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Sinfónica de Tenerife is giving its seventeenth concert this season on Friday, 7 June. Its honorary conductor will be leading the orchestra with pianist Jorge Luis Prats as guest soloist. Under the title  Tchaikovsky Pathétique, Auditorio de Tenerife is hosting a new programme of the Cabildo’s orchestra that consists of the premiere of In Memoriam by Agustín Ramos and the Piano Concerto nº1 in B Flat minor, op. 23 and Symphony nº 6 in B minor, op. 74 by Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky .

Agustín Ramos’s In Memoriam is a piece evocative of the joy of Carnival and at the same time pays homage to this Tenerife international festival. Author of the emblematic song “Santa Cruz en Carnaval” (1974), Ramos, who was also a trumpetist at Sinfónica de Tenerife and a member of the group Los Fregolinos, deals in this score with the challenge of leading viewers to their deepest memories by means of a warm, clear musical language.

The young St. Petersburg-born Piotr Ilich Tchaikovsky signed in 1875 the score of Piano Concerto nº1 in B Flat minor, op. 23 which is part of popular memory as a fragment of the first movement closed the radio version of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, narrated by Orson Wells in 1938. The concert opens with one of the most rotund and well-known calls in the Western music cannon. It is quite curious as the roles of orchestra and soloist are inverted since this time the soloist accompanies the main melody in tutti orquestal.

Symphony nº 6 in B minor, op. 74 was premiered in 1893, nine days before the Russian genius died. It was posthumously called the “Pathétique”, which seems to express his suffering due to his repressed homosexuality. The first movement is marked by great solemnity. Despite the great orchestra the symphony requires, the sound emerges little by little as if out of nowhere. The second movement recalls a waltz and although it was not created to be danced, it reflects the decadent Russian aristocracy who tries to imitate the West. The third movement is a false finale with a frantic dialogue between the strings and the winds that finally leads to the end, a musical oddity that rather than closing frantically, sounds more like a great lament with an intimate ending.

Victor Pablo Pérez is widely known on the island scene as from 1986 to 2005 he was the artistic director and principal conductor of Sinfónica de Tenerife. Educated at the Real Conservatorio de Música de Madrid and at Hochschule für Musik in Munich, he was artistic director and principal conductor of Sinfónica de Asturias from 1980 to 1988. In 1993 he takes charge of Sinfónica de Galicia until 2013, when he joined Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid as artistic director and principal conductor. Apart from having led nearly all Spanish orchestras, he has been guest conductor at the main European orchestras. Since January 2017 he has been artistic director of the Joven Orquesta de Canarias [Canarian Young Orchestra].

For his part, the Cuban pianist Jorge Luis Prats is making his debut with Sinfónica de Tenerife after a long and extraordinarily successful career in Europe, Latin America or Asia; he has also collaborated with major groups including London Philharmonic, BBC Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Simón Bolívar Orchestra in Venezuela. In the last seasons he has played with Orchestre de Paris, Marinskij Theatre Orchestra and Radio Frankfurt Orchestra, under the baton of maestros like Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev. After graduating he received a grant to study at Ciaikovskij Conservatorie in Moscow. When he was just 21 years old he won the first prize at the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud competition in Paris.

Tickets for the concert can be purchased at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; by telephone on 902 317 327; or on the internet on websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.

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Cabildo de Tenerife, under its Tenerife 2030 strategy and through its Education service, opened the period to apply for the 2019-2020 course of Escuela Coral de Tenerife [Choir School]. After the success of the first two years, the course is being held again at Auditorio de Tenerife, which has made two new rooms available for this activity.

People who apply before 31 May will automatically join the initial workshops to take place next June. The course will then start after the summer. The groups encompass a wide range of ages so that all those interested in choral singing can join in: children’s choir, for ages 8 to 11; pre-juvenile, from 12 to 15 years old; young, from aged 16 to 26, and adult. The Coro Joven [Young Choir] is a new feature next year – this group is added to the pre-juvenile in order to train singer who may join Coro Juvenil of Auditorio de Tenerife. Enrolment is free of charge and it includes materials and classes – and you can enrol on the website www.tenerifeartesescénicas.com.

The training is adapted to the different age groups and it includes choral singing, musical language, voice technique, body language and staging. The methodology has a hands-on approach and the teachers are specialised in singing, body percussion, expression and interpretation that complete comprehensive training, ensuring students make gradual progress in their choral performance technique.

