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 !!!!
Copenhagen Royal Chapel Choir
Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Denmark
Ebbe Munk, Director / Helen Davies, harpist
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.
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”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
La UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, (Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley), (California), bajo la dirección de David Milnes, inician el próximo mes de mayo una gira de conciertos por España que los llevarán a tocar en Úbeda, Granada, Valencia y Reus. La Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley (UCBSO) se encuentra entre las mejores orquestas universitarias de los Estados Unidos. La gira de conciertos está organizada por Perform in Spain.
La Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley (UCBSO) se encuentra entre las mejores orquestas universitarias de los Estados Unidos. En la actualidad, tras 20 temporadas bajo la dirección musical de David Milnes, representa una de las principales instituciones culturales de San Francisco. Fundada en el año 1923, la UCBSO realiza una media de entre 15 a 18 conciertos por temporada. Su repertorio es muy variado, interpretando un amplio abanico de obras que se extienden desde la música barroca hasta música del siglo XXI.
FECHAS Y PROGRAMAS DE LA GIRA
UBEDA– El sábado 27 de mayo, inmerso en el Festival Internacional de Música y Danza Ciudad de Úbeda, la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley ofrecerá el siguiente programa en el Hospital de San Francisco de la ciudad andaluza. El evento comenzará a las 21:00 horas
GRANADA– El domingo 28 de mayo, el Auditorio Manuel de Falla acogerá a las 19.30 horas a la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley que interpretará
VALENCIA– El martes 30 de mayo, a las 19.30 horas, el Palau de la Música será el marco en el que la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley interpretará el programa que se detalla a continuación. El concierto comenzará a la 19.30 horas
REUS (TARRAGONA)- El jueves 1 de junio en el Teatre Fortuny, a las 21:00 horas, la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley interpretará el siguiente programa:
LA ORQUESTA SINFÓNICA DE LA UNIVERSIDAD DE BERKELEY
Formar parte de la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley es sin duda un primer paso para fomentar lo que después serán las futuras generaciones de músicos, compositores y académicos. Muchos de sus miembros continúan sus estudios musicales y cursan licenciaturas en algunos de los más prestigiosos conservatorios como son, entre otros, la Julliard School, la Eastman School of Music, el Peabody Institute, y la Manhattan Music School.
Muchos de sus miembros actúan con orquestas como la Concertgebouw, la National Symphony o la Philarmonia Orchestra así como algunos forman parte de algunos de los diez mejores ensembles como la Alarm Will Sound, el International Contemporary Ensemble y el Yarn/Wire .
Entre los músicos mejor preparados de la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley se encuentran también estudiantes master de Lengua Inglesa, biólogos, ingenieros, historiadores, ingenieros informáticos que luego alcanzan algunos de los puestos más altos de sus respectivas carreras.
Los estándares musicales de la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley se han visto reforzados en los últimos años gracias a las colaboraciones con organizaciones como Cal Performances, donde han dirigido masterclasses y seminarios junto a artistas internaciones como Valery Gergiev, Gustavo Dudamel, Marin Alsop, y Esa-Pekka Salonen.
La orquestra es dirigida regularmente por miembros de la San Francisco Symphony Orchestra y de la Orquesta de la Ópera de San Francisco, y han trabajado también con prestigiosas orquestas como la Filarmónica de Viena o la Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolivar, que tiene previsto regresar a Berkeley la presente temporada.
La Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley se enorgullece de interpretar nueva música, y estrena con regularidad nuevas obras de músicos internacionales que han sido antiguos alumnos así como de otros prominentes compositores.
De la especial relación con el Centro de Nuevas Músicas y Tecnologías de la Universidad de Berkeley han surgido magníficas interpretaciones de nuevas obras con la tecnología realizadas por Mason Bates, John MacCallum, Philippe Leroux y Edmund Campion.
La presente temporada la UCBSO mantiene la tradición de interpretar nuevas obras de Bernard Rands, Henri Dutilleux, Krysztof Penderecki, Gyorgi Ligeti y Toru Takemitsu.
La Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley también es conocida por sus interpretaciones de las grandes obras del repertorio clásico para orquesta, destacando los ciclos sinfónicos de Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Shostakovich, Sibelius y Prokofiev entre otros.
El programa de este año incluye la Sinfonía nº 4 de Tchaikovsky, la Sinfonía nº 4 de Sibelius, Daphnis y Chloe de Ravel y la Sinfonía nº 4 de Nielsen.
Cada año se celebra un concierto -competición entre los solistas con más talento de la orquesta. Los premiados de los últimos años interpretaron obras para violín de Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Prokofiev, Mendelssohn y Mozart. Para el concurso de piano los elegidos fueron Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Grieg, y Ravel. Mozart y Aaron Copland son los compositores elegidos por los clarinetistas; y los conciertos para chelo de Schumann, Elgar y Shostakovich, los elegidos por los solistas de este instrumento.
Lo miembros de la orquesta interpretan a su vez música de cámara en conciertos que celebran en su departamento de música, en los ciclos de Mediodía, y en diferentes espacios de la bahía de San Francisco.
