Mad Jazz: Madrid Jazz Festival 2019

After the success of  last year, Madrid  International Jazz festival comes back again at the end of October until  end of November.  There are set  over 130 concerts  for some of the best known  international and national jazz artists will participate

Following to Herbie Hancock, who will open the   Jazz festival at the  Auditorio Nacional, other  artists  such as  Ron Carter or  Charles Tolliver.  Contemporary jazz will be  represented  as well by Mina Agostini, Joe Lovano, Marc Ribot, and many others.

Will be difficult  to stay at home every night when artists such as Avishai Cohen or Christian Scott will be performing in town.

Concerts will  take place at some of the  top venues in Madri such as Auditorio Nacional,  Circulo de  Bellas Artes or  Institutu Frances, but also in the best jazz clubs such as Clamores Jazz Club or  El Intruso.

If you will be around  Madrid this November we will suggest you to enjoy at least one of the nights this  festival. Last year the number of concerts where  among the same and over 30,000 people attended. Madrid jazz scene had been always active, but during these recent years it is showing up  that it  has been  an important jazz capital in Europe.

https://festivaldejazz.madrid.es/

2019 Season Ends: Music in Castles, Palaces & Auditoriums

The first part of the year runned  very fast with lots of  music and  production and immediately we continued with the second half of it. We  had the priviledge  to tour with the Viterbo University Choir with amazing performances in Setubal, Sevilla, Granada where under the Andalucia Music festival they performed in the TownHall Square and their finaal concert in Alcalá de Henares cathedral. It was  an excellent performance tour. The Handbell Ringers Intssrnational is a international handbell group that uses to meet in one country and   after some rehearsals, they  tour togethr. This year they chose Spain and  they met in Barcelona for  their first concert before ccoming  to Central Spain where they performed in  the celebrations for the Cathedral of Burgos, in the Cathedral of Salamanca and in Segovia. They came from  different countries such as Puerto Rico, Canada, U.S, England, germany, switzerland or Estonia. It was an amazing experience as the majority of the spanish audiences  never heard a handbell choir before. We continued this season with Mira Costa Orchestra, a high school very talented  symphony orchestra  which did an amazing  tour and  that received incredible reviews and outstnding ovations every concert. They performed in some of the  most beautiful  venues such as  the Palau de la Musica  in Valencia or the final concert at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona which was one the the highlights of this tour.  We received  two other groups  that came for few days and  two performances each  in Central Spain, one was the Youth Singers of Calgary,  one of the best show choirs in North America and the Caleb Chapman Soundhouse Jazz ensembles: The Inevitables and the Soul Foundation who performed as part of  two summer festivals in central Spain. Then at the gates of August the Nationaol Youtyh Orchestra of Canada came  on tour performing  at the Summer festival of El Escorial, then in Alicante as part of the Internaational Youth Orchestra festival and the final concert in Granada at the Alhambra closing the International Guitar Festival with Jose Miguel Moreno, where they played Vivaldi suites , Manuel de Falla and  Prokofiev.  In  Alicante they performed at the ADDA Auditorium and in  Teulada Auditorium. Almost at the  same time we were sponsoring for our forth year  the Pueblos Blancos Music Festival in the mountains of Andalusia, where we had over 100 musicians and  25 bands coming for  all  corners of this small world to play jazz, rock, country and americana styles. A festival that was created following a dream  that we will talk in another post. Wishing you  a wonderful summertime and   a  succesful great second part of this year and willing to hear from any music ensemble  interested to perform next  time in Spain. We would love to help you anytime ! Muchas gracias ! for this fantastic seson

2019: A Musical Year (March-May)

I  had not much time to write  in  our blog  and I do not want any visitor  who will feel that there is nothing  else to  say.   2019 had been running fast since it started right after Christmas with some inspection trips through Spain and Portugal as always, then some  trips to  music trade shows and conferences in the U.S and  then the concert season that this year started in  early March. We  did for  first time a performance ensemble who played world music from Texas which came with a string orchestra and a drum section who performed two concerts in Andalusia, one in Salamanca and the final one in Madrid.  Over  2000 people attended to their four concerts and  people enjoyed their music a lot.

