 1 March, the Plural Ensemble conducted by Fabián Panisello, also included in its programme an emblematic work by Agustí Charles, Unstable Surface, premiered in 2005. Over the piece's ten-minute duration, the timbre of the different instruments plays a decisive role, defining the evolution and harmonic changes.