L’Auditori de Barcelona i la Banda Municipal de Barcelona reprenen el primer curs de direcció per a banda

12-Feb-2021 – Aleix Palau

L’Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphony Band are resuming the 1st Course in Band Conducting, organised by L’Auditori de Barcelona with the collaboration of the Catalan Federation of Music Associations, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The course, led by José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana, the Barcelona Symphony Band’s principal conductor, will be held from 14 to 18 June.

Through this course, L’Auditori de Barcelona and the Barcelona Symphony Band seek to contribute to fostering talent within the world of band conducting through theoretical and practical training. Students will work on the repertoire with the Barcelona Symphony Band and explore areas like gestures, score analysis and techniques for studying them, rehearsal planning and the challenge facing conductors to attract funding, together with other fundamental factors in the everyday reality of bands such as programme planning for amateur bands, motivation and the development of groups of musicians.

José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana’s experience of similar courses, has led the Barcelona Symphony Band’s principal director to dream up a course that will allow band conductors to delve deeper into technical aspects of their work and to build up a contextual overview of music bands, both in terms of original repertoires for bands and their singularity as an orchestral ensemble.

The last day of the course, Friday 18 June, will be devoted to preparing the closing concert, where students who are active participants will conduct the Barcelona Symphony Band with works that they have practised on during the week. The concert will be held in L’Auditori de Barcelona’s Sala 2, Oriol Martorell and admission is free by invitation.

Two entry streams
To open up L’Auditori’s 1st Course in Band Conducting to as many students as possible, in addition to the maximum of 10 active places, there will also be provision for other participants to sit in on the course, and take part in the theory classes and watch the practical sessions. Both morning and afternoon classes will be held.

In this resumed edition of the 1st Course in Band Conducting, students will continue to be enrolled if they were given a place last year and decided to retain it until the course was re-announced.

You can find out more about L’Auditori’s 1st Course in Band Conducting by sending an e-mail to cursdirecciobandes@gmail.com.

José Rafael Pascual-Vilaplana, a conductor with a solid reputation
José R. Pascual-Vilaplana, the Barcelona Symphony Band’s principal conductor and the director of the course in conducting, has forged an outstanding career as a conductor and composer. Born in Muro (Alicante), he studied band conducting in Holland under masters like Jan Cober and Eugene Corporon and orchestral conducting in Vienna under great names such as Karl Österreicher, Yuji Yuhasa and Hans Graf.
He has conducted a range of professional bands and orchestras in Britain, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Cuba, Slovenia, Spain, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Romania and Switzerland. They include the Cuba National Band; the Marine Band of the Royal Netherlands Navy; the National Young Wind Orchestra of the Netherlands; Buenos Aires Municipal Band; Oporto Portuguese Symphony Band; the Slovenia Armed Forces Band; Alicante, Barcelona, Castellón, Madrid, Pontevedra, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santiago de Compostela and Vitòria Municipal Bands; the band and symphony orchestra of the Principality of Asturias College of Music; the band of MUSIKENE (Basque Country); the band of the Canary Island College of Music; the bands of the Murcia and Valencia Federation of Bands; the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra; the “Manuel de Falla” Chamber Orchestra in Cadiz; the Castellón, Murcia, Vallès, Castilla y León, and Bilbao symphony orchestras; Teatre La Fenice Orchestra in Vienna; and the Tarragona CAMERA MUSICAE symphony orchestra (principal guest conductor).

He has been the principal conductor of the following bands: Unión Musical “La Primitiva” of Castell in Castells, Unión Musical Yátova, Associació Unió Musical Bocairent, “La Xafigà” in Muro, Agrupació Artística Musical “El Trabajo” in Xixona, Unión Musical in Muro, and Sociedad Musical “La Nova” in Xàtiva. From 2001 to 2014, he was the principal conductor of the Albacete Symphony Orchestra. He has been the artistic director of the Bilbao Municipal Band since January 2015 and the principal conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Band since 2018. In addition, he is the conductor of the “Filharmonia” Wind Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the Portuguese Symphonic Band in Porto.

He teaches band conducting at E.C.M. Vall d’Albaida and ISEB in Trento (Italy). For ten years (2008-2018), he was the artistic director of the advanced music courses run by the Istituto Musicale “Guido Alberto Fano” in Spilimbergo (Italy). In 1991, he was singled out to receive the “Maestro Guillermo Tomás Baton” by the Cuba National Band. In 1997, he was awarded the “Gold Baton” first prize at the 8th WMC International Conducting Contest in Kerkrade (Holland). In 2000, he won the “Baton of Honour” first prize at the 1st European Young Conductors Competition run by the EBBA in Birmingham (England). In 2004, he was awarded the Euterpe Prize for festive music composition and the Euterpe Prize for band conducting by the Valencia Federation of Music Associations. In 2009, he received the “Ignacio Morales Nieva” National Music Award at the Castilla La Mancha Music Festival.

He is the composer of different symphony, choral and chamber works, as well as having written numerous commissions for different competitions and festivals.


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