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We had the privilege again to  collaborate with  Witte Travel and  with  the UNiversity of Northern Iowa, its Concert Choir and with John  Len Wiles. Every time John   visted us in Spain  he brought  a unique repertoire that include works of  Shaina Taub. John Work, Carl Heinrich Graun,  Paul Christiansen, Brahms, Jacob Neverud or the basque composers Javier Busto or Josu Elberdin.  The light the  choir   brought to all audiences during their concerts was memorable.

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May was  a  choral month, where we had the priviledge to tour with the Viterbo University and the Nebraska Wesleyan Choirs. Viterbo   performed in  Lisbon, Seville, Granada and Madrid.

The Nebraska Wesleyan Choir under the direction of Dr. Willian Wyman performed in Barcelona,Valencia, Guadix, Granada and Malaga. An intense week of concerts and music following the Mediterranean coast

The second part of this  calendar will start in less than two weeks. We  are proud to say  that for  first time, the Handbell Ringers International, an  international association and choir  created by different musicians/members from different nations,   chose Spain for their concert tour and will be touring for the first time. There is a big expectation as this will be probably the first time that a  handbell choir of this characteristics had come to Spain to perform. Among the concerts  that they will play is the concert  at the Cathedral of Burgos that it is celebrating its VIII centenary anniversary.

We promisse to be back soon with  lots of musical news and  updates  for the  next IVth edition of  Pueblos Blancos Music Festival down in Malaga mountains  this summer

2018 Concert Season in Spain & Portugal

I am back at the office after an amazing concert season this year and heading deep into the summertime. This July, once the clouds are gone and  the dry heat is on, we will spend most of the time with the family, working  on next  concert season, enjoying  several outdoor concerts, thanking all the people  who  worked together with us on  each success we had and preparing the next  third edition of   Pueblos Blancos Music Festival that will  take  place  this Sept 6-9th.

It was on March, when we went on the road and since then and for  four months, wehad touring over 1000 musicians  throughout Spain and Portugal. We organized 85 concerts  in total and some days we had three different ensembles playing on three different corners of the Iberian peninsula. Over 30,000 people attended to all our concerts and welcomed each ensemble with outstanding ovations, no matter if they were choirs, bands or symphony orchestras. No matter if they were HS music students, college or adult community choirs or wind bands.

It is impossible to thank to all the many collaborators we had, from our international partners to  the local ones ( townhalls, cultural authorities, festivals, music halls, cathedrals, charity organizations, private institutions and foundations, schools and conservatories, professional musicians and ensembles, old friends and  our staff, particularly to my wife Kitty who   worked  in the shadow and behind each scenario.

It will be also very hard to say which of the ensembles were my favourite ones as I met most of them and attendend to most of the  concerts but  I only spent full time touring with few. Probably this made me having strong memories  of all of them and of their music. Want to  give very special thanks  to Ebbe Munk and the Copenhagen Royal Chapel that came  at the end of April and sang beautifuly in  Lisbon at the Monastery of Jeronimos, in Salamanca at the Old Cathedral, in  Seville at Church of El Salvador and  the final one in Malaga´s cathedral. It was the third visit of the Copenhagen Royal Chapel choir to  the Iberian peninsula with us, but this tour was  probably  the best of all.

Under the title ” Choir Sounds of Joy and Reflexion” they presented  choral masterpieces from Italy, Germany, Scandinavia and Russia, from reinassance until today. Listening O Magnum Mysterium by Morte Lauridsen, the Benedictus by Carl Nielsen or the Bogoroditse Devo by Rachmaninov brought myself and all audiences to another dimension,  while  Helen Davis played beautifully  several harp solos.

The Phoenix Boys Choir came back to Spain and Portugal, also for their third time. Under  Georg Stangelberger, the choir performed  10 concerts in 16 days, from the North of Spain to Andalusia. Special memories of the  concerts in  the  Picos de Europa National Park  at the Basilica de Covadonga, and  at San Martin Pinario Monastery in Santiago de Compostela or the Monastery of Santa Clara in Coimbra. But also   at the Cathedrals of Alcala de  Henares and Salamanca, the sharing concerts in Madrid and Sevilla or  the  concerts in Ecija or Granada.

