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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Voces Blancas,White Voices

We are proud to announce that this Spring season 2018 we will have some of the most prestige children´s choirs touring in Spain and Portugal. Early next week we have the visit of the Copenhagen Royal Chapel  Choir under the direction of Ebbe Munk and with the harp of Helen Davis Mikkelborg  will be singing  at the Church of the Monastery of San Jeronimo next Wednesday April 25 at 17 h their first concert before continue towards Salamanca´s Catedral Vieja ( Old Cathedral) where they  will sing on Saturday 28 at 20.30 h. The third concert will take place at the Iglesia Colegial del Divino salvador on Monday April 30 at 21 h and the final concert  at Malaga Cathedral on Tuesday May 2nd at 21 h. All concerts will be admission  free and limited seats. They will continue then to the United Kingdom where they will sing  with the King´s College Choir before ending their European tour.  This will be the third time they toured with us and  we cold only say that the past tours they received the best  reviews  and  were acclaimed by large audiences so we do hope this one will be outstanding. The program under the title of Choir Sounds of Joy and reflexion ( Cantos de Alegria y Reflexion ) will include the  works of known composers as Felix Mendelsshon, G.P Palestrina and  scandinavian composers as Sven David Sandström, Palle Mikkelborg and Carl Nielsen and a the beautiful  piece for harp , Ave Maria by Sergej Rachmaninov.

Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir at Parroquia de San Jerónimo de Madrid- - Ebbe Munk, Director May 2014- Photo by Juanlu Vela

Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir at Parroquia de San Jerónimo de Madrid- – Ebbe Munk, Director May 2014- Photo by Juanlu Vela

 

Always proud to  welcome  again  to an old friend, Georg Stangelberger conducting the Phoenix Boys Choir and the Men´s Choir. It was almost “yesterday” when he came with his choir to Spain almost 15 years ago and since then they falled in love with the venues and audiences. On their past  second tour , few years ago they sang  almost 17 concerts in 20 days across  the Iberian peninsula including both countries and the area of Lisbon. This early June they will start  touring across the Northern  Spain,  probably the richest area  in Spain about choral music tradition with churches and monasteries along the coast that were following the old pilgrimage roads to Santiago. From mystical Galicia they will drive towards Porto and Coimbra where they will sing before entering in Salamanca and then Madrid and Andalusia. We  will keep you update the  during the next days. George Stangelberger conducted the Viena Boys Choir before he moved with  his family to Phoenix (Arizona, USA) where he had been teaching  and trainning the children´s voices for over a decade building what is consider among the best Children´s Choirs in North America. The Phoneix Boys Choir will be singing in Gijon(June1st), Santiago de Compostela( June 3rd), Porto ( June 4th), Coimbra ( June6-7 TBC), Salamanca(June 8th), Alcala de  Henares ( June 9th), Madrid( June 10th) Sevilla( June13th)Jaén(June15) and  the final concert in Malaga (June16).

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The last Children Choir  this season in Spain is the New York Children Chorus that will be  on tour at the end of June and will sing in Valencia, Granada and Madrid  between June 23-28. Directed under Mary Wannamaker Huff will  sing an excellent repertorie from the classics (Mendelsshon, Schubert) to contemporary (Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin),  but also African American Spirituals and Traditional American choral music as well.  For  any updates of these choral concerts and fresh daily information about our season, we suggest to follow and visit our FB page

Josu Camacho

 

 

Venues in Spain

 

It has been a while since we started organizing concerts and events in Spain for musical ensembles and always choosing the right venues where we could get the warmest and larger audiences and the best possible acoustic conditions was a big task for me.

We worked with many  calendars over the years, where Mondays were always Mondays, when suddenly Real Madrid was playing the European championship the same day and hour that we booked a venue at a bullring for a wind ensemble, or when inside a medieval church in Old Castile just before rehearsing and sound checking with a choir, we had to wait until the funeral  mass or wedding was over to start the concert if we wanted to guarantee an audience,…. We use to work  every year on over 70 concerts per  season, plus our  Pueblos Blancos Music festival and  our Castile International Choral Festival.

We will be glad to speak with you and discuss about the alternative venues and festivals we can offer to you for your concert tour to Spain and Portugal anytime.

