For the second year in a row, the Choral Camp is being held at IES La Laboral de La Laguna from 1 to 5 July. This summer training activity by Escuela Coral de Tenerife offers participants the chance to share learning through rehearsals, classes and a final concert to showcase everything they have learnt during the week.
To guarantee the quality of the experience, the Escuela has engaged teachers of international renown: Basilio Astulez, Esther Andueza, Juan Pablo Agudelo, María Claudia Peña and Paulo Vassalo.
Apart from the three choir groups to be divided by age from 8-year-old on, the Camp also features special activities for pianist wishing to train as accompanist, choral singers or conductors who wish to polish their conducting technique.
You can enrol until Monday, 24 June through a form on the Tenerife Artes Escénicas website, in the section Escuela Coral www.tenerifeartesescenicas.com/escuela-coral
The final concert, which is free of charge, will be held on 5 July at 7:30 pm at Salón de Actos of IES La Laboral.
Juan Pablo Agudelo graduated in Musical Education from the Faculty of Arts in the University of Antioquía. He is also founder and principal conductor of the Ensamble Vocal Polimnia de Marinilla, general manager of the Choir Programme of the Rionegro Municipality and professor at the Faculty of Music of Fundación Universitaria Bellas Artes in Medellín.
Esther Andueza is a pianist and head of the Repertoire and Singing department of Conservatorio Profesional Arturo Soria de Madrid. She specialised in vocal accompaniment with different maestros in Spain and Italy.
Basilio Astulez teaches Choral singing at the Conservatorio Municipal de Leioa in the Basque Country. He founded the Leioa Kantika Korala children’s choir in 2001, the young women’s choir La Kantoria in 2005 and the mixed choir SJB in 2007. This young choir school, which has more than 200 singers of ages ranging from 7 to 25, has won numerous awards at Spanish and European competitions.
María Claudia Peña is director and teacher at the Coro de Intermezzo del Coro de Jóvenes de la Ciudad de Nueva York (Young People’s Chorus of New York City- YPC), made up by 130 choristers aged from 10 to 14. Its activities include, apart from the introduction to choral methodology in New York state schools with no resources, a programme that was recently acknowledge by the PASE organisation (Partnership of After School Educators), that rewards excellence in educators of out-of-school activities.
Paulo Vassalo Lourenço is a doctor in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music and he currently teaches in the Higher School of Music in Lisbon. His teaching career has won him an international standing, so he has given courses in France, Italy, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, China, Singapore, Israel and Turkey.
The Choir School and Camp are both initiatives of Cabildo de Tenerife under its Education and Social Areas and its Tenerife 2030 strategy with the collaboration of Fundación Cepsa and Obra Social ‘la Caixa’.
On Friday, the 21st Sinfónica de Tenerife is giving its season closing concert under the baton of its principal conductor Antonio Méndez. The event also features soprano Eleanor Dennis and baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann. It is the first time both soloists perform with the Cabildo’s orchestra. The programme also includes the participation of two choirs: Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid and Coro Gulbenkian, the latter singing on the island for the first time too. Auditorio de Tenerife is hosting this programme that consists of A German Requiem, op.45 by Johannes Brahms.
Premiered in 1868, A German Requiem embodies the passage from musical Classicism to Romanticism apart from translating individual expression, as the author does away with Latin in favour of his mother tongue or offers his own interpretation of death. Brahms does without explicit connections to the Christian understanding of death, like the Last Judgment or eternal salvation. The composer is interested in death as a philosophical and vital issue, influenced by the death of his mother and his mentor, Robert Schumann, that took place within a short period. The issue raised in his work is how to live after the death of a loved one.
The composition starts as if emerging from an abyss where a choir is asking for comfort; then, the melody turns darker until it returns to the promise of future happiness. That is expressed in the second movement which, musically, is a funeral march. In the third movement, the baritone speaks directly to God and approaches the issue of the meaning of life as it was understood in the second half of the 19th century. That is why, Brahms is not asking God to forgive him but to hint at his future so that he can experience it to the full. Clearly influenced by the philosophical movement championed by Schopenhauer or Nietzsche, Johannes Brahms pays no attention to the horror that the “end of life” caused in other composers like Mozart, as seen in his Dies Irae. Instead, his interpretation is that immortality consists of living on in the memory of future generations.