Last full tour was my with daughter  Paula and Pedro Vega. We toured together with the Twickenham Winds from Huntsville, Alabama. The band members were travelling with friends and family . David  and Carol Spencer  falled in love with Spain few years ago  while he was conducting  a HS Band from Huntsville and decided to return with a band  of professional musicians  and  friends. Performing  outdoor at the main Plaza during a stormy afternoon in the mountains of Madrid was a question of faith and love  for sharing music with the locals. Suddenly the sky opened and the music started. As we say here the Madonna always appears ! Taking some of the group members to listen to some guitar at the caves of Sacromonte in Granada,    attending  at the Maestranza Opera House in Seville to see Carmen and Victor Ullate´s Ballet, performing in Puerto de Santa Maria Theatre or  opening the wind band festival in Andalusia, where some highlights that will stay in our memories forever.

Other memorable concerts were the Boston College Choir in Ecija, the MIT Concert Choir concerts in Barcelona, Valencia and the mountains of Madrid, the Villanova Singers at the Cathedral of Valencia, all the concerts of the MSU and CLU universities throughout Spain. Also the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra in Plaza Mayor  in Madrid or the three concerts we presented at the Andalucia Music Festival thanks to the support and friendship of  Vicente Coves and the European Guitar Foundation. Also the concert of MSU at the opening day of the Festival de Ubeda inside the old church of San Lorenzo and the day before were we moved in 24 hours inside   an old cloister and chapel in Alcala La Real where  the international congress of synestesia just finished……

Special thanks for all audiences, many of them who had  been following our concerts over the years. Also to the different churches and  catholic communities, priests and bishops and charity of organizations as Caritas.

And of couse, cannot forget our staff, from my wife Kitty and my daughter, to Carlos Muiña, Aurora, Pedro Vega, Cesar Higueras, Violeta, Caroline, Luis el Cubano,Don Francisco, Juan Jose Davalillo, Pedro Alburquerque, Luis Fernandes, Jorge, Jose, Isaac, Lazaro, Toñin, Goyo, Jose Manuel, Don Francisco, Maria Diversity, Maxi Santos, Pedro Ordoñez, Fernando Motas, Diego Martinez, Paco Toro, Juan Angel de Ubeda, Fredi Anfirock, Fran Muñoz (Sevilla)…. and many other friends Gracias !!!!

 

Choir Sounds of Joy and Reflexion

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Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir

Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Denmark

Ebbe Munk, Director / Helen Davies, harpist

 

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Portugal  & Spain April-May , 2018

Under  the title of  Choir Sounds of Joy and Reflexion, the Copenhagen Royal Chapel came this April to Lisbon and Spain  and offered concerts  on Wednesday April 25 at the Church of the Monastery of San Jeronimo in Lisbon, on April 28 at the Catedral Vieja de Salamanca, on April 30 at the Iglesia del Salvador in Seville and  a final concert  at the Catedral de Malaga on May 2nd.

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The CRCC performed  in front of over 2,400 people  on their  Iberian tour and shared the beautiful voices  in front of warm audiences.

Under the leadership of Ebbe Munk and  with the harpist  Helen Davies they  played the following program:

“Choir Sounds of Joy and Reflexion”

INTRODUCTION

Palle Mikkelborg Noon of Night / Dear God, Be Good to Me

Morten Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium

HARP SOLO Stephen Henriksen The Meadown

REFLEXIONS ON THE VIGIL

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Sicut cervus & Sitivit anima mea

Sven-David Sandström Sicut cervus& Sitivit anima mea

HARP SOLO Adolf Sjöden Elegie

LIGHT AND JOY

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Jauchzet dem Hern, alle Welt, Psalm 100

Carl Nielsen Benedictus ( from 3 motets op. 55)

HARP SOLO Rhian Samuel Ymhell y mor ( Far across the sea)

PRAYERS AT THE END OF THE DAY

Carl Nielsen Teach Me, Star of the Night

Sergei Rachmaninoff Bogoroditse Devo/ Ave Maria

Palle Mikkelborg A Simple Prayer: Oh Divine Master

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More about the CRCC

Among  some of the oldest European musical traditions are the Cathedral choirs and their choir schools. The Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir is the only representative of this tradition in Scandinavia.

Founded in 1924 by Mogens Wöldike the choir developed into a full-time institution with the boys receiving their general education alongside a full musical and vocal training at SANKT ANNAE GYMNASIUM, the Copenhagen Municipal  Choir School. Since 1959 the choir has been resident at Copenhagen Cathedral and performs, as part of their duties, at state functions and during royal visits abroad. A main part of the  choir´s activities are concerts in leading concert halls, cathedrals and  at festivals all over the world.

