'She has been chosen because of her technical skills and her strong expressive capacity through an instrument as difficult and not enough valued as is the viola; and because of her high capacities of discovering and performing unknown repertoire, giving strong importance to the contemporary music from national and international composers'
Jury from 'Spanish National Radio Culture Prize' 2015
What a beautiful and deep sound has the viola of Isabel Villanueva. At the Sonata Arpeggione in Schubert, the Andante, central movement, was played in the concert of the CNDM's season at Auditorio in Madrid. Isabel solved with a Cantabile in which there was even a belcantist philatelic, if Imay allow this more as an image to suggest that as an impossible reality. Of course, the violas do not sing, but the singing of the viola of Villanueva presented, already in the three Movements of this short Schubertian work, some characteristics of her way of playing: singing, the art of the tenuous, the ability to spin the sound ... and the power so intense of the bass that come out of that instrument with which Isabel seems to brush the magic of the musical infernos.' 'With the Sonata for viola op.120 No. 1 Villanueva arrived at the culmination of the recital, with an extension of the effects or effectives that had already announced in the andante of the Arpeggione. There was the coexistence of the serious coming from that magical Hades of this young interpreter, and still wise and artist, with the most delicate sonic slimming, that delicacy that is not fragility (although, what does it matter that an artist shows fragility, is one of its resources), but power of an equivalent to the suspense, here, in music: the line gets so thin that we feel (we do not think) that something can be broken. Something. Isabel Villanueva has that art.’
Scherzo (November 2016)
'A gem was her version of the Arpeggione Sonata, which had all the virtues; style, personality, sensibility, exquisite adagio and immaculate technique'
Diario El Norte de Castilla (February 2016)
'Isabel Villanueva is a risk-taker'
The Strad Magazine
'She impressed me with her strong and expressive playing, combined with beautiful sensitivity and virtuosity. She has all the qualities for making an important musical career, her music really speaks to the audience. The musical world needs talents like Isabel'
Martti Rousi, cellist
'I was so moved and astonished by the incredibly beautiful playing (...) She is praying in her playing, like I pray in my compositions. I am so sincerely thankful to her'
Betty Olivero, composer
'Here is an artist who not only plays on a high professional level, with total technical command and impressive maturity and insight, but who risks to play beautifully!'
Richard Young, Vermeer Quartet
'Isabel has an outstanding musical quality thanks to an admirable technique and a phrasing close to il bel canto'
Diario de Menorca (2009)
'Villanueva owns a sound of great beauty which can achieve a rare intensity'
Diario de Navarra (April 2016)