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Aleix Palau | 17 February 2022

L'Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphonic Band present the Second Symphony Band Conducting Course

The course will be held from 13 to 17 June, under the direction of José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, principal conductor of the Barcelona Symphonic Band.
During the course, the Barcelona Symphonic Band will be at the participants’ disposal for them to work with and also conduct at the closing concert.

L'Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphonic Band present the Second Symphony Band Conducting Course

Following the success of the first edition, applications are now being accepted for the Second Symphonic Band Conducting Course at L’Auditori de Barcelona by L’Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphonic Band, in collaboration with the Federació Catalana de Societats Musicals. This edition, led by José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, the Barcelona Symphonic Band’s principal conductor, will take place from 13 to 17 June.

By offering this course, L’Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphony Band seek to foster talent in the world of band conducting through theoretical and practical training. The participants will work on a repertoire with the Barcelona Symphony Band and explore aspects such as gesture, score analysis, rehearsal planning, the funding challenges facing conductors, and factors as crucial–given the reality of today’s bands–as programme planning for amateur bands, motivation and the evolution of these ensembles.

Under the direction of Pascual-Vilaplana, the course will allow band conductors to gain a better insight into technical aspects and to build up a contextualised overview of symphony bands , from the perspective of both original repertoires for bands and their singularity as orchestral ensembles.

One new feature, this year, is the participation of two guest teachers, who will join José R. Pascual-Vilaplana in giving the course. They are Carlos Ramón, assistant conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band, and composer Luis Serrano Alarcón, the Barcelona Symphony Band’s guest conductor in 2016.

The last day of the course, Friday 17 June, will be spent preparing for the closing concert, when the Barcelona Symphony Band will be conducted by the course’s active participants with performances of pieces they have worked on throughout the week. The concert will be held in Hall 2, Oriol Martorell at L'Auditori de Barcelona, with free admission by invitation.


Two application streams
A maximum of 10 active participants will be accepted on the course, in addition to other participants who sit in on it, taking part in the theory classes and observing the practical sessions. The classes will be held in the mornings and afternoons.

To find out more about the Second Band Conducting Course at L’Auditori, e-mail cursdirecciobandes@gmail.com.


José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, principal conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band
Principal conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band since 2018 and the Bilbao Symphony Band since 2015, José R. Pascual-Vilaplana studied under Jan Cober, Eugène Corporon, Karl Österreicher and Hans Graf. He has conducted different symphony bands in Germany, Colombia, Slovenia, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Cuba, Italy, Portugal, Rumania, Switzerland, Uruguay and the USA including the NJO National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands; the Colombia National Youth Band; the SAF Armed Forces Band of Ljubljana; the Municipal Symphony Bands of Buenos Aires, Montevideo, A Coruña, Alicante, Madrid, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santiago de Compostela and Vitoria; the Bilbao, Murcia, and Castilla y León Symphony Orchestras; and the Gran Canaria Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has recorded over thirty CDs as a conductor and worked with international soloists such as Sergei Nakariakov, Pacho Flores, Jorgen van Rijen, Elisabete Matos, Albert Guinovart, Sergio Carolino and Estrella Morente.

He has won the WMC Kerkrade International Conducting Competition (Netherlands, 1997) and the EBBA in Birmingham (England, 2000).

Since 2010, he has been the guest conductor of the Porto Portuguese Symphonic Band.


Carlos Ramón, assistant conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band
Born in Crevillent (Alicante), he was awarded a B.A. in Trumpet Performance by the Murcia Music Conservatory and an M.A. in Conducting by the ZUYD University-Conservatorium Maastricht (Netherlands).

His mentors include conductors José R. Pascual Vilaplana, Manuel Mondéjar Criado and Jan Cober. He has been a guest conductor for the “Grand Ducale” Luxembourg Military Band, the European Youth Wind Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Band and the Alicante Symphony Band.

In 2017, he was the winner of the 7th European Conductors Competition, organised by the European Brass Band Association in Ostend (Belgium), where he also won the special Audience Award. In July of the same year, he won the world’s top band conducting award, the Golden Baton at the International Conductors Competition, held as part of the Kerkrade World Music Contest.

He has been the principal conductor of the Agrupación Musical do Rosal (Pontevedra) and the “Santa Cecília” AMCE in Elda.

He is currently the conductor of the Unión Musical Torrevejense and assistant conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band, which he combines with the artistic direction of the Symphony Youth Band of the Valencia Region’s Federation of Music Societies.

Luis Serrano Alarcón, composer
Luis Serrano Alarcón trained as a pianist and composer at the Valencia Music Conservatory, where he currently works as a teacher. He has forged an important international reputation as a composer, with premieres of commissioned works at Saint Thomas University in Minnesota, the Philharmonic Winds in Singapore, the Hong Kong Band Directors Association, the Southeastern Conference Band Directors Association, the Valencia Institute of Music, “Vila d’Altea” International Competition and the Valencia International Band Competition. He was the winner of the 2006 edition of the Corciano International Competition for Original Band Composition (Italy), with Preludio al Alba, and the 2009 edition with La Dama Centinela.

He has conducted different bands in the Valencia region, including those of Alborache, Chiva, Bétera and Villar del Arzobispo. In 2016, he was the guest conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band.


The Barcelona Symphony Band, an ensemble with a history of over 130 years
The Barcelona Symphony Band is one of Barcelona’s oldest music ensembles. Created in 1886 by Barcelona City Council, it has been based at L’Auditori since 2007, where it gives a regular season of concerts. It carries out projects in collaboration with artists and ensembles from Spain and abroad. In September 2018, it embarked on a new chapter, with José R. Pascual-Vilaplana as its principal conductor.

In 2016, the band celebrated its 130th anniversary. During this period, it has remained true to its foundational goals, bringing music by major composers to audiences at top-class concerts. It has also skilfully adapted to new challenges, making contemporary band repertoires known to audiences, commissioning new works to be premiered by the band by Catalan composers and collaborating with artists of differing kinds.

Today, the Barcelona Symphony Band is an ensemble with a strong commitment to society around it. It keeps up with contemporary affairs and plays an active role in the Barcelona music scene.

The Federació Catalana de Societats Musicals
With a history of over 40 years serving music societies, the Federació Catalana de Societats Musicals (the Catalan Federation of Music Societies) acts as an umbrella for 50 such bodies from the field of popular Catalan culture. Its main goal is to promote, disseminate, boost and unify the associative cultural movement that these bands represent. To fulfil these goals, the federation is engaged in the projects outlined, based on differing themes or formats, some purely musical or of a promotional nature and others focused on training and information, in addition to other bolder initiatives in the field of new music, research or the integration of new technologies.

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