The programme of both the Lights of Early Music and the Emergents Barcelona music festivals was presented this morning at a press conference. At the presentation, L’Auditori´s director, Robert Brufau, was accompanied by the organist Juan de la Rubia, the musician who will inaugurate the Lights of Early Music Festival, and the violinist Maria Florea, an Emergents artiste.
During the presentation, Brufau took the opportunity to reveal details of the Lights of Early Music Festival 2020 programme, which will be entitled: “Freedom. Between chaos and order”.
Lights of Early Music Festival
5 to 16 February
The Música Antiga (Early Music) season at L’Auditori goes one step further and creates the Lights of Early Music Festival, which will give the public an opportunity to discover unique pieces that are difficult to come across in regular season programmes. Lights of Early Music draws on the legacy left by 30 years of the Barcelona Early Music Festival and creates an approach with its own personality within L’Auditori´s season, with two weeks of concerts that will treat us to some of the more obscure repertoires and shed light on forgotten scores from the past. In addition, this season will breathe new life into some of the city’s historic landmarks, which will provide the perfect backdrop for showcasing these proposals.
The first edition of the Lights of Early Music Festival will take place from 5 to 16 February and the concerts will be held in the Chapel of Santa Àgata, the Basilica of Saints Justus and Pastor, the Church of Santa Maria del Pi and at L’Auditori (Hall 2, Oriol Martorell). The programme revolves around two narrative threads: “L’état c’est moi”, with Louis XIV and monarchical absolutism and the Lutheran Reformation and the theories regarding the influence that the latter exerted on capitalism.
The Basilica of Saints Justus and Pastor, along with its recently restored organ, will host the opening concert that proposes a dialogue between the organist Juan de la Rubia and the poet Manuel Forcano. In Una nit amb el Rei Sol (A Night with the Sun King), de la Rubia will improvise on texts of the era that tell of the great celebration organised by Louis XIV on the occasion of the victory against Flanders. The programme includes other gems from the repertoire of the court of Louis XIV, such as the concert that Jean Rondeau will dedicate to François Couperin, another in which Lina Tur and Kenneth Weiss will perform works of the composer Elisabeth Jacquete de la Guerre, and the concert featuring Justin Taylor, a rising harpsichordist newcomer, that will recount the saga of the Forqueray Family of musicians. The harpsichordist Jean Rondeau will dedicate a programme to one of the key figures in the court of Louis XIV: F. Couperin.
The Lutheran line will be drawn by Vox Luminis, one of the indisputable leading vocal ensembles in Central Europe, with its programme dedicated to the Reformation of Santa Maria del Pi church; and the quartet Alternative History, who will perform one of its latest recordings, released under the ECM label, dedicated to the composer Josquin des Prés, whom Luther greatly admired.
The festival completes its line-up with the Accademia del Piacere and Nuria Rial, a programme dedicated to Sebastian Durón, who is probably the most significant Spanish composer of stage music of the time. Durón had to abandon his position of organist at the Royal Chapel of Charles II after publicly sympathising with Archduke Charles of Austria during the War of Succession, who lost to the Bourbon contender, Philip V.
Lights of Early Music Festival 2020: Freedom. Between chaos and order
Robert Brufau took advantage of the press conference to reveal details of what will be the second edition of the Lights of Early Music Festival, which will revolve around the concept of freedom as a theme related to the figure of Ludwig van Beethoven, on the 250th anniversary of his birth in 2020. It will be entitled: “Freedom. Between chaos and order.”
The next season will feature the O Vos Omnes Ensemble which, directed by Xavier Pastrana, will perform a programme based on Florentine music from Girolamo Savonarola´s time and the Bonfire of the Vanities. The Flemish ensemble Graindelavoix will perform the “Monsters of Early Music” programme, stemming from a quote by E.T.A. Hoffmann, who considers that Beethoven conceptualised a new musical art form, connected with monstrosity or what the Germans call Das Ungeheur. The programme will attempt to approach this monstrosity through the roots of Western polyphony.
