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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Music Department


The Prince of Asturias Foundation choir is to give a concert to mark the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Red Cross

On Friday, 19th September, at 8pm in the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo

Volunteers from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement following the Ceremony in the Oviedo Exhibition and Conference Centre. ©FPA

The Prince of Asturias Foundation Choir will give a concert, alongside the Principality of Asturias Symphonic Orchestra (OSPA), to mark the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Red Cross –an organization forming part of the International Red Cross Movement, jointly bestowed with the 2012 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation together with the Red Crescent.

The concert will be held at 8pm this coming Friday, 19th September, in the Prince Felipe Auditorium in Oviedo. Under the baton of Maestro Óliver Diaz, the programme will comprise a choral symphonic repertoire with fragments of romantic operas by Bizet, Verdi and Wagner, such as “Patria oppressa” (Macbeth), “Va pensiero” (Nabucco) and “Wach auf!... Ehrt eure deutschen Meister”·(The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Óliver Díaz

Principal conductor of the City of Gijón Symphony Orchestra (OSIGi) and the Barbieri Symphony Orchestra (BSO), he studied at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, USA). After winning prizes in numerous piano competitions, in 2000 he set up the New Millennium International Piano Festival in collaboration with Julian Martin, as well as founding the Millennium Symphony Orchestra, the embryo of the City of Gijón Symphony Orchestra, which he has conducted since 2002. That same year, he became the first Spanish musician –and the only one to date– to be awarded the Bruno Walter Conducting Scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music, as well as debuting in the Focus Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. He has conducted concerts in Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Romania and the United States with symphony orchestras such as those of the Principality of Asturias, the Community of Madrid and Cordoba, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, the Oviedo Filarmonía, the Cluj Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others. He has made more than a ten recordings and heads the “Music, maestro” programme involving educational concerts aimed at children, young people and families. He is vice president of the Spanish Association of Orchestra Conductors (AESDO) and jury member for the Ana Maria Iriarte International Contest. On 1st January 2013, he conducted the Barbieri Symphony Orchestra in the New Year Concert held at the Teatro de La Zarzuela in Madrid.

Prince 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 music critic of the Washington Post 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 Saint 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 Choir of the Prince of Asturias Foundation 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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