FESTIVAL ENSEMS: “The 43rd edition of the Ensems Festival will feature an outstanding presence of Valencian performers such as Colectivo Mortero, Synergien Project, Aión Dúo, Grupo Illana and Paco Varoch. In addition, the programme includes the main bands and orchestras of the Comunitat Valenciana conducted by Beatriz Fernández Aucejo, José Vicente Díaz Alcaina, Marcel Ortega, Rafael Sanz-Espert, Josep Vicent and Juanjo Mena.

In 2021, this event dedicated to newly created music will have the slogan ‘islands – refuges – paradises’ with the aim of being a space for reflection on the circumstances we are currently experiencing. The Ensems activities will take place between 7 and 16 May and from 15 to 26 September in different venues in the cities of Valencia, Castelló and Alicante. However, the main venue will be the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in the capital of the Turia.

A programme with important local names

First of all, Colectivo Mortero will perform on 8 and 9 May at La Nau of the University of Valencia. The quartet will stage a compendium of works by Domingo Chinchilla and David Alarcón, the group’s artistic director. The pieces include Cuando tú me leas dentro de mil años, with a selection of poems by Miguel Labordeta, and Ruidos Poblados, a world premiere at the festival. As usual, Colectivo Mortero will mix various elements (radio arts, theatre, poetry and music) for a different and attentive listening to our environment from the perspective of ecology.

A few days later, on Wednesday 12 May, the Teatro Martín i Soler of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía will open its doors to welcome the members of Synergien Project. This percussion ensemble will tackle the works of composers Philippe Manoury (Neptune, where instruments and computers interact), Pierluigi Billone (Tre Alberi, where the link between sound and sound sources is studied) and Beat Furrer (Quartett, based on the conception of sound as energies of movement linked to percussion).

The same stage will be occupied by the members of Aión Dúo on Thursday 13 May. The clarinettist Claudia Reyes from Granada and the pianist Pau Fernández from Valencia, accompanied by the actress Marina Alegre Silva, will present Safo_fonías, a multidisciplinary project that combines the words of Sappho of Lesbos with contemporary music of Greco-Latin inspiration. In addition to scores by Harrison Birtwistle (Linoi), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Tierkreis) and Francisco Guerrero (Kineema), Aión Dúo will premiere a commission by the Institut Valencià de Cultura to the composer Claudia Cañamero Ballestar (…Esconden su radiante imagen).

The Grupo Illana, a chamber ensemble with more than 20 years of experience, will perform on Friday 14th May at the Auditorium and Conference Centre of Castelló. The programme will include three pieces selected from Nou cançons per a la intimitat, with text by the poet Xavier Casp and music by Francisco Llácer Pla. In addition, there will be the world premiere of Principio de asociación by Esther López, who has worked from a fragment of Bodas de sangre by Federico García Lorca and a poem by Anne Carson. The public will also be able to hear for the first time César Cano’s Sexteto Op. 65, a work specially designed for the sextet, and Enrique Sanz-Burguete’s Chuang Tzu y la mariposa, in which an attempt is made to create different perceptions of musical time.

Paco Varoch from Alzira will perform six pieces in which the piccolo (piccolo) will be the main protagonist. Thus, the audience will be able to enjoy Six proposals for the next millennium by Manuel Añón; ZoomingTXYZ, a request from the IVC to Martina Sabariego; Visible per ottavino solo by Aureliano Cattaneo; Dolce Tormento by Kaija Saariaho; Fragile by Álvaro de la Cruz; and Drawing down the moon by Donald Erb. The concert will take place on Saturday 15th May in the Teatro Martín i Soler of the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía and will feature percussionist Adrián García. In addition, some of the works will be accompanied by audiovisual projections by the creators Marina Uceda, Manuela Illera and Valentina Jiménez.

Symphonic and band programme

The 43rd edition of the Ensems Festival will feature a very prominent presence of bands and orchestras from the Comunitat Valenciana. Thus, on May 14th it will be the turn of the Orquesta de València, which will perform in the Auditorium of the Palau de les Arts under the baton of Beatriz Fernández Aucejo. The ensemble will perform the works Graffiti by Unsuk Chin, Requies by Luciano Berio, the Concerto for viola and orchestra by Krzystof Penderecki and The mind and the heart, commissioned by the IVC for Enrique Sanz-Burguete. The presence of the violist David Fondo should be highlighted.

On Sunday 16th May, the concerts will move to the capitals of the regions of l’Alacantí and la Plana Alta. First of all, the ADDA (Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante) will host the performance of the Alicante Municipal Symphonic Band conducted by José Vicente Díaz Alcaina. The programme will be made up of the work Del aire y del tiempo by Alfonso Lorenzo; the suite Juegos en blanco by Pablo Olivas; the dodecaphonic piece 1920 by Mario Roig; and Reflejos by Luis Suria, inspired by impressionism. On the other hand, the Banda Municipal de Castelló, conducted by Marcel Ortega, will make its Ensems debut with the scores Allegro barbaro by Béla Bartók; Tribal elements by José Miguel Fayos Jordán; Oiseaux exotiques by Olivier Messiaen (with the Alicante soloist Ricardo Descalzo); and Dragon rhyme by Chen Yi.

Second part of Ensems

Finally, it should be remembered that the festival will have a second part between the 15th and 26th of September, with performances by local ensembles such as the Grup Instrumental de València, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary. In addition, the programme also includes the participation of the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana, the Orquesta ADDA Sinfónica, the Banda Sinfónica Municipal de València and the Joven Orquesta de la Generalitat Valenciana.

Ensems is the oldest festival of innovative and experimental music in Spain, a meeting place for sound that has been held continuously since 1978. The event is organised by the Institut Valencià de Cultura and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. It also has the collaboration of INAEM (Ministry of Culture), València City Council, the Palau de la Música de València, the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), Bankia Escolta València, La Nau Centre Cultural (Universitat de València), Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), Instituto Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas (ISEACV), Conservatorio Superior de Música Joaquín Rodrigo de València, the Consulate of the Republic of Lithuania, the Diputación de València, the Diputación de Alicante, Clemente Pianos, ENOA (European Network Opera Academies) and the Visit València Foundation.”

Report by 24/7 Valencia team

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