Herminia Navarro and Pablo Rioja formed the L’Encouragement guitar duo in 2005. Having been friends for some years, they decided to pour their combined professional experiences and musical enthusiasms into performing the extensive and exciting duo repertoire.
Herminia began her musical education with Agustín Sánchez and Alberto Plaza, Pablo with Luis Briso de Montiano and Avelina Vidal; both went on to complete their studies at Madrid’s Royal Conservatory (RCSMM) under the tutelage of Professor Miguel Angel Jiménez Arnáiz. They have taken part in several masterclasses, and have continued to work with such eminent teachers as Gerardo Arriaga, José Luis Rodrigo, Miguel Trápaga and Ricardo Gallén.
Both artists have won prizes in national and international competitions, and their concert repertoire takes in music from a broad historical period. They have given acclaimed recitals at Madrid’s Museo de la Ciudad, Logroño’s Auditorio Municipal and Murcia’s Real Casino, as well as at the Cervantes Institutes in the Moroccan cities of Marrakesh and Essaouira, the Carzou Foundation in Manosque (in the French Alps), the Spanish Embassy in Beirut and the Chehab Palace south of the Lebanese capital, and the Karl Koch Instrument Workshop in Lucerne, among other venues.
In recent years the duo have focused in particular on works from the late Classical and early Romantic eras which they perform on copies of eighteenth-century guitars. The results of their research into the music of this period can be heard on this debut album for Eudora Records, featuring works by Fernando Sor, Federico Moretti, François de Fossa and Joseph Kaspar Mertz.
Pablo and Herminia both currently also hold teaching posts in Madrid, Pablo at the Federico Moreno Torroba Music School and Herminia at the Joaquín Turina Conservatory.