Recorder Player & Improviser


I’m a musician, a recorder player, a doctoral fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) at the University of Leuven, and a professor (currently on leave). I belong to a small group of early music performers who focus entirely on improvisation. → See a formal CV here.

Vicente Parrilla – Photo by Ane Yarza + Jose A. López Photography


I began my concert career at a very early age and made my debut CD —a recording dedicated to the 17th-century Spanish composer B. de Selma y Salaverde— at the age of 20. In addition to leading my quartet, More Hispano, and a number of other projects, I have collaborated with a wide variety of groups and musicians from different backgrounds: jazz pianist Enrico Pieranunzi; jazz bassists Barry Guy & Pablo Martín Caminero; flamenco artists Rocío Márquez, Patricia Guerrero, María José Pérez, Arcángel & Miguel Ángel Cortés; and early music ensembles such as Euskal Barrokensemble, Accademia del Piacere, The Royal Wind Music Consort, Speculum, Artefactum, Orphenica Lyra, Capella de Ministrers, El Paraíso Perdido, the Seville’s Baroque Orchestra (with whom I’ve performed as a soloist) and the Madrid’s Symphony orchestra. I have also performed in numerous festivals and prestigious concert halls in Spain, Ireland, England, Austria, Holland, France, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Brazil & Mexico.

Vicente Parrilla – Photo by Ane Yarza + Jose A. López Photography


Whereas for most period-instrument bands improvisation means judiciously adding ornaments, Mr. Parrilla and company go all out. Mr. Parrilla, on recorder, takes turns with the other instrumentalists elaborating on the composers’ melodies, often adding modal touches and varying the rhythms, much as a virtuosic jazz band would do with a group of standards.

The New York Times

Vicente Parrilla has so consumed the model books that he can now speak their musical language with confidence and freedom and create truly modern performances. Parrilla should be considered among the most expressive and technically proficient modern recorder players.

American Record Guide

Read more.

Vicente Parrilla – Photo by Óscar Romero


I studied the recorder at the Conservatory of Seville with Guillermo Peñalver. At the age of 17 I moved to the Netherlands to continue my studies with Jeanette van Wingerden at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and later with Walter van Hauwe at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, where I graduated in 2001 (B.Mus.). I completed my studies with Pedro Memelsdorff at the Esmuc in Barcelona, besides attending a good number of courses with Aldo Abreu, and hold a Master’s degree in Musicology, Music Education and Interpretation of Early Music (M.Mus. 2018) from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) & Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC).


I’m a PhD in the Arts researcher at KU Leuven / LUCA Faculty of the Arts and docARTES, a doctoral program for performers and composers hosted by the Orpheus Instituut (Ghent). My doctoral research project aims to revive the lost Renaissance musical practice of improvised counterpoint and has been selected by the FWO (Research Foundation Flanders) for a PhD Fellowship Fundamental Research, which aims to support challenging and innovative research.

Vicente Parrilla – Photo by Óscar Romero


I hold the recorder chair at the Superior Conservatory of Music in Seville, Spain, and am currently on leave after a 15–years period (2004–2019) in this position. Since 2004 I have been regularly teaching recorder and ornamentation and improvisation for period instruments at this institution. As a guest teacher I’ve given several master classes in the conservatories of Madrid, Zaragoza, Cuenca, Esbjerg (DK), Amsterdam (NL), Basel (CH, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis) and Faro (PT), as well as during the XIII, XIV y XV Muestra de Música Antigua Castillo de Aracena (Huelva).


The opportunity to practice and perform on finely crafted recorders has been a constant source of learning and inspiration for me. All of my instruments have been made by world-renowned recorder makers Fred Morgan (carefully revised by Nikolaj Ronimus), Bob Marvin, Monika Musch and Ernst Meyer. In order to study the recorder repertoire from as many different historical periods as possible, my collection includes cylindrical recorders, a full Renaissance consort (4’ + 8’), a flauto doppio, “Ganassi-type” instruments, early Baroque models after Van Eyck and Bassano, Baroque recorders after Bressan, Denner, Stanesby, Debey & Bizey, and a modern tenor for contemporary music.


I’ve recorded three CDs as leader of More Hispano: Canzoni, Fantasie et Correnti (1998); Yr a oydo (2010) & GLOSAS (2011), and have made guest appearances on a number of recording projects, for labels such as Alia Vox Diversa, Glossa, Carpe Diem, Alqhai & Alqhai, Lindoro and CDM. See my complete discography here.


Born to make music in front of an audience. A listener. No ordinary recorder player. Recording artist. Ex mente contrapuntist. Insatiable block riser. I don’t conceive music as a what, but as a how. I can break madrigals without destroying them. I’m a perfectionist who loves imperfection. I have a rare love for the recorder. I don’t play what I read, I play what I hear. I’m currently on a mission to revive some of the improvisational skills that ancient music performers once had for today’s audiences. I do things the long, hard, stupid way. I listen for a living. I love mistakes. I’m probably thinking about music right this very minute. Don’t try this at home.

Vicente Parrilla – Photo by Óscar Romero