A musical afternoon in sunny Spain is in store for the area’s classical guitar lovers on Sunday, March 1, as Virginia Tech professor Juan Luis Nicolau gives a concert at 3 p.m. at Talmadge Recital Hall, Hollins University. The event is free and open to the public.

In his two-part solo program, titled “Spain’s aromas,” Nicolau will perform 10 pieces: works by Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Francisco Tárrega, and Joaquín Turina, as well as two of his own compositions, “In the Wolf Cub’s Lair” and “Variations on Uncle Joe goes to Muro.” 

The latter are “an homage to my hometown and the surrounding mountains,” said Nicolau, who is from Muro de Alcoy, at the foot of the Serra Mariola in southeastern Spain. 

The mountain range has been a frequent source of creative inspiration for Nicolau, who played another of his works, “In the Mariola Mountains,” with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra in its season opener in September 2018. 

An award-winning performer and composer, Nicolau moved to Blacksburg with his family in 2017 when he was appointed the Marriott Professor of Revenue Management in the nationally and internationally ranked Howard Feiertag Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management in the Pamplin College of Business.

Music and academics are definitely interconnected for Nicolau, a former professor and dean at the University of Alicante and one of the world’s top 25 tourism researchers. The creativity that is given free rein in music, he said, “leads one to explore, consciously or unconsciously, other dimensions in other facets in life.”

In teaching, being creative helps one make an impact on students, he noted. And, in research, “the art dimension helps one look at things from different angles and prisms.

“The feeling you sense when playing in a concert is unique, as you are communicating through music; and when the composition comes from your own creativity and inspiration, this feeling is, simply put, ineffable.”

For more information about his upcoming concert, call 540-362-6511.