Spain and Portugal are located inside the Iberian peninsula, at the end of the end of the known  world and are among the oldest countries in Europe with amazing venues for both  vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Choral groups have the privilege to sing inside  ancient temples  from the Roman times such as  beautiful basilicas, Visigoth and Romanesque Churches or Gothic Cathedrals, where  the sound of their voices and its music will be on the air …….

For instrumental ensembles, we can offer a  excellent selection  of venues, both indoor and outdoor. Symphony Halls, Modern Auditoriums , Classical  Style Theatres or Conservatory Halls are some of the best examples all over Spain. During summer, most of the  cultural activities are outdoor, and your  orchestra or wind ensemble will be able to perform in  beautiful plazas or corners in the medieval squares  in front of  incredible audiences and as part of some of the  best music festivals in Europe as Granada , Segovia or Santander.

Summer Concerts & Festivals in Spain 2017

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Once we are in mid July and after a break before start working on next year season, it is time to look back to the past months of May and June as one of the most productive concert seasons we did organize over the past years. 26 concerts happened in  two weeks. From choral to jazz, from wind to symphony. Over 10,000  audience welcomed their concerts. Music  spread from Lisbon to Barcelona, from Bilbao to Puerto de Santa Maria, from Salamanca to Ubeda, from Valencia to Reus all over the Iberian peninsula.

 

The WUC performed in Barcelona, Montserrat, Bilbao, Salamanca, Madrid and Alcala de Henares, while the LCCB played in Madrid , Valencia, Puerto de Santa Maria and Ubeda, while the UCBSO played in Ubeda, Granada, Valencia and Reus and while the  different ensembles of the Pacific University performed in  Setubal, Lisbon, Madrid, Valencia, Castelldefells and Barcelona.

Concierto Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley (Ca

There were some special days for us,  as Saturday 27 May, as  when the choir were singing in  Bilbao under the direction of Mark A. Hafso works of Palestrina , Victoria, Tichelli, David Brunner or Randall Stroop ;  at the Festival  Internacional de Musica de Ubeda, the UCBSO were playing works of Debussy, Cindy Cox, Amadeus  Regucera and Berlioz, and  in  Cullera, a town near Valencia that  has one of the oldest and  better Sociedades Musicales, the Luther College Concert Band  under Joan de Alburquerque, were playing with the Youth Wind Band  works of Rossano Galante, Andre Waignen, Bach , Turrin or Bernstein.

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On Tuesday 30, while the choir were singing at the Catedral de Salamanca, the UCBSO were playing at the Palau de la Musica de Valencia and amazing concert in front  of 1000  warming audience, where they  played three encores.

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The day after, was the Atlantic Day, where two of the Pacific ensembles combined two programs of jazz and symphonic music   at the main venue in Setubal, the Forum Luisa Todi in front of  +500 people. At the same time in Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz) the LCCB where playing in front of 700 people who   enjoyed each piece and clapped standing up  on “flamenco” rhytms.

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Thursday June 1st was another big day with  four concerts at the time. While the  WUC were singing at the Catedral de  Alcala near Madrid, the UCBSO were playing south of Barcelona, the LCCB  were playing at the Festival de Ubeda and the Pacifc Jazz ensemble were playing on top of the  city of Lisbon.

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Two days after the Pacific arrived into Madrid where  both the wind and the symphony played in the bullring on a small town near Madrid while Real Madrid  soccer team where playing the  European championship vs  Juventus Milano. After Real Madrid victory the Jazz Ensemble played at the main Plaza almost after midnight!!

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While most of the bands  were  flying back home the Pacific continued from Madrid to Valencia and Barcelona where they finished their tour with  open air concerts near Barcelona and  a final symphonic concert  at one of the nicest gothic churches in Barcelona.

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Now, it is time to rest and charge the batteries for the coming season, but also  to meet early September with over 20 different bands of  jazz, blues and rock coming from Texas to take part  on the second Pueblos Blancos Music Festival.

Want to thank to all musicians, audiences, local  sponsors and partners who  helped us  on this wonderful adventure of music throughout the years and specially during the 2017 season.

We hope to work together in the near future and wish you all a nice summertime!

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