Professionals like composer, organist and conductor Josu Elberdin; teacher and choral singing conductor Basilio Astulez; singer, author, composer and interpreter Vanina Fernández; and conductor and composer specialising in performance Pedro Teixeira, took part in the course and through special sessions, gave students a wealth of additional knowledge.

Around 250 people have already been part of the different Choirs of Escuela Coral, which is proof of the interest Tenerife people have in choral training. The year 2018-2019 of Escuela Coral de Tenerife will close with a concert on 27 June at Auditorio de Tenerife featuring the different groups that have taken part in the second course and Coro Juvenil de Auditorio de Tenerife. The activity of the School goes on during the summer with the Campamento Coral de Tenerife [Choral Camp], to be held at I.E.S. La Laboral in La Laguna from 1 to 5 July. You can enrol now. 

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Auditorio de Tenerife, in line with its interest in jazz, presents a concert by Ken Norris Quartet. The famous US singer is coming with pianist Bela Meinberg, double bass Jasper Somsen, and drummer Janus Templeton to perform some of the best-known songs of his varied repertoire. The show takes place at 8:00 pm on Friday, 31 May at Sala de Cámara.

Ken Norris, who is one of the best US jazz singers at present, has enough experience, technique and knowledge to be up to interpreting the music of the great John Coltrane, but also the most beautiful melodies and jazz classics.

Ken Norris was born in Ohio to a family of musicians. He studied architecture at Yale University and then music at the American School of Modern Music, in Paris, showing a predilection for jazz, pop and gospel.

He made his debut in the European music scene in France with his work Modern Folklore - Music for Percussion & Vocals, which was first played live at the Festival Printemps de Bourges in 1996.

Some years later due to his participation in the musical The Lion King, he moved to Hamburg and became a much sought-after soloist in the jazz scene. Ken Norris has been a teacher at the Hamburg School of Music since 2010.

Tickets are available at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday, except holidays; on the website  www.auditoriodetenerife.com  or calling 902 317 327.

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Festival de Música Contemporánea de Tenerife (FMUC) presents a concert by DifrAcción Ensemble. The group specialises in 21st century music and takes this chance to present the world premiere of La Fortaleza, composed by Francis Hernández. Sala de Cámara at Auditorio de Tenerife is hosting the show on Monday, the 27th at 7:30 pm. There will be a talk starting an hour before to put the concert in context. Admission to the talk is free.

The group emerges in response to the need for that music which is not usually included in the regular programmes of auditoriums, groups and festivals: 21st century contemporary academic music.

Specifically, it is focused on current and glocal composition, performing premieres and playing a major role in the circulation of the sound art of the archipelago and Latin America.

It has a flexible membership and is open to performance and to using electronics, in addition to training musicians to approach new techniques, aesthetics and score writing. Made up of a core of performers of national and international scope, it regularly invites outstanding young musicians who are starting in the world of music to help them, thanks to performing teachers and composers who are experienced in the field.

Their programme today exclusively consists of the works of living Canarian composers who are members of COSIMTE (Tenerife association of symphonic composers and musicologists). These pieces were composed in this century and most of them are being played for the first time. 

Tickets can be bought at Auditorio de Tenerife box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm, Monday to Saturday except holidays, on website www.auditoriodetenerife.com  or by calling 902 317 327.

Pianist and composer Francis Hernández is regarded to be an eclectic musician who has alternated teaching with composition and musical direction. He was born in La Orotava, where he started to study piano and trumpet to then go on to further his education at  Conservatorio Superior de Música de Tenerife. In 1996 he attended an intensive course at Berklee College of Music and in 2014 he studied composition at Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. He has been part of different jazz and popular music bands since the mid-1990s.

From 2004-2008 he worked as musical director for RTVE and Televisión Canaria. Since 2010 he has been part of different projects by producer Pablo Cebrián and has written music for animation series and short films and has also arranged and orchestrated different national productions. Between 2014-2018 he was the musical director at Auditorio de Tenerife of the musicales Jesucristo Superstar, Evita and Sunset Boulevard. In this last phase, he also conducted Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife in two concerts for Fiestas del Cristo de La Laguna (2016 and 2018).

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The tenth day of the Primavera Musical series is bringing together 48 musicians from four island bands next Sunday, the 26th at 11:30 am. The event, which is organised by Tenerife Band Federation with the collaboration of Cabildo de Tenerife, features the following music associations: San Pedro, La Victoria, José Reyes Martín and Puerto de la Cruz. Admission is free.

