Carmen Mateu, the soul of Peralada
(Barcelona, 19 February 1936 – 24 January 2018)
Carmen Mateu, a major patron of poetry and dramatic arts in Spain, presided over the Castell de Peralada Cultural Association. In 1987, alongside her husband Arturo Suqué, she founded the Castell de Peralada International Music Festival.
From a very young age, the Catalan cultural patron was fascinated by music and art collecting. Her outstanding dedication and contribution over three decades led to great acclaim, including the Medalla de Oro del Cercle del Liceu (2009), the Generalitat de Catalunya’s Creu de Sant Jordi (2000), and the Medalla de Oro of the Mérito a las Bellas Artes (2017) , awarded by the Spanish Government’s Council of Ministers, a prize that she was ultimately unable to collect. In 2011 she was also named Adopted Child of the Peralada municipality, receiving the highest honour of its town council, the ‘Roc d’Or’, in recognition of her significant cultural and entrepreneurial contribution to the area, not to mention her warm, friendly character, beloved by the town.
The cultural patronage of Carmen Mateu and her family over the decades is now considered unique in its field, both for the magnitude of the festival project, and in terms of personal involvement in social responsibility and musical vocation.
Carmen Mateu and Arturo Suqué’s children – Isabel, Javier and Miguel – and all the Festival’s organisational team, under the direction of Oriol Aguilà, remain committed to the founding spirit of the Castell de Peralada International Music Festival, ensuring that opera and dance continue remain at its heart. Season after season, overcoming obstacles and working with the same passion as its founder, its programme includes new creative proposals that consolidate the festival as an international event of renown, praised by thousands of people each year.