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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Music Department

10/20/2011

T.R.H. The Prince and Princess of Asturias presided over the Closing Concert

Riccardo Muti in the Final Concert of the XX Music Week. ©FPA

Riccardo Muti, 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for The Arts, conducted the concert.

T.R.H The Prince and Princess of Asturias presided over the Closing Concert at the XX Music Week, organised by the Prince of Asturias Foundation and Cajastur, which took place on Thursday, October 20, at 8,00 pm in the Príncipe Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo. The maestro Riccardo Muti, 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, conducted this concert, entrance to which was by invitation only.

The Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, made up of young instrumentalists from all over Italy and the Prince of Asturias Foundation Choir interpreted the  Réquiem en Do menor by Luigi Cherubini.

Riccardo Muti

Riccardo Muti was born in Naples (Italy). He studied piano at the San Pietro Conservatory, in Majella, and composition and orchestral conducting at the “Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory” in Milan. In 1967, after winning the Guido Cantelli award, his career acquired international fame. He was the conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1968-1980). From 1972 to1982 he was the main conductor for the London Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1980 to 1992 he was the Musical Director for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He was Musical Director for the Scala Theatre from 1986 to 2005 and he conducted such important projects as the Mozart-De Ponte Trilogy and Wagner´s Ring Cycle. Together with the classics in the repertoire, he brought to light works which are not interpreted so much, among others, from the 18th Century Napolitan School, as well as operas by Gluck, Cherubini, Spontini or Poulenc. This long period as Musical Director at La Scala reached its climax on December 7, 2004 with the triumphal reopening of the restored theatre with the work Europa riconosciuta by Antonio Salieri. During his career, Riccardo Muti has conducted most of the important orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the French National Orchestra or the Vienna Philharmonic. In April, 2003, the National French radio station, France Musique, broadcast a Journée Riccardo Muti, 14 hours of opera and symphonic recordings with all the orchestras that he has conducted. On December 14, he also conducted the opening concert of the renovated La Fenice Theatre in Venice.

In 2004, Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, made up of selected young musicians from all over Italy. Muti’s many recording activities have been recognised in the shape of numerous awards and extend from the symphonic and classical opera repertoire to contemporary 20th Century Works.  His first recording with the Chicago Symphonic Orchestra and Choir was Verdi’s Misa de Réquiem, carried out during live performances in January, 2009 and published by the CSO Resound record label in September, 2010.

Guest conductor at the Salzburg Festival and the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics from 1971, he is  doctor honoris causa at eleven universities and member of the  Santa Cecilia (Rome), Luigi Cherubini (Florence) Academies and the Bolonia Philharmonic. Knight Grand Cross in Italy and Knight of the British Empire, he is Commander of the Order of Malta and has been decorated with the Legion of Honour in France and the Order of Friendship in Russia. Among other awards, he has received the Silver Medal of Merit from the Austrian Republic, the Wolf Foundation Award for Arts (Israel, 2000) and the 2011 Birgit Nilsson Award. In April, 2011 he was honoured at the VI edition of the Opera News yearly awards.

Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra

Founded by Riccardo Muti in 2004 and with its headquarters in Piacenza, the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra is made up of musicians, less than 30 years old, selected by a commission of soloists from prestigious European orchestra from among 600 instrumentalists from all over Italy. The distinctive traits of this orchestra are its dynamism and continual renewal, in such a way that its members are only appointed for a period of three years.

Recently, conducted by Riccardo Muti, the Orchestra has interpreted a repertoire which ranges from the Baroque to 20th Century music, alternating concerts in various Italian cities with important European tours in the Vienna, Paris, Moscow, Salzburg, Cologne and Saint Petersburg theatres, among others.

Besides this intense activity while conducted by its founder ,the Orchestra has collaborated with other artists such as Claudio Abbado, John Axelrod, Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Fournillier, Lang Lang, Kurt Masur or Krzysztof Penderecki, 2001 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. In 2007, the group played a leading role in a project at the Whitsun Festival in Salzburg and the Ravenna Festival aimed at rediscovering the heritage of the Napolitan School of music from the 18thcentury. In 2008, the group received the Abbiati Award for the best musical Project for “the outstanding achievements which have made the Cherubini Youth Orchestra into an excellent group appreciated both at home and abroad”.

Prince of Asturias Foundation Choir

Created in 1983 and conducted by José Esteban G. Miranda, it is considered to be one of the most important amateur groups in Europe and is critically acclaimed in the international field. Since it was created, Jesús López Cobos, 1981 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, has been the honorary conductor of the choirs, a position which he shares at the present time with Krzysztof Penderecki, who received the same award in 2001 . In December, 2007, the European Parliament honoured the Choir with an extraordinary recognition “for its outstanding service in favour of the European Union”.

It has made successful tours around Europe and held concerts in Russia together with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Moscow Virtuosos. Its performance in 1993 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, together with the English Chamber Orchestra was outstanding. In 2001, it visited the United States for the first time and the Washington Post critic classed them as “magnificent”. In December, 2002, the Foundation represented Spain at the Vatican on the occasion of the Immaculate Conception Festivity, with three concerts in Rome. In October, 2003, the Choir gave two historic concerts in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the Lincoln Centre in New York on the occasion of the celebrations of Columbus Day. It was also invited to take part at the wedding of T.R.H the Prince and Princess of Asturias. The group performed at the Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha during the traditional offering of the bride’s bouquet to the Virgin.

In October, 2005, they interpreted Verdi’s  Réquiem together with the Donostiarra Choral Society, 1984 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, and the Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the maestro Jesús López Cobos. In March, 2006, in Brazil, they inaugurated the Symphony Orchestra Season in the State of São Paulo in the most important concert hall in Latin America, the emblematic Estación Júlio Prestes, conducted by John Neschling, together with the São Paulo Choir and Symphony Orchestra.

In April, 2007, under the title “Penderecki conducts Penderecki”, the Foundation Choir came under this great conductor to interpret his most recent composition, Sinfonía n.º 8. Canciones de lo efímero. In June, 2007, it took part in the XVI edition of the International Nafplion Music Festival in Greece. In October, 2008, the Choir interpreted G. Mahler’ Symphony No 2. Resurrection, together with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra from the Venezuela National Youth Orchestra System (2008 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts), conducted by the maestro Gustavo Dudamel. In November, the choir travelled to Belgium where it gave two concerts, one in the European Parliament during the inauguration of the Jean Monnet Conferences and the other at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

In October, 2009, it gave a concert version of the opera by Manuel de Falla La vida breve and in February, 2010, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Mendelssohn. In April the same year, they went to Portugal to take part in the cycle of concerts “Días da Música” at the Belém Cultural Centre. In 2011, the Choir travelled to Mexico for the first time, invited by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities, to take part in the closing ceremony of the UNAM (OFUNAM) Philharmonic Orchestra season. They also gave two concerts at the Asturian Centre and at the Residence of the Spanish Ambassador

The concert brought to an end the XX Music Week, organised by the Prince of Asturias Foundation and Cajastur. Since October 14, there have been a total of nineteen performances in eleven Asturian towns: Oviedo, Gijón, Avilés, Mieres, Cangas de Onís, Infiesto, Moreda, Pola de Lena, Ribadesella, Sotrondio and Vegadeo.

Groups of very different musical registers took part in this cycle such as the Wanderer Duo with piano for four hands; AMORES, a percussion group; the mediaeval music Ensemble, Eloqventia; the Baroque music group Forma Antiqva; or the winners of the End of Studies Prize “Ángel Muñiz Toca” from the “Eduardo Martínez Torner” Music Conservatory from the Principality of Asturias, among others.

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