Antonio Méndez is becoming one of the most sought-after, established and fascinating conductors of his generation. This translates into the different connections he has established with the main orchestras in Europe, having conducted the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, StaatskapelleDresden, Scottish Chamber Orchestra or Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
The Balearic conductor studied piano and violin at the Conservatorio Profesional de Música de Mallorca and then went on to study composition and conducting at Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid. In 2012 he won the first prize at the prestigious competition Malko in Copenhaguen and in 2013, he was finalist in the Nestlé and Salzburg Young Conductors Award, which caught the attention of the general public.
Scottish soprano Eleanor Dennis trained at the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music and as Harewood Artist at the English National Opera. It was after her performances at the London Handel Festival, in the leading role of Rodelinda, when she started to attract more attention. Specialised critics were quite conclusive: “she has a marvellous future. I’m not sure I can ever remember one who so obviously deserves to be a star” (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer). In 2012 she played Costanza, by Riccardo Primo, where Hugh Canning described her as a “great talent”.
The German bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann teaches at the Musikhochschule Karlsruhe and made his debut in 2000 at the Carnegie Hall with Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Barenboim. Hanno was a member of the Staatsoper Berlin from 1998 to 2011. He has also performed in the Baviera, Hamburg and Vienna State Operas in addition to San Francisco Opera. He has been praised by the international press for the different recitals he has given in festivals in Berlin, Graz, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Paris, Laussane, and at London’s Wigmore Hall, at the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade or at the Edinburgh Festival.
Recognised as one of the best and most versatile Spanish choirs, the Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid is back on the island thirteen years after their last visit. This prestigious group was set up in 1984 and is currently directed by choirmaster Félix Redondo. Its wide range of activities include a capella recitals and with orchestra, participating in opera productions or in recording studios. Its growing prestige has led them to perform on the main Spanish stages and on many abroad, including Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, China, Japan, Morocco or Mexico.
Coro Gulbenkian, their first time on the island, was set up in 1964 by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It has 100 singers and is currently led by choirmaster Jorge Matta. Their repertoire encompasses the classical symphonic choral, Romantic, and contemporary although they also perform a cappella. The choir has been invited to collaborate with major international orchestras and conductors like Claudio Abbado, Colin Davis, Emmanuel Krivine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Frans Brüggen, Franz Welser-Möst, Gerd Albrecht, Michael Gielen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, René Jacobs or Leonard Slatkin.
Tickets for this last concert 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 the websites www.sinfonicadetenerife.es and www.auditoriodetenerife.com.
Cantaor José Mercé and guitarist Tomatito are taking over Cabildo’s Auditorio de Tenerife on Saturday, the 15th at 9:00 pm. Their show De verdad is on at Sala Sinfónica where they are presenting a new joint record in which they champion flamenco as music and culture.
José Mercé and Tomatito two old friends whose paths have often crossed and have again had the same idea: making a record together and going on tour to take their music to major stages in the world.
Tomatito, guitarist and producer of the record explains that “in De verdad we play all the palos flamenco is fortunate to have: tangos, alegrías, seguiriyas, soleás, bulerías, granaínas…”. The musician says that “I’ve never strayed away from flamenco, although I do other things, it always sounds like flamenco and we always defend it”. “I’ll be a flamenco man till the day I die”, he stated.
José Mercé shares the same idea as he reflects on other features of his career: “We were both born flamenco, to very flamenco families and if I sometimes sing pop it’s because I’m making a different story at that time”. “Singing a song like Al alba as a cantaor, or my duet record is something else altogether but it’s not flamenco because flamenco is what we’ve recorded in “De verdad”, he points out.
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.
The roots of purest flamenco are revealed in this record. The collection of songs composed by Kiki Cortiñas permits both maestros to show off their talent. “That’s something we’ve got to do, we’re not newcomers and we know how to give our best in the studio”, Tomatito says.
Mercé and Tomatito, have individually done pop, jazz or modern classics. They have both reached the top in every style, but they felt the artistic need to return to their musical origins.
