This is the doyen of Spain's music competitions, with talented young pianists, aged 18 to 30, from all over the world taking part. During the month of March they take part in various rounds at the Palau de la Música Catalana and are judged by a panel of international music experts. The final is also held at the Palau, where the three finalists are accompanied by the National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia.

But the Maria Canals competition is more than that, because it fills the city's streets and squares with grand pianos, and anyone who wants to play can have a go. This and other activities are part of the Off competition, which vindicates and promotes the universal practice of music, with particular emphasis on introducing it to children, older people and society's most vulnerable groups.

Various venues