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Aleix Palau | 16 December 2021

L’Auditori presents its winter programme, with a new choral project and the return of ‎Ludovic Morlot, the OBC's new principal conductor as of next season

Some seventy concerts featuring great names such as Evgeny Kissin, Xavier Sabata, Janine ‎Jansen, Teodor Currentzis, Núria Rial, Valery Gergiev, Matthias Pintscher, Nicola Benedetti, ‎Ian Bostridge and Philip Sparke.‎

L’Auditori presents its winter programme, with a new choral project and the return of ‎Ludovic Morlot, the OBC's new principal conductor as of next season

The season includes major symphonic works like Scheherazade, The Rite of Spring ‎and Don Quixote, newly created works by Joan Magrané, Bernat Vivancos and Kaija Saariaho, ‎and revived examples of musical heritage.

Ensemble O Vos Omnes, a vocal ensemble under the direction of Xavier Pastrana, ‎will embark on a three-year residency at L’Auditori and make a CD recording of music by ‎Manuel Oltra on the L’Auditori record label.

The OBC will go on tour locally, visiting Reus and Lleida in February, and it will take ‎part in L'Auditori's Rachmaninoff Festival, with performances of all the composer's piano ‎concertos accompanied by pianist Denis Kozhuhkin.

Festival Emergents will offer audiences a marathon of chamber music, with new ‎groups from the current music scene, and it will invite Alondra de la Parra to conduct the ‎OBC.

The presentation of the latest work by The Divine Comedy and the Midnight Choirs ‎concert, an initiative by Enric Montefusco, featuring Albert Pla, Maria Arnal, Niño de Elche, ‎Nacho Vegas and The Cubero Brothers as part of the Sit Back season.

L'Auditori reaches the midpoint of its 2021-22 season, with a winter ‎programme brimming with well-known figures from the local and international ‎music scenes, in addition to a new edition of Festival Emergents, the ‎Rachmaninoff Festival, a local tour by the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra ‎‎, a new choral project with Ensemble O Vos Omnes and a strong ‎commitment to promote newly created works.‎

Major international names will be featured, such as Pierre-‎Laurent Aimard, Evgeni Kissin, Janine Jansen, Nicola Benedetti, Denis Kozhukin, Teodor ‎Currentzis and Valery Gergiev. Special mention must also be made of ‎‎conductors Lina González-Granados, Stephanie Childress, Anna-Maria Helsing and ‎Alondra de la Parra.‎

The winter programme will be launched by the OBC, under the baton of its new ‎principal conductor from next season onwards, Ludovic Morlot. He will be ‎conducting it for the first time since his appointment. The programme, featuring prestigious ‎‎French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, will comprise works by ‎‎Schumann, Carter, Mahler and Bach , in addition to the Spanish premiere ‎of Letters from Bachville by composer Betsy ‎Jolas.‎

Kazushi Ono, who is coming to the end of his appointment as the OBC's ‎principal conductor, will head the orchestra in a performance not to be missed: ‎‎Lyric Symphony by Zemlinsky. This colossal symphony in ‎seven movements will feature the voices of the amazing soprano, Annette Dasch, ‎and Catalan baritone, Josep Ramon Olivé. The OBC, with 10 programmes ‎of music and 22 different concerts this winter, will also perform key works from its ‎repertoire, such as Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov, The Rite ‎of Spring by Stravinsky and Don Quixote by Strauss.‎

A special mention must be made of the Rachmaninoff Festival, headed by the ‎OBC. It will feature virtuoso pianist Denis Kozhukhin, who is set to ‎perform Rachmaninoff's four piano concertos over two weekends . Kozhukhin is ‎one of the season's star attractions, since, over the course of eleven days, audiences will be ‎able to see him performing Rachmaninoff's concertos and also taking part in a ‎‎chamber music concert with violinist Janine Jansen on the stage of Hall 1, ‎Pau Casals.‎

During this period, the OBC will also give concerts outside L’Auditori. It will ‎go on a local tour, with a concert at Teatre Fortuny in Reus and another at Enric ‎Granados Municipal Auditorium in Lleida. On both occasions, the concerts will ‎feature violinist Sergei Dogadin and conductor Stephanie Childress.‎

On 19 February, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra will be performing at ‎the Palau de la Música Catalana with soprano Núria Rial, paying ‎tribute to one of today's great composers, Kaija Saariaho, at the ‎world premiere of Cinc Pregàries (Five Prayers) by Bernat Vivancos. ‎

Kaija Saariaho and another much acclaimed figure, Betsy Jolas, are just two of the ‎‎long list of composers whose work will be performed during L’Auditori's winter ‎season, together with Carlota Baldrís, Marie Jaëll, Lili Boulanger, Pauline Viardot, Clara ‎Schumann, Tebogo Monnakgotla, Francesca Caccini, Lotta Wennäkoski, Sofia ‎Gubaidulinaand Jane Vignery.‎

In addition to the OBC, three leading international orchestras will also ‎appear on stage at L’Auditori during the winter season. They are the Mariinsky ‎Theatre Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, and the Stuttgart SWR ‎Symphony Orchestra. They will be accompanied by their principal conductors, ‎‎Valery Gergiev, Andrés Orozco-Estrada and Teodor Currentzis, performing ‎at three concerts co-produced by L’Auditori and Ibercamera.‎

The Barcelona Symphony Band, musical heritage and a new choral project
‎2022 is the centenary of the birth of Manuel Oltra, an ‎event that L'Auditori will celebrate with a concert and recording of his choral ‎music. This will mark the beginning of a three-year residency by Ensemble ‎O Vos Omnes, headed by Xavier Pastrana. This season, in addition to the Oltra ‎project, the ensemble's activities during its residency will also include the premiere ‎of a choral symphony work by Joan Magrané (the season's guest composer) with the OBC, ‎and The Plague, by Robert Gerhard.‎