The paso doble Pedro y Juan Bautista, by Pedro Joaquín Francés Sanjuán opens the repertoire of Asociación Musical San Pedro from El Sauzal. Its 30 musicians will go on to play Mountains of Fire (Feuerberge), by Markus Gotz, Gloria (Christian march) by Pedro Joaquín Francés Sanjuán. The group is conducted by Francisco Guijarro Gutiérrez, and Will end their performance with Ernesto Lecuona’s Malagueña, arranged by Michael Sweeney.

Asociación Musical La Victoria has 35 interpreters who Will first play paso doble Música y vinos, by Manuel Morales. Then, Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara will be filled with the sound of Pascual Piqueras’s De Cai, de. Under the baton of Juan Antonio Domenech Flores, the group ends their live performance Aralk' (Christian march), by Francisco Valor Llorens.

Granadilla de Abona’s Asociación Musical José Reyes Martín will come on stage to interpret Jacob de Hayan’s Concierto D’Amore. Conducted by Pedro González Flores, the 40 musicians Will then deliver Slavonic Dances, by Antonin Dvorak. Os Passaron do Brasil, by Kees Vlak, is the theme they chose to close their repertoire.

The tenth session of Primavera Musical will be closed by Asociación Musical Puerto de la Cruz, who has 43 musicians. They will start with Juani Cantero’s Pan y Vino, and go on with Katiusk, by Sorozabal. The band, which is led by Francisco Jairo Cabrera Estévez, will put an end to the concert with Man in the ice by Otto Schwarz.

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Sinfónica de Tenerife is offering a new season show featuring Robert Kurka’s  Concerto for marimba and orchestra at 7:30 pm on Friday, 24th May. This is the first time they are performing this piece and are joined by North American marimba player Leigh Howard Stevens as soloist. The programme, which will be conducted by Andalusian maestro Lucas Macías, also included works by Debussy and Bártok.

The concert starts with Prelude to the afternoon of a faun, by Claude Debussy, which is an invitation to walk into the oneiric world of myths; they then go on to play Concerto for marimba and orchestra, op. 34 by Robert Kurka, championing the potential of the marimba; and concludes with a passport for a short visit to Hungary through Concerto for orchestra, Sz 116 by Béla Bártok.

Lucas Macías Navarro, who is making his debut with Cabildo de Tenerife’s orchestra, is assistant conductor of Orchestre de Paris. After an exceptional career as an oboe player, including being Principal Oboe of Royal Concertgebouw and Lucerne Festival Ochestra, he first appeared as a conductor at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 2014. He has led concerts with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre de Chambre de Genève, Real Filharmonía de Galicia and the Camerata of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Also new to the Sinfónica de Tenerife season is marimba player Leigh Howard Stevens, although he is not new to the island as he was here last year at the Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Tenerife (FMUC). Stevens created a ground-breaking approach to the four-mallet grip which has been adopted by musicians worldwide. His repertoire encompasses Renaissance music, preludes and fugues by Bach to original marimba works written by contemporary composers for him.

Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the afternoon of a faun is inspired by the homonymous poem by Mallarmé and rather than being a transliteration to music language, it is an evocation of the two situations that frame the eclogue: the instant from being awake to falling asleep; and the two unsuccessful attempts of the faun to seduce the forest nymphs. This oneiric world is presented by the pan flute -the instrument of fauns- intertwined with the clarinet, flute and oboe, accompanied by pizzicati of the string that inspire flirting. Melodies gradually grow darker to reveal the faun being frustrated and succumbing to the dream evoked by the initial melody.

Concerto for marimba and orchestra, op. 34 by Robert Kurka, was created on the request of North American interpreter Vida Chenoweth, who wanted to give a relevant place to the marimba as a concert instrument. At first it is strongly inspired by jazz, and at some points the symphony orchestra will resemble a big band, as it resorts to melodies and rhythms characteristic of popular styles.

The programme ends with Concerto for orchestra, Sz 116/BB 123 by Béla Bártok, which is an interpretation of the Hungarian maestro as the whole as a sum of soloists; something like a modern version of the Baroque “concerto grosso” which consisted of dealing with the orchestra in different groups. The dark historical period it was composed in (1943) translates into intimate, tragic musicscapes, which the author mixes with popular Central European sounds. But he concludes by reasserting life and goes back to the initial energy of the movement.

This sound journey offered by Sinfónica de Tenerife is part of the tenth FMUC, whose programme focuses on contemporary music and percussion. This year FMUC runs from 22 May to 16 June.

Tickets are available at the box office from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm Monday to Saturday; by telephone on 902 317 327; or on websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.

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