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Princess of Asturias Awards 10/09/2019
The Foundation will make 1,000 tickets available to the public for the final rehearsal of the 28th Princess of Asturias Awards Concert, to be held at 8:30pm on Wednesday, 16th October at the Prince Felipe Auditorium, Oviedo.
Tickets to attend the rehearsal will be available from the Prince Felipe Auditorium box offices from Saturday, 12th October onwards, from 10:00am to 2:00pm and from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, or until there are no tickets left. A maximum of two tickets will be made available per person.
The Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir will sing alongside the Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra (OSPA) under the baton of Crístobal Soler. The programme will comprise a selection of opera and zarzuela pieces and will also count on the participation of soloist Carlos Álvarez (baritone).
Cristóbal Soler is founder and chairman of the Spanish Association of Orchestra Directors (AESDO) and artistic director of the Cuenca Religious Music Week, the latter undertaking earning him the City of Cuenca Award in 2018. He has been director of La Zarzuela National Lyric Theatre (2010-2015), and musical artistic director and founder of the University of Valencia Philharmonic Orchestra (1995-2010), which won 1st Prize at the International Youth Symphony Orchestras Competition held in Vienna, in 1998. Considered one of the leading conductors of his generation, he has gained increasing success in his career, encompassing a wide repertoire in both the symphonic and lyric genre. He has studied the great Central European repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries under the guiding hands of major conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Wolfgang Sawallisch, George Prêtre and Vladimir Fedoseyev.
After completing his advanced studies in Composition and Orchestra Conducting, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Munich, earning the highest possible grades. He then moved to Vienna, where he was assistant to great maestros such as Sawallisch, Prêtre and Mariss Jansons. During the 2003/04 season, he was invited to Vienna, Graz, Berlin and Zurich by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. During this period, he also began to be invited to conduct Spain’s leading orchestras.
He has given special interest to recovering unpublished lyric heritage, conducting world premieres in modern times of operas such as Le Revenant and Le Diable à Seville, by J.M. Gomis, Il Burbero di Buon Cuore, by V. Martín y Soler, Los amores de la Inés, by Falla, and L’Indovina, by S. Giner. Educational projects also form part of his objectives, especially those concerned with the creation of new audiences and providing continued support for new generations of musicians.
During his six seasons as head of La Zarzuela National Lyric Theatre, Madrid (2010-2015), he conducted new productions such as El Gato Montés (2013 Campoamor Theatre Lyric Award for a Spanish lyric production); Los Diamantes de la Corona; the modern day premiere of Galanteos en Venice; as well as an extensive list of zarzuelas. In the operatic field, he has conducted Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosí fan tutte and La Traviata, among other operas. He has worked with stage directors such as Graham Vick, Pier Luigi Pizzi and José Carlos Plaza. He has conducted concerts with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and has toured throughout Spain as well as internationally, including Austria, France, Poland, Cuba, Mexico and Argentina.
Holder of an honorary degree from the University of Malaga, Carlos Álvarez is one of the great international figures of today’s opera scene. He has given magnificent performances, such as Don Carlo, at the Salzburg Festival (1998 and 1999), under the baton of L. Maazel; Pagliacci (1999); Don Giovanni, at La Scala (1999), conducted by Ricardo Muti; Rigoletto, which he interpreted in the Verona Arena (2003); and Otello in Salzburg (2008), once again under the baton of R. Muti.
Among other distinctions, he has received the Award for Cultural Work (2001), two Grammy Awards (2001 and 2005) and the Cannes Classical Award, as well as Spain’s Gold Medal for Fine Arts (2003), Gold Medal for Artistic Merit (2003) and National Music Award (2003). He was awarded the prestigious title of Kammersänger by the Vienna Opera in 2007 and the Gold Medal of the Gran Teatre del Liceu in 2013. More recently, he has received the Best Opera Singer Award, conferred by the Campoamor Awards and Catalan Critics Awards.
The OSPA came into being in 1991 under the auspices of the Principality of Asturias Regional Government with the primary aim of enriching the region both musically and culturally. His Majesty King Felipe VI is its Honorary President. It is an independent body belonging to the Ministry of Education and Culture and member of the Spanish Association of Symphony Orchestras (AEOS). The OSPA is a reference orchestra both within and outside of Asturias for its versatility, interpretative competence and unquestionable quality. It is made up of sixty-nine professional musicians from various countries of the European Union, Russia, the United States and Latin America and its main activity revolves around the seasons of concerts it offers each year in Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés. The orchestra also carries out intense educational and social work in Asturias, expanding its horizons every year and receiving great acclaim in all the places where it performs.
Outside the Principality, the orchestra has performed in the leading auditoriums and concert halls throughout Spain. It has likewise collaborated with the Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera and in summer events as important as the Santander Festival, the Festival of Music and Dance in Granada, and the Festival of Contemporary Music in Alicante, as well as in the Religious Music Week in Cuenca and the Musika-Música Festival in Bilbao, where it is regularly invited to play. Standing out among its international tours is the one it made to Chile and Mexico in 1996, where it was to return two years later, and its participation in the Lorient Interceltic Festival in France in 1998. In addition, the orchestra gave a concert in November 2011 before His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, at the Nervi Hall in the Vatican, under the patronage of the María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation, being the first publicly-owned Spanish symphony orchestra to perform in this hall.
Founded in 1983 and conducted by José Esteban G. Miranda, the Choir is considered one of Europe’s major amateur ensembles and has achieved considerable international prestige. Jesús López Cobos, 1981 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts, was honorary conductor of the Foundation’s three choirs since their creation, a position he shared with Krzysztof Penderecki, who received the same award in 2001. In December 2007, the European Parliament distinguished the Choir via an extraordinary acknowledgement “for its outstanding services to the European Union”. Greatly applauded, it has toured Europe and the Middle East and has held concerts in Russia alongside the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Moscow Virtuosi. One of its most noteworthy performances took place at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1993 alongside the English Chamber Orchestra. It first visited the United States in 2001, being described by the Washington Post’s music critic as “magnificent”. In 2002, the Foundation represented Spain at the Vatican on the occasion of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, offering three concerts in Rome. The Choir gave two historic concerts in New York in October 2003 marking Columbus Day, one in St Patrick’s Cathedral and the other at the Lincoln Center. In 2004, it was invited to participate at the marriage of TRH The Prince and Princess of Asturias, performing during the traditional offering of the bride’s bouquet to the Virgin in the Royal Basilica of Our Lady of Atocha. It has also given concerts in São Paulo (Brazil), Nafplion (Greece), Lisbon and Belém (Portugal), in Mexico City and at the European Parliament in Brussels. In October 2011, the Choir performed Cherubini’s Requiem in C minor alongside the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra under the baton of Neapolitan Maestro Riccardo Muti, 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts. Since its inception, the Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir has been led by outstanding conductors such as Marcus Creed, Friedrich Haider, Arturo Tamayo, Peter Maag, John Neschling, Yuri Bashmet, Alberto Zedda, Paul Mann, Jesús López Cobos, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Neville Marriner, Marzio Conti and Jonathan Webb. It has also collaborated with the Symphony Orchestra of the State of São Paulo, the Vienna Sinfonietta Classical Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, belonging to the National Network of Youth and Children’s Orchestras of Venezuela (2008 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts), and the National Autonomous University of Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra (OFUNAM).
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