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 !!!!