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##The ENSEMS Festival, which is the oldest festival in Spain that dedicates itself to new music is being held once again. Having started in 1978, this is the forty-third edition of the festival which will partly be taking place between September 15, 2021, and September 26, 2021. The programme for the festival was divided into two sections with the first part of ENSEMS festival taking place between May 7 and May 16 earlier this year.

The festival is shown to be inspired by themes with this year’s theme being “islands, refuges, and paradises”. The theme is parallel with the festival organisers wanting the audience to reflect on the world and its society, especially after the Coronavirus pandemic that occurred. Through reflecting, the idea of the festival is to allow the audience to connect with the world and discover what is around them.

Set to open the ENSEM festival in September is Trio Agora, which is a group from Lithuania. Having previously won the first prize in the 2018 Rubinstein chamber music competition, the trio regularly interacts with their audience so that dialogue and a connection can be made. Their performance at the festival is set to focus on the relationship between music and identity.

The following day, September 16, will see Ensemble Mosaik perform. With over twenty years of musical experience, the ensemble from Berlin looks at and performs repertoires that are risky and avant-garde. Their performance will include pieces by Manuel Rodríguez Valenzuela, who is a composer from Valencia.

The ENSEMS festival has also scheduled a presentation of the sound performance called #OccupyYourself, Alberto Bernal, a composer, and sound artist is the thought process behind the performance. Part of a collaboration with Frames Percussion, the presentation is set to be one of this year’s most experimental proposals. It involves several musicians, who for twelve hours take over Valencia’s Town Hall Square. During this time they sleep in tents and share with passers-by an experience of sound that is aimed to dissolve the boundaries between art and life. This is to take place September 17 and again on September 19 in front of the Alicante Auditorium.

Joining Alberto Bernal and #OccupyYourself on September 17 is The Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana. The orchestra will be performing in a concert feature works by Kaija Saariaho, the Finnish composer. Juanjo Mena is the orchestra’s conductor and one of the musicians, Kari Kriikku will feature during the concert as a clarinet soloist.

The programme on September 18 sees Palau de les Arts host the violinist, Alfonso Noriega. A local ensemble, Grupo Instrumental de Valencia will join Noriega in performing on this day.

The rest of the line-up for the festival includes The Orquesta ADDA Sinfónica being conducted by Josep Vincent on September 19 and the municipal bands of Valencia and Castelló performing on September 16, which is the final day of the festival.

Alongside, the musical performances at the festival there will be sound creation workshops and collaborations held with various conservatories. With a range of different musical performers and workshops, the ENSEMS festival is once again set to be a great event.

Report by Rhianydd Sword

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