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With José Luis Ruíz del Puerto- Portraits in Times of Pandemic

Guitarras Alhambra asks Alhambra artists from all over the world what they think and how this pandemic has affected their lives.

Interview with José Luis Ruíz del Puerto

1. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected your artistic activity?

Well, it is been disastrous because everything has been cancelled, absolutely all the concerts, all the festivals... I had several now in the summer and, well, it is been cancelled. The Alhambra International Guitar Competition, of which I am the artistic director, has also been cancelled. We are going to do it soon and I hope that both, the competition and the concerts planned can be held later, I am sure they will.

2. Now that we all have to adapt and reprogram ourselves to this situation, what new project are you working on?

Well, at the moment I am reading many scores, a lot of repertoire to prepare and design new concert programmes for the near future and I am rethinking about a previous project that I had. Well, I have premiered many works for guitar, by mainly Spanish composers, and I am going to select 40 works and make a macro-project for editing, recording, and re-release, which I am really looking forward to and in this time I think I will be able to carry it out.

3. In what positive way do you think this situation is affecting society and the planet?

This pandemic is bringing a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, it is a situation that we have never seen or even imagined, except in history books, in which we have perhaps been able to read something similar to what is happening. And yet, we have to be positive, at this moment I would say that this obligatory halt is helping us to look at ourselves more deeply to our inner and this means, on a personal level, something very very positive of inner growth… and for the planet, for the environment, I think it is meaning a time of respite of calm and I think it is going to be very positive.

4. What hobby or other activity have you started doing that you did not have time for before?

Well, although it is not exactly a hobby, which it is too, this moment is allowing me to spend more hours with the guitar and doing other activities that during the year it is impossible to organize. I am archiving a lot of scores, records, books and especially I am being able to spend more hours with my family. We are doing a lot of things together, playing a lot with my children and the truth is that for me, this is a great gift. I think that, like everyone else, this look inwards, towards the family, is helping us to enjoy it much more.

5. What advice could you give to artists or art lovers in general to focus positively on this global stage that we are going through?

I think we artists in general have a treasure and our vocation is our dedication. I think this moment is very useful for looking inwards to find new ways to awaken the imagination even more, to do research and study, and I think it is a gift. In short, the time we add to our vital activity should help us to take up new ideas, new hopes and to strengthen ourselves and mature much more.

6. After the coronavirus, do you think we will have learned anything and changed our lifestyle?

I want to be very positive about this and I do think we are going to come out of this whole pandemic much strengthened. I believe that this moment will give us the opportunity to look inwards and value many small things that perhaps were not noticed before, and as a whole I believe that this will be positive. Human beings do not learn from their mistakes many times, but they will do learn from these bad experiences and I believe that we will reconvert it and achieve a better world together.

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