Tomatito admits that “I’m privileged to have been born in this period, having lived with the classics and with those who have made me evolve”. “I’m proud and happy at having experimented with jazz, with modern, with the heirs of Django Reinhardt and Gershwin, with Michel Camilo… But being nominated for a Grammy with Camilo, was for best jazz, fusion or instrumental record, not for flamenco”.
The Festival de Música Contemporánea de Tenerife (FMUC) continues celebrating its tenth birthday by offering Translating, a concert by Agwal Percussion Group, that includes pieces by Ravel, Varèse, Stravinsky, Metheny and Francis Hernández, who is also conducting the concert to be performed with percussion instruments. It is taking place on Thursday, the 13 at 7:30 pm at Sala de Cámara in Auditorio de Tenerife. There is a pre-concert talk at 6:30 pm to inform about the background of the group and their music.
Agwal Percussion Group aims at highlighting the new role of current percussion by carrying out different programmes on contemporary music. At the turn of the 20th century social and artistic changes came about, including the liberalization of sound and the emancipation of percussion that went from being accompanying instruments to having a new role: percussion as a solo instrument.
This family of instruments faces new sound challenges by offering a huge range of texture and colour. Translating proposes a different approach to compositions that were originally written for other instruments and that are part of the 20th century repertoire.
This programme includes Ionisation, by Edgard Varèse, as an acknowledgement to the said emancipation as this was one of the first pieces that was purposefully composed for this family of instruments.
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.
The percussion ensemble was set up at the Tenerife base of Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias, their main goal is to show the specific percussion repertoire in Spain. The group is made up by all the percussion students of the conservatoire and conducted by their teacher Paco Díaz, director of FMUC.
In the last year, its current members have given countless concerts in different municipalities and cities in Tenerife, La Palma and Lanzarote, and in cities in mainland Spain like Madrid, Valencia, San Sebastián or Zaragoza.
They also play as quartets and have received several awards as for instance, the first prize at the Concurso de Música de Cámara María Orán and the first and second prize at the VI Concurso Internacional de Música de Cámara de Percusión en el Festival de Percute 2018 de Catarroja, Valencia. The ensemble has also premiered musical works like A través del espejo by Francisco Hernández, or Después del mar by Cecilia Díaz.
The members of the current group are Gabriel Díaz Santos, Miguel Pérez Valadés, Alberto Bercial Ruiz, Andrea Melián Alayón, Nelson Hernández López, Rocío González Romero, Álvaro Muñoz Triviño, Antonio Rodríguez Acosta, Marta Rosa Díaz, Vicent Venavent Estévez, Víctor Hugo Hernández Arencibia and Ian Piniés Ramirez.
Francis Hernández will be conducting the performance. Pianist and composer, 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).
The Festival de Música Contemporánea de Tenerife (FMUC) [Contemporary Music Festival] continues the celebration of its tenth anniversary with the concert Afrikanbach, that blends together the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with African sounds. The show features several groups and musicians and is on tomorrow, Wednesday, the 5th at 8:00 pm in La Laguna University’s (ULL) Paraninfo. There is a pre-concert talk to explain the context of the concert. Entry to the talk is free.
Through this singular project, director Jesús Salvador Chapi champions a show devoted to a music figure that is unprecedented in the history of universal culture: Johann Sebastian Bach. Music from Senegal, South Africa, Ghana, Kenia, Tanzania, Mali, etc. will be played and mixed with the music of the German maestro.
The programme features the performance of Coro Polifónico Universitario de La Laguna, La Luna de África, Agwal Percussion Group and a jazz trio made up by Francisco Hernández (piano), Juan Carlos Baeza (double bass) and Natanael Ramos (trumpet). The concert includes pieces by the German composer arranged on the orchestral percussion base and African traditional music. Tickets can be bought in the usual sale points of ULL’s Paraninfo.
The next FMUC concert is by Agwal and will be conducted by pianist and composer Francis Hernández, who is playing on Thursday, 13 June at 7:30 pm in Auditorio de Tenerife’s Sala de Cámara. This percussion group was set up at the Tenerife headquarters of Conservatorio Superior de Música de Canarias. Its main goal is to showcase the specific percussion repertoire across Spain. They have won international awards and have given concerts worldwide. Tickets can be bought at the usual sale points of Auditorio de Tenerife.
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.