The residency by Ensemble O Vos Omnes will herald a new chapter for choral music at ‎L’Auditori, allowing audiences in forthcoming seasons to enjoy concerts by groups ‎that are currently making a name for themselves, with close links with the region, such as ‎‎Cantoria, with an undeniably solid reputation, Cor Francesc Valls, Capella ‎Reial de Catalunya and the choirs of the Palau de la Música Catalana.‎

In the field of Catalan music, other major works will be performed by composers such as ‎‎Juli Garreta, Salvador Brotons, Joan Lamote de Grignon, Eduard Toldrà and Joaquim ‎Serra. There will also be numerous premieres and concerts of recently composed ‎works by composers such as Benet Casablancas in a performance with the ‎OBC (Canti ed Estasi di Lea, based on the opera Enigma di ‎Lea), Bernat Vivancos in performances with the Barcelona Symphony Band ‎‎(Organis Aurea) and the OBC and Núria Rial (Cinc pregàries), and ‎Joan Magrané (Obreda).‎

The Barcelona Symphony Band will give nine concerts ‎between January and March, with one special highlight being the presence of ‎conductor and composer Philip Sparke, a major international name in band music. ‎‎Sparke will conduct the world premiere of his work Hymn at Twilight, ‎commissioned by the Barcelona Symphony Band, at a monographic concert ‎dedicated to his music under the baton of the celebrated maestro.‎

Among the projects by the Barcelona Symphony Band, mention must be made of an ‎‎extraordinary concert featuring Pep Butifarra as part of the Tradicionarius ‎Festival, and a performance of Don Juan by Strauss ‎in an arrangement by Joan Lamote de Grignon. This is a version that was ‎performed by the band in 1925 in Frankfurt, at Strauss's invitation, and L'Auditori still ‎conserves a copy of the handwritten score with Strauss' own signature on it.‎

Música Antiga, Festival Emergents and Música Cambra
In the area of Música Antiga (early music), a performance of ‎theopera Amadigi di Gaula by Handel must be highlighted, ‎featuring singers Xavier Sabata and Núria Rial and conductor Dani Espasa heading ‎the ensemble Vespres d’Arnadí.‎

Festival Emergents will be returning for yet another year, introducing ‎audiences to young local and international talent. Over the course of four days, 15 ‎concerts will be staged, bringing together over one hundred musicians. This year, it will ‎feature a special event: a chamber music marathon lasting for nine hours, ‎made up of seven free concerts in Hall 2, Oriol Martorell. Furthermore, at Festival ‎Emergents, Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra will step onto the ‎podium as the OBC's guest conductor. ‎

As announced earlier, L'Auditori's Música de Cambra season will include a ‎programme featuring pianist Denis Kohukhin and violinist Janine Jansen, ‎with works by Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms. Audiences will also be ‎able to enjoy major works for trio by Schumann and Brahms, performed ‎by a piano trio led by violinist Nicola Benedetti. Lastly, the return to ‎L'Auditori of legendary Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin must be highlighted, ‎with a concert in Hall 1, Pau Casals, co-produced by BCM Clàssics.‎

Modern music, the Sampler Sèries, Escenes and the Educational Project
In thefield of modern music, as part of the Sit Back ‎season, members of the public will be able to enjoy a concert by The Divine ‎Comedy, the band headed by Neil Hannon. In a co-production with Cruïlla, the ‎band will present its latest work at L'Auditori and celebrate its 30th anniversary.‎

Another event not to be missed is Coros de Medianoche (Midnight Choirs) by Enric ‎Montefusco, a show that will unite Albert Pla, Maria Arnal, Niño de Elche, Nacho Vegas and ‎The Cubero Brothers.‎

During the winter season, L'Auditori will launch two new series of ‎concerts: the Sampler Sèries and Escenes. The Sampler Sèries ‎will featurethree of the best-known improvisers on the Barcelona music scene: ‎saxophonist Marcel·lí Bayer, guitarist and composer Ferran Fages and drummer Oriol ‎Roca. A tribute will also be paid to Stockhausen , with a concert ‎that will bring Ensemble Ascolta, one of Stuttgart's leading ensembles, to ‎L'Auditori for the second time.‎

The first project of the Escenes programme will also take place, entitled ‎‎Demoledora (Devastating). This will unite director and media writer Sara ‎Serrano, actor and creator David Climent (, musician and performer Adriano ‎Galante (Seward) and architect and designer Alessia Schoor in critical reflections on the ‎problem of gentrification and the indignity of current residential models in big cities.‎

Another new project by L’Auditori to be staged in forthcoming months is the show ‎‎Tuttu fan piu from the Educational ‎Project, an educational project for schools and families inspired by ‎bird sounds and melodies under the musical direction of Marta Roma and stage ‎direction of Montse Roig. The show Ullsclucs will also return. ‎Created as part of the Educational Project launched last season, it revisits the musical ‎heritage of the Obra del Cançoner de Catalunya (1921-1936) with arrangements by Arnau ‎Obiols.‎

The Museu de la Música pays tribute to Gerhard in the foyer of L'Auditori
In March, the Museu de la Música will make its own contribution to ‎‎Gerhard Year, with the exhibition Tot escoltant ‎Gerhard. This concludes the tribute to composer Robert Gerhard to mark ‎the 50th anniversary of his death. The exhibition, organised by the Catalonia Regional ‎Ministry of Culture, offers an instructive insight into the life, work and personality of the ‎Valls-born composer on thirty panels featuring information and images related to his music ‎and life. The exhibition will be on display in the foyer of L'Auditori's Hall 1, coinciding with the ‎performance of The Plague.‎

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