The jury of the XXIV International Prize Grupo Compostela-Xunta de Galicia, which met online on past Tuesday, decide to award the honour to musician and musicologist Carlos Villanueva Abeleiras for his “prolific career in the study of the Jacobean culture and the music linked to the Camino de Santiago, as well as his relevant contribution to the project of building the instruments of the Portico de la Gloria” of the cathedral of the Galician capital.

Upon informing him of the decision, the award-winner declared that it was an honour to receive this recognition when he is “on the brink of retirement” and that he hopes to make most of it with the “intensity that the coming Holy Year will bring”. In this sense, he explained that “as Full Professor of Music at the University of Santiago de Compostela and with a line of research aligned with the objectives of the Compostela Group of Universities”, in 2021 he will try “to spread the interest in music on the Camino de Santiago and the instruments linked to the pilgrimage to some of the associated universities. All this following the methodological basis of the project of the instruments of the Portico de la Gloria, co-directed with Professor José López Calo, and with the support of the Vicerrectorate for Culture of the USC and the network of collaborators of the Organistrum Group”.

The award ceremony will be online too and it is scheduled for 21 September in the framework of the XXVI General Assembly of the Compostela Group of Universities, which this year will be organised by the University of Minho (Portugal). At this ceremony, Carlos Villanueva will receive a golden shell, the symbol of the Compostela Group of Universities, and a monetary prize of 6,000 euros gross amount.

Profile of the awardee

Carlos Villanueva Abelairas is a Full Professor of Music at the University of Santiago de Compostela since 2000. His first lines of research focused mainly on the performance of early music and medieval instruments, and later on music criticism, Spanish and Latin American music of the 20th century, music and exile, and music and identities.

Besides, his publications related to the instruments of the Portico de la Gloria at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral are a reference in international musicology and he was co-director of the project to build the instruments of this space, sponsored by Barrié de la Maza Foundation and developed between 1990 and 1994.