DAVID MILNES, DIRECTOR
David Milnes compagina la Dirección musical de la Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Berkeley, con su puesto de director musical de la del Eco Ensamble, nuevo conjunto de música profesional de Berkeley.
En sus primeros años, estudió piano, órgano, clarinete, cello y voz, y consideró la posibilidad de que su carrera se orientase a ser pianista de jazz. De hecho., actuó con figuras del jazz como Chuck Mangione, Gene Krupa, Billy Taylor y John Pizzarelli.
Titulado Superior en Dirección de Orquesta por la Escuela de SUNY Stony Brook y la Yale School of Music, David Milnes ha estudiado con los maestros Otto-Werner Mueller, Herbert Blomstedt, Erich Leinsdorf y Leonard Bernstein. Obtuvo, otorgado por la compañía Exxon, el puesto de director asistente de la Joven Orquesta Sinfónica de San Francisco, alcanzando luego el cargo de director musical, y con la que dirigió su primera gira europea en el año 1986.
Impulsor de la nueva música, entre los años 2002 y 2009 dirigió la formación San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, con los que estrenó innumerables obras en todo el mundo.
Ha realizado grabaciones de música de John Anthony Lennon, James Newton, Edmund Campion, Jorge Liderman y Pablo Ortiz y ha colaborado en actuaciones con Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, Bill T. Jones, Paul Hillier, James Newton, David Starobin y Chanticleer, así como actuaciones en los festivales de música de Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Aspen y Monadnock.
David Milnes ha sido profesor en la Julliard School, el Curtis Institute y el San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Además de sus numerosas actividades y actuaciones, David Milnes imparte cada verano en Berkeley, un Curso de Historia de Jazz.
The last two weeks were intense of music where we had two high school chamber and string orchestras and an excellent college choir on tour with concerts in Avila, Segovia, Barcelona, Cantabria, Sevilla, Granada, Málaga, Zaragoza…. with large audiences and ovations, where the high -schoolers met their mates in small and large cities and shared their music and FB´s with them, where they visited local guitar makers workshops, where hey enjoyed our flamenco music, learned about the different types of flamenco and the difference between a flamenco and a “flamingo”.
Also enjoyed and learned about our country, rich history , monuments, landscapes, food and people they met along their concert tours. Here are some pics I would love to share of all these special moments we had together. Thanks a lot to all our partners and our local friends and supporters, our drivers, our backline staff, all venues and all the warm audiences
The Wagner Choir sang in beautiful churches and in front of warm audiences in the cities of Madrid, Alcala, Sevilla, Granada and Malaga and shared their music with over + 1500 people.
The Leones de Chicago, a high school from the Chicago suburban area, played four concerts in completely different venues and in front of over +1500 people as well.
Their educational concert tour brought them to play in a local school in the medieval city of Avila, inside a beautiful neoclassical basilica in the heart of Old Madrid, in the Auditorio de Zaragoza, consider among the most beautiful in Europe in front of +900 people and in a local conservatory near Barcelona where they enjoyed a welcoming reception with the local orchestra members ,listened them playing with a local soprano and had lots of fun
In May- June we will have excellent bands, orchestras and jazz ensembles that we are finalizing all concert arrangements and we will keep you posted.
Then, we will celebrate this year our second edition of Pueblos Blancos Music Festival, organized by Phil Plata, Juan de Castro and myself with the support of the Pueblos Blancos in Andalusia and promises it will be a blast. We are expecting to welcome again over 20 international bands , mostly from Austin , Texas ; and some local bands too, that for during 5 days they will be bringing their music to all audiences next Sept 7-10.We´ll come back soon with the coming busy concert season this march and more updates,
Mil gracias !
Few days ago, the Harvard Westlake Jazz Big Band & Combos from Studio City, LA ;, finished their intense week through Spain and Portugal where they performed 7 concerts in front of over 1,400 people and where they played in Malaga, Cordoba, Seville and Puerto de Santa Maria in Andalusia, Spain and the two final concerts in Setubal and Lisbon in Portugal.
I want to thank upfront to James Smith and Maggie Rodriguez from Encore Tours, Samuel Bull the road manager , all the local Spanish jazz musicians, students and friends who attended to all the concerts and helped us to organize such a wonderful tour, and most of all to all the high school-age musicians from Harvard Westlake who brought their music and their talents under the direction of Shawn Constantino.
I cannot forget Pablo Bernardo Caveda, a personal friend and professional photographer who reflected better than a million words through his photos some of the highlight moments of the tour.
The jazz aficionados in Andalusia had the opportunity to enjoy the concerts and the excellent repertoire chosen from the songs of Count Basie, Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker , Joe Henderson among others.
The jazz students from music schools and conservatories , from high school to adults ,were able to learn and jam together with the combos and the big band.
Even that the concert times where not very jazzy, as half of the concerts where celebrated at 5 pm, audiences where there are welcomed with enthusiasm the band members.
Thanks to all who participate on this tour from the craddle to its end. It was a wonderful time!