Two multi award-winning ensembles will also participate in the 2020 Lights of Early Music Festival. The first of these is El Gran Teatro del Mundo, winner of the Early Music EEEMERGING (Emerging European Ensembles) project, which will deliver a programme that will delve into the dream world through Calderón´s stage play “La Vida es Sueño” (Life is a Dream). The second is the Sollazzo Ensemble, which received the Diapason d'Or, Gramophone´s Editor´s Choice, as well as the BBC Music Magazine´s Choral & Song Choice, with the album Parle qui veut, featuring moralising songs of the Middle Ages. It will be presented at the festival.
The young harpsichordist Justin Taylor will return to the Lights of Early Music and demonstrate the versatility of his instrument through his interpretation of works by Scarlatti, Padre Soler and Ligeti.
To commemorate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Italian composer Antonio Caldara, who had close ties to the city of Barcelona, the Royal Chamber Opera and soprano María Espada will perform a selection of opera arias dedicated to the ‘greater glory of the king’ and related concepts such as power, order and sublimity. These form the backbone of the text to one of Caldara’s finest operas, Il più Bel Nome, which premiered at the Llotja de Mar in Barcelona in 1708.
Regarding the historic landmarks that will host the concerts, it has already been confirmed that the Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp, which has the oldest church in Barcelona, will be included in the next edition.
Emergents Barcelona Music Festival
17 to 24 March, 2019
For the third consecutive year, L'Auditori presents the Emergents Barcelona Music Festival, the venue for new talents in national and international music. Throughout an entire week, L'Auditori will offer around twenty concerts that will combine virtually all styles of classical music - from early music to new music, jazz and flamenco - presenting some one hundred young talents who will become future stars. The festival brings together the country´s main music institutions: the OBC, Barcelona Symphony Band, JONC (National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia), Young Musicians of Catalonia, ESMUC (Catalonia College of Music), Liceu Conservatory, Taller de Músics (Musicians’ Workshop), Maria Canals International Music Competition Barcelona, International Centre for Early Music and ECHO (European Concert Hall Organisation).
This edition consolidates the project of the Capella Reial Youth Choir of Catalonia, which will open the festival directed by Lluís Vilamajó. One of the great novelties of the Emergents Festival is the integration of the JONC (National Youth Orchestra of Catalonia) as a band in residence, offering two ambitious projects. The first is a concert that will be held at Fabra i Coats, in which the composer Fritz Hauser will present a work with young musicians based on two of his pieces without a score, placing the musicians among the audience. The second project is a traditional symphonic concert which will take place in Hall 1 of L'Auditori, in which the winner of the Maria Canals Prize and the violinist Sara Cubarsi, who was selected in a contest held between members and former members of the JONC, will perform.
The Festival continues to feature debuts with the two resident ensembles at L'Auditori — the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (OBC) and the Barcelona Symphony Band — of national and international artists who are making a name for themselves. This is the case of violinist María Florea and violist Sara Ferrández, both former students at the ESMUC, who will perform Mozart's Symphony concert with the OBC, and talents such as pianist Alexander Ullman, violinist Tobias Feldman, saxophonist Jess Gillam, and percussionist Noé Rodrigo.
We will be devoting an entire day to the string quartet, that emblematic chamber music ensemble, co-commissioned by Jonathan Brown from the Casals Quartet. In this edition, we will enjoy a visit by three exceptional international quartets: the Rolston String Quartet, the Simply Quartet, and the Arod Quartet. We will also have the participation of two brilliant young ECHO Rising Stars, chosen by the best European concert halls; the trombonist Peter Moore, who at the age of eighteen became the youngest musician to be part of the London Symphony Orchestra and the cellist Kian Soltani, who has already released his first album with the Deutsche Grammophon label. With the collaboration of Young Musicians of Catalonia, we will discover the talent of our country´s future generations of musicians. We will meet the cellist Mariona Camats, winner of the Pablo Casals International Award for Young Cellists 2016, and the Argentinian soprano Mercedes Gancedo, winner of the latest edition of the El Primer Palau prize.
Aleix Palau | 30 January 2019
L’Auditori presents its festivals
The Lights of Early Music Festival is the main novelty, featuring two weeks of concerts with leading performers, held at some of the historic landmarks of the city. The Emergents Festival consolidates itself as the most important venue for discovering young talent from home and abroad.