Carmen Suqué, The legacy of the arts

An exhibition curated as a tribute to Carmen Mateu Quintana, patron of the arts.

Art promotor, collector, driving force for culture. A person deeply enamored with culture, the classics, contemporary works, and the artistic spirit. And with Empordà, Peralada, her home, where she showcased her great passions.

The Peralada Castle Museum, the natural world of the Park, and the Castell de Peralada International Music Festival are part of her legacy that we all enjoy today.



The care that Carmen Mateu –together with her husband– took to protect cultural heritage was exemplary. She was the force behind the opening of Peralada Castle as a museum, the study and restoration of the collections, and a long list of activities and initiatives. She always supported and helped with the Castle’s exhibitions and conferences. The expansion of the library is another of Mateu’s legacies: she grew the collection enormously through the purchase and donation of some 20,000 books. She put together an extensive collection of art books that make it possible to study the collections housed at the Castle Museum. Carmen Mateu was also active in other areas, such as the remodeling and decoration of parts of the castle, as well as the research and publication of documentary collections. She acquired a remarkable number of works of art and, recently, opened the Castle Park to historical and botanical tours. In some areas where the collections had special relevance, such as the glass collection or the wine museum, she sought Peralada’s membership in national and international associations.

Thus, over her lifetime, she has given a scientific and social dimension to the Castle legacy handed down over the years, which, changing hands only a few times, dates back to the fourteenth century.


Jaime Barrachina.Director of the Peralada Castle Museum





We are always moved by Carmen Mateu’s endless admiration, respect for all forms of art and her
veneration of everything that has to do with creativity. She started with a simple premise –beauty–  while staying current, on the cutting-edge, with an eye on emerging trends. This was Carmen Mateu’s modern spirit.


Her legacy of music and dance is marked by support for the young talents that she followed throughout her life and her selfless passion for singing and dance. Her relationship with Roland Petit, Julio Bocca, Maurice Béjart, Angel Corella or with Montserrat Caballé, Josep Carreras, Jaume Aragall, Ainhoa Arteta, Juan Diego Flórez, Teresa Berganza, Plácido Domingo…


As well it was her ability to build the confidence of the teams that made the first 31 years of the Festival possible, associating Peralada with composers including Xavier Montsalvatge, Alberto García Demestres, Albert Guinovart, and famous names in theatre like Mario Gas, Calixto Bieito, La Fura dels Baus, Comediants and Joan Font, Àlex Rigola, Paco Azorín, Joan Anton Rechi, among so many more.


This is the legacy that Carmen Mateu has passed down to us. With her husband, Arturo Suqué, she always talked and dreamed about the present and the future of the Festival. Now her children Javier, Miguel and Isabel are at the helm of the Foundation continuing the Festival’s legacy.


We will miss her affection and company this summer, but we’ll carry on, just as she would have wanted.


Oriol Aguilà

Director of the Festival Castell de Peralada