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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Área Musical


"Europe hails Christmas: Messiah" concert

The Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir will perform Handel’s “Messiah” at the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo alongside the Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra (OSPA)

The Foundation will make 1,000 free tickets available to the general public, which may be collected from the Auditorium box office on 17th and 18th December



The Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir will perform Handel’s Messiah, in the version by E. Goossens, alongside the Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra (OSPA) under the baton of its principal conductor, Rossen Milanov, at 8:00pm this coming Friday, 18th December at the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo.

Under the title “Europe Hails Christmas: Messiah”, the 30th edition of this concert will feature soprano María Eugenia Boix, mezzo-soprano Sarah Couden, tenor Davide Giusti and baritone Luis Ledesma.

Messiah, a masterpiece of symphonic-choral music, has become the most renowned oratorio by George Frideric Handel (1685-1759). The version that will be heard at the Prince Felipe Auditorium this coming Friday was orchestrated in 1959 by Eugene Goossens for his friend and mentor Sir Thomas Beecham, one of the most influential British conductors of his time. Goossens’ arrangements were orchestrated bearing in mind the participation of a large symphony orchestra, in the style of 19th-century romantic orchestras.

Collecting tickets
The Princess of Asturias Foundation will make 1,000 free tickets for this concert available to the general public. These may be collected from the Auditorium box office on 17th and 18th December from 10am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm. A maximum of two tickets will be made available per person.

Rossen Milanov was born in Sofia (Bulgaria). He studied oboe at the University of Duquesne and the Bulgarian National Academy of Music and then went on to study musical direction at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial scholarship.

Principal conductor of the OSPA since 2012, Milanov is also artistic director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia and the Symphony in C training orchestra. During his eleven years with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than two hundred concerts as associate conductor and as artistic director of the orchestra’s summer season at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. He was principal conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra between 2003 and 2008. Internationally, he has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Komische Oper Berlin and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. He has worked with soloists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff and André Watts, as well as with celebrated singers like Nikolai Ghiaurov, Vasselina Karasova, Ghena Dimitrova and Krassimira Stoyanova. His most outstanding distinctions include the recognition he received from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture “for his Extraordinary Contribution to Bulgarian Culture”, the 2011 ASCAP Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for his programming with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and his naming as Bulgaria’s Musician of the Year in 2005.

Principality of Asturias Symphony Orchestra (OSPA). The orchestra is made up of musicians from the European Union, Russia, the USA and Latin America. Rossen Milanov has been its principal conductor since September 2012. The OSPA gives over seventy symphony concerts each year, its main activity revolving around the concert seasons held each year in Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés. The OSPA also regularly performs during the Opera Season at the Campoamor Theatre in Oviedo organized by the Asturian Association of Friends of the Opera. It has performed on many occasions at the National Auditorium in Madrid, the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, major auditoriums in Castellón, Zaragoza, Santiago de Compostela and Extremadura, the Kursaal in San Sebastián and the Baluarte in Pamplona, among other venues. Its most memorable international tour was the one it made to Chile and Mexico in 1996. It returned to Chile two years later and to Mexico in September 2007. During the 2007/08 season, the OSPA also made an extensive tour of the most important cities in China during the celebration of the “Year of Spain in China”. In 2011, it performed before His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican Audience Hall, becoming the only publicly-funded Spanish symphony orchestra to perform in the Nervi Hall. The orchestra’s recording history commenced with works around Asturian themes: Día de fiesta en Asturias, Atardecer and Paisaje Asturiano (Benito Lauret) and La Noche Celta by Ramón Prada. It has subsequently recorded several works by Manuel de Falla.

Princess of Asturias Foundation Choir. 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, has been the honorary conductor of the Foundation’s three choirs since their creation, a position he currently shares with Krzysztof Penderecki, who received the same award in 2001. In December 2007, the European Parliament distinguished the Choir with 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 TM The King and Queen of Spain, 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. Over the years, the 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), among others.

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