Echos of Beethoven in Gran Canaria

The Pérez Galdós House Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria reflects the intense relationship between the writer and music.

There is a place where two geniuses live side by side. One of the greatest Spanish writers of all times, Benito Pérez Galdós (1843-1920), was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The house museum that is located in the very building he grew up in, in calle Cano, is home to the writer’s piano, and provides an insight into what a fan he was of music and how much he used to enjoy playing.

The piano is set on the second floor, and has a bust of Beethoven sitting on it. This is not just by chance. Pérez Galdós considered the German composer to be “the greatest of all musicians”, an admiration that give rise to this curious encounter. This is yet another reason, as if there weren’t enough already, to come along to one of the most interesting museums in Gran Canaria.

The Beethoven piano in the inside of the Benito Pérez Galdós House Museum

The writer’s passion for music has led to the creation of an exhibition called ‘Pérez Galdós and music’, which is open to the public until 9th July. The exhibition has been set up by the Culture Department at the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, and reflects a novel approach to the world of Gáldós, thanks to an interesting selection of letters sent between Galdós and contemporary musicians of the time, plus musical scores inspired by his books, operatic scripts and parodies.

Sculpture of Don Benito Pérez Galdós, at the House Museum in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
The inside of the Don Benito Pérez Galdós House Museum

The exhibition follows in the footsteps of the writer in the paths he took in his facet of musical critic, player and organizer of musical soirées. The exhibition’s commissioner, Pedro Schlueter, points out that “there are many aspects that hadn’t previously been analyzed, from his musical beginnings and his relationship with music while he was living here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria”.

D. Benito Pérez Galdós’ piano in the Pérez Galdós Museum

The hall serving as the venue for the exhibition is presided by another instrument that belonged to Pérez Galdós, in the shape of a harmonium,  which the author brought to life by playing hundreds of different pieces by a wide range of composers. Although none of these, according to him, were of the stature of Beethoven. Together, both of them interpret a peculiar melody here at the museum, their notes going beyond the boundaries of time and space.