In 2000 the CRCC was awarded the prestigious Eugene Mortimer Choir Prize by the Europeran Cultural Foundation Pro Europa, and from the 2002 the choir has been appointed Ambassadeurs de lÚnion by Le Féderation Européene des Choeurs de lÚnion in Brussels. In 2003 the choir was honoured in Paris by lÍnstitut de France-Académie des Beaux-Arts with the Prix Chant choral Liliane Bettencourt.

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The  CRCC regularly works with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and has released numerous recordings. There is a continued collaboration with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra/Copenhagen Phil, with the ensembles of the Danish Broadcasting Company and with regional orchesttras in Denmark, and a close co-operation with the Royal Opera House in Copenhagen has also been established in recent years. The recording of Buxtehude´s Cantatas received the Danish Music Awards “Choral  release of the year” in 2002. In 2018 the choir releases its latest recording including Palestrina´s Marcellus Mass and Sicut Cervus, and a new setting of Sicut Cervus by Sven-David Sandström.

From 2000 the CRCC has performed in such various places as New Zealand (Wellington Cathedral), New York (Saint Thomas, 5th Ave)Beijing (National Centre of Performing Arts), Shangai ( Oriental Art Space)Milano (Teatro alla Scala), Berlin ( Berliner Dom), Paris(Notre Dame) and Oxford (Sheldonian Theatre)

Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark has presented CRCC and Ebbe Munk with the PRO EUROPA prize (2002) on behalf  of the European Foundation for Culture….. to honour the high quality and outstanding achievement of its choral singing and its artistic contribution to culture dialogue in the world.

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Ebbe Munk was in 1991 appointed both as precentor in the Copenhagen Cathedral and artistic director and conductor of the CRCC for which he was fourth in succession after Mogens Wöldike, Niels Moller and Per Enevold.

Ebbe Munk´s name has been closely associated with the price winning chamber choir VOX DANICA, which was  known  especially for the  performance of new Nordic music. From 1982 to 1991 he was the director of SANKT ANNAE YOUTH CHOIR, which under his leadership developed into one of the major youth  choirs in Europe.

With the CRCC and as a choir instructor, Ebbe Munk has given masterclasses, participated in choral festivals and served on international competition juries in places such as Princeton University, Festival des Cathedrales de Picardie, the National Conservatory of Music and the Opera House in Hanoi and Nordklang  in Finland.

One of the most marked features of Ebbe Munk´s tenure with the choir has been the development of the performance of early music, which began as collaboration between CRCC and Concerto Copenhagen, as well as with special ensembles from abroad, notable the Duffay Collective in London.

IN 2000 Ebbe Munk established a collaboration between the cathedral choir masters in Helsinki, Turku, Uppsala, Trondheim, Oslo and Copenhagen and this has been extended to include illustrious choral institutions such as Escolania de Montserrat, King´s College Cambridge and New College Oxford.

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Since  2002 Ebbe Munk has  been artistic counsellor of  the Federation des Choeurs de l´Union I Bruxeles and in 2008 he succeeded Sir David Willcocks at the Big Sing and Teapot Summer School in New Zealand. IN 2003 together with the CRCC he has honoured with the Prix Chant  choral Liliane Bettencourt by l´Institut de France-Academie des Beaux-Arts(Paris) for which  he in 2008 was appointed member of the prize jury.

In 2000 Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark honored Ebbe Munk with a knighthood ( Knight  of the Order of Dannebrog) and in 2015 he was elevated to Knight of the First Rank of the Order of Dannebrog.

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Helen Davies career as a harpist is diverse and eclectic. Her wide ranging musical life has seen her combine a distinguished orchestral career in Ireland and Scandinavia with scholarly research in 18th and 19th century harp music, arranging and performing Irish traditional harp music and the harp music of her native Wales, and , since 1989, working in the field of contemporary electronic improvided music with her husband, trumpet player and composer Palle Mikkelborg, with whom she has performed worldwide. She has also  worked closely with the CRCC and has toured extensively with them.

Helen studied harp in her native Wales with Ann Griffiths and studied music in Birmingham University (UK). During her time in Ireland, Helen taught both classical and Irish harp at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and established a diploma course for Irish harp. She has published several books of harp music and is currently involved in researching forgotten harp virtuosi from 18th and 19th century Scandinavia. Helen has been featured on numerous recordings and her 2 solo CD have both been